Community Award


In 2003 an award was introduced for those projects entered in the Awards of Excellence which show an outstanding community input. These may or may not have other features that make them worthy of an award. In some cases not only the performance of the consultant or client is important but the community groups involved often make a real contribution to the project (and in some cases even a physical contribution by community members). 

When assessing awards during the judging process, judges may identify a project that could be a contender for this additional Special Award. This is not a seperate entry category for entrants to detail. Whether a project should be considered for a community award is solely at the discretion of the judging panel. Nomination is by Lead Judge and supported by secondary judge(s), before the judging meeting, read by all judges and voted on at the final judging meeting. 


  • It is not a special category and any contenders would have been nominated in the awards process on their own merits by the Lead Judge.
  • Must meet all usual criteria of entry and be presented in this manner
  • Must have elements of innovation
  • Need not qualify for any other award (Gold, Silver, Merit)
  • Must be quality work-at or above standard expected in terms of management, professional skill
  • However may not meet level of innovation or uniqueness for any other level of award
  • Incorporates a number of elements that illustrate working with the community that are exceptional in themselves and should be acknowledged: including (but not only): cooperation between consultant, client, contractor, council (if not the client), community group(s), encouraged feedback and input from community, incorporated elements of support or physical input from the community or community group(s) (e.g. Rotary or Lions projects)
  • An exceptionally happy community and client as a result of the project

Note the judges decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into in regards to the community award.






2017 - Taumanu Reserve (Onehunga Foreshore)

The Taumanu Reserve has been in gestation for around 35 years, since State Highway 20 was constructed in the mid-1970's. The motorway extended the Mt Roskill to Wiri Motorway across Onehunga Bay. While the motorway added significant value to Auckland's infrastructure and growth, it cut off the community of Onehunga from the Manukau Harbour and foreshore. At the time of construction, there were plans to design and develop a new public space open with pedestrian connections to the foreshore.

However, due to funding restrictions, the enhancements and public foreshore project were never completed. From 1975 to 2009, Onehunga's community advocated strongly for the foreshore project to be revitalised. After some 30 plus years of advocacy and petition, The Onehunga Enhancement Society (TOES) was successful in securing $28 million from Auckland Council and NZ Transport Agency to finally complete the public space promised decades before.

Once funds were allocated, the council tendered the project through a design competition which was won by Fulton Hogan in partnership with lead consultants Tonkin + Taylor and delivery partners Isthmus and AECOM. TOES' dedication and perseverance to restoring access to the beautiful foreshore reserve is a commendable victory for both community residents and visitors. By gathering the right stakeholders together and fostering a deep and passionate drive to see this project come to fruition. 

TOES has achieved great things which has cumulated in the Onehunga Foreshore restoration project becoming a reality, not just a dream. 




2016 - Sumner Surf Life Saving Club Clubhouse Rebuild

The Sumner Surf Life Saving Club is a historic part of the Sumner community. After the 2011 and subsequent earthquakes, the clubhouse was damaged beyond repair, losing close to sixty years of history and community service in the rubble. This facility served numerous members of the community and purposes including the volunteer lifeguards, Sumner beach patrons, surf sports and training.

After operating for four years from temporary containers, it was time to rebuild. Throughout the four years of displacement, the club maintained membership levels and rescue services to the public which speak volumes of the strong community environment and commitment to the area.

The project brought together club members of the Sumner Surf Life Saving Club with professional service skills to begin the process of rebuilding their community home. A rebuild committee of both club and community members was formed and worked with Aurecon to complete the project. The community, the committee and the club members generously contributed their time, energy and feedback into each stage of the project.

Through an informal partnership approach, collaboration between Christchurch City Council, consultant, contractor, club and community ensured the project was completed and remained on the original site amid numerous challenges. The ACENZ judges see the project as a worthy recipient of the rarely awarded Community Award. 




2010 - Waka & Wave Sculpture at Hihiaua Point

The sculpture was conceived and designed by Chris Booth and Te Warahi Heteraka as a Millennium project. The two artists collaborated to produce a rock sculpture that represents a breaking wave on a traditional Maori waka

Stage One was a 20m long waka constructed from basalt with the wave form constructed from massive flat limestone rock.  The cost of solid basalt was prohibitive so the waka was crafted with a reinforced concrete core and veneer of Timaru bluestone basalt.  The tauihu and taurapa (bow and stern respectively) of the waka were carved from solid basalt.  The wave form breaking over the taurapa is constructed from locally-sourced paradise stone.

Stage Two was a 9 x 3 x 6m high arched wave form which remerges from the ground inland of the waka and is comprised of two layers of flat limestone rock.  Individual rocks weighing up to 10 tonnes, connect the two elements. 

Richardson Stevens advised on the arch shapes and size of the limestone components, to complete the artists’ concept.  The limestone was selected from the quarry by the artists and cut skillfully to fit the structurally-efficient arch shapes.  Round boulders supporting the upper wave sections from the lower sections were sourced from the Whakapapa River.  Each piece of rock is connected to the next with steel pins, epoxy-anchored into the mitred faces.  The cantilevered wave over the taurapa is drilled full length and reinforcing rods grouted in place. 

The construction work was finished to a very high standard using old fashioned techniques and ingenuity, and is a credit to the contractor. The design and construction was a collaborative effort between Whangarei District Council, local artists, engineers and contractors.  It is located in a very public place and complements the maritime theme in Whangarei’s public artwork.  It owes its existence to the foresight of the Council and the considerable support (including financial support) of local businesses and the community of Whangarei. 




2007 - Weavers Pit Rehabilitation

This project by Maunsell Ltd for the client Solid Energy was selected by the judges during the process as showing an exceptional commitment by the community affected by the project, in ensuring it is a success. 

At the completion of coal mining in 1993, Solid Energy began the rehabilitation of the Weavers’ opencast mine pit into a lake. Its objective was to minimise the instability of the pit slopes during the lake filling, at a minimal cost. Of prime concern was to protect the rail line which runs within 50 m of the lake edge. Water quality had to meet the same standard as nearby Lake Waahi to create a healthy lake as a beneficial environmental and recreational resource.

Maunsell devised a Risk Management Strategy for the pit wall stability which entailed monitoring slope behaviour and groundwater conditions during the lake filling and then designing stabilisation works based on the monitoring results. This approach resulted in significantly lower capital costs. The rehabilitation works were successfully completed in 2006 and Lake Weavers is now being used
as a recreational lake by the community.




2004 - Cambridge CBD Redevelopment

The Council and Community Board initiated the concept and contributed ideas to Opus International Consultants’ design. The whole community, particularly property owners within the CBD, supported the project and the result is an attractive town centre of which all are proud. 

The Cambridge CBD Redevelopment by Opus for Waipa District Council took good teamwork and a strong community consultation process, giving Cambridge a revitalised central business district with decorative features, as well as improved traffic safety.

Waipa District Council commissioned Opus to repair damaged pavements and provide a new design to revitalise central Cambridge. With State Highway 1 now by-passing the town, the Council wanted to develop Cambridge as a distinctive and memorable destination in its own right and in a way that reflected the special character of the region.

Following extensive consultation with the local community and the various stakeholders, Opus provided an urban design that incorporated the favoured options with practical improvements. This included the widening of the footpaths, providing crossings, new street furniture, improving the street lighting, and extensive landscape design. The design also draws on the local history, the surrounding countryside and the English character of the town. A number of specimen trees were planted in a formal classical manner and mosaic horse heads were inset in the main street footpath along with the creation of a special walkway to commemorate local sporting champions. 




2003 - Gore Multisports Centre

This project showed an unusual commitment from the community that was fundamental to its success. In particular, the members of Ice Sport Southland, who promoted the concept to Gore District Council, worked hard to put up part of the funding, including seeking sponsorship, and whose enthusiasm for the project has led to its widespread use both for local and out-of-town teams.

The Gore Multisports Centre incorporates an ice skating rink and aquatic complex (25 m swimming pool, a leisure pool, and a hydrotherapy spa). In a first for New Zealand (at the time of the award), MWH New Zealand has combined the heat removal process from the ice rink, with the water and air heating for the pool. This solution was a key to making this facility a huge success with the community.

Prompted by Ice Sports Southland, Gore District Council has developed a new sports facility for the town, which has drawn interest from around the South Island. MWH Building Services team provided the mechanical and electrical consultancy services for the complex. They worked with the clients on a limited budget, to provide a building of plain appearance, but including some clever processes to good effect.

 The design uses heat pump technology with the unique feature of utilising the aquatic centre by-product to provide cooling to the ice rink with minimal increase in the pool’s consumption of energy. The chiller cools water to form the ice surface at the rink, effectively removing heat from the water as a waste product. In most ice rinks this heat is wasted to the atmosphere. At the Gore Multisports facility this heat has been used to heat the water and air in the adjacent aquatic centre. It uses a modification of off-the-shelf products to deliver an energy-efficient system minimising capital and operating costs. 

The Gore Multisports Centre has experienced enthusiastic community usage and is extremely energy efficient (currently 16% below the estimated power budget). Additional environmental benefits include using electricity rather than fossil fuels, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.