Emerging Leader Award

The ACE New Zealand Emerging Leader Award, sponsored by Tonkin + Taylor recognises individuals who have a passion for leadership in the consulting sector, show a commitment to developing themselves, and demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities in their work and in their communities.

Simon Fenton

2020 Emerging Leader winner, Simon Fenton

  • Do you have exceptional leadership qualities? 
  • Are 35 years of age or younger? 
  • Do you work for an ACE New Zealand member firm?

Key 2021 dates 

  • To be confirmed


One winner will receive: 

  • One year on the ACE New Zealand Board
  • A cash prize of $1,500 NZD 
  • A contribution of up to NZD $10,000 towards any professional development course or conference (selections must be pre-approved by ACE New Zealand) 

Two runners-up will receive: 

  • A contribution of up to NZD $1,000 towards any professional development course or conference (selections must be pre-approved by ACE New Zealand) 

Who can enter  

To enter the Emerging Leader Award the following criteria apply:  

  • You must be a permanent employee of an ACE New Zealand member firm

  • You must be 35 years of age or under at the date of entry

  • You must be a New Zealand citizen or have permanent residency  

  • You do not need to be an engineer – project managers, architects, planners, scientists or anyone else working in a consulting capacity within an ACE New Zealand member firm can apply 

  • It is expected that you will be at junior-early management level or can demonstrate an equal level of leadership and responsibility within your firm

  • A senior manager from your firm must nominate you  

    • Your nominator should be aware that the prize would be an opportunity for you to develop further skills but will involve a time commitment for the following two years 

  • You must be able to demonstrate a personal commitment to continued professional development (CPD) by providing a summary of CPD undertaken over the last three years
  • The winner and two finalists must remain employed by an ACE New Zealand member firm and working in New Zealand while they are taking up any part of the prize. All prizes will be forfeited if employment ceases with an ACE New Zealand member firm or if they are not working in New Zealand. 

There is no restriction on the number of entries received from a firm; however, you should be aware that there can be only one winner and entrants do compete against each other. 

What you need before you begin your application  

Your application report is the key document the judges use to review your entry and must include:

  • Your name, email and position 
    • For both entrant and nominator  

  • One publication-quality, high-resolution (1MB or higher) headshot of yourself 

An application report containing: 

  • CPD record

    • A record of the courses or conferences completed in the past three years

    • Any business-related training courses and the hours spent completing 

  • A brief bio

    • Maximum of 250 words used for publicity material. ACE New Zealand reserves the right to edit materials 

  • Nominator’s statement on your leadership 

    • A statement written by the nominator outlining: 

      • your potential as a leader 

      • your ability to motivate and inspire the people around you (this can be both professionally or through community leadership) 

      • how you work for the betterment of the consulting sector 

      • how you work effectively with key stakeholders (clients, contractors, other consultants) 

    • Please ensure you include this statement of confirmation by the nominator and their signature 

      • I (nominator name) confirm that the entrant is an employee of (company name) and meets the criteria for entry 

  • Your role as a consultant in the community 

    • Provide a summary of four to five recent projects where you’ve played a significant role 

    • A maximum of one page is required for each project 

    • Don’t describe the project in detail, instead focus on the part you played, emphasising where leadership qualities were essential and how your actions demonstrated this 

    • The judges are interested in learning how your actions influenced the team, collaborators, and the projectIt is not about the project outcome itself

    • The following will be considered: 

      • level of responsibility and reporting lines 

      • a high-level understanding of the technical details of the project 

      • liaison with other stakeholders involved in the project 

      • management of safety and environmental issues (if appropriate) 

      • other matterrelevant to the project 

      • leadership demonstrated 

    • The size or nature of the projects and technical innovation are not considered. The award is based solely on demonstrating leadership and skills and potential 

  • Community leadership 

    • A brief overview of any non-work roles you play in the community where you demonstrate leadership

  • Letters of support

    • You can provide up to a maximum of two letters of support. These can be from a client or another project member (not within the same firm) 

  • Specialist questions

    • Describe how you’ve successfully brought about changeDon’t just tell us the outcome, rather the specific actions that you took to achieve the change 

    • Outline your leadership philosophy? 

Previous winners  

View previous Emerging Leader winners and finalists