Award Definitions


The majority of award entries will fall into the General category. Projects within the General Category are typically those where there is a traditional client/consultant relationship. The consultant will have been engaged by the client to deliver a solution or service.

This category includes sub-consultants engaged to deliver a specific aspect of the consulting service under the traditional model of client/consultant engagement.

Regardless of the category entered, entrants are reminded that the award is not made for the project itself, but for the consultant’s contribution to the success of the project as established through the judging criteria set out in this Guideline.


Collaborative Working Agreement (CWA)

A CWA is a contractual agreement between consulting companies to enter into a business arrangement which is designed to deliver services or solutions which add value for both parties in the relationship, for a specific project or term contract.

The contractual relationship aims to deliver excellence through shared goals in terms of integrated planning, project development, project delivery, and value for money.

A CWA typically adopts a traditional contract model with relationship provisions overlaying the traditional client/consultant contract structure.

A description of the formal contractual relationship in the CWA must be included within the entry submission. To be eligible as a CWA the project must be undertaken by an ACENZ member jointly with another consulting engineering firm. Either

  1. An overseas branch of the same multinational company
  2. One or more overseas firms
  3. One or more ACENZ firms

The criteria are detailed in the Awards Policy Practice Note A62.

As well as taking the general and project criteria into account the entrant must clearly show that the project meets the following criteria before the entry is accepted:

  • (all) parties must be ACENZ members, or
  • the ACENZ member firm must contribute a significant input to the project. For the purposes of the awards criteria, significant is 30 % or more;
  • the entrant must satisfy ACENZ that it meets these criteria before the project is accepted for submission; a participation profile is required, together with written verification by the other party(ies) to the collaborative working agreement and the share and short detail of work contributed by each contributor.
  • for overseas projects the New Zealand firm must be managed by a New Zealand-based office;
  • in the case of a New Zealand office contributing to a project run by its parent multinational, the New Zealand component must be a discrete and identifiable component of the project.



Alliance Projects have become the preferred model for the delivery of large capital projects. An Alliance Project has a formal alliance contract which defines relationships, the management structure, cost and painshare/gainshare within the Alliance member.

Typically, the alliance will include the Client, Contractor(s), Consultant(s) and possibly other parties. There may also be clauses within the alliancing agreement which preclude any of the alliance members making independent award entries. Often in these types of projects, any awards made need to be in the names of each of the alliance members.

The alliance group may also have separately contracted specialist sub-consultants and other parties who will need to be clearly identified and the judges will need to understand how they fit within the alliance hierarchy. Additionally, we will require that alliances submit written confirmation from all alliance parties the split of work done by ACENZ Member firms and what areas of the entry the various parties contributed to. 

Within an alliance the judges need to know how the work, innovation and decisions, are managed. We’re asking for you to identify what the various working relationships are (who is leading the decision making, and other relevant stakeholders responsible for delivering the final outcome).


Small Project

A project in any discipline for which total fees paid are less than $50,000 or has a Capital Value of $250,000, whichever is larger.


Small Firm Entry

Any project entered by an ACENZ Ordinary Member with a total nationwide staff of 15 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) or less.


First Time Entrant

Any ACENZ Ordinary Member Firm which has never entered the INNOVATE Awards before. This allowance does not include firms which have previously entered but have undergone a name change through buy-out or ownership transfer. ACENZ reserves the right to refuse the discounted First Time Entrant fee.


Overseas Projects

The work must be managed by a New Zealand based office of the ACENZ Ordinary Member, for a project that has a physical site outside of New Zealand.