Tūhoe wins Client Award for environmentally friendly road surface

Tūhoe Charitable Trust has been honoured at the ACE Awards for a roading project that incorporated engineering, science and mātauranga Māori.

The Road to Nature project took out the ACE New Zealand Client Award at the event on Tuesday 22 February.

The project involved a stretch of State Highway 38 in Te Urewera used by locals and tourists that was becoming dangerous due to dust and potholes.

Ngāi Tūhoe, who are kaitiaki or guardians of Te Urewera, commissioned engineering consultancy WSP to investigate environmentally friendly and sustainable options for resurfacing and maintenance of the road in keeping with Tūhoe values.

WSP conducted research, lab testing and analysis to find a by-product substance of the wood pulping process that was effective in binding gravel and keeping it in place. The substance replaces the usual bitumen used on roads and can be recycled on-site without additional aggregates.

ACE Awards judges recognised the project for the considerable consultation and engagement with the local community, fulfilling their role as kaitiaki by monitoring and reporting on road-wear.

The project gave locals skills and jobs, and the pairing of matauranga Māori, multidisciplinary science and engineering formed a strong platform for further development of sustainable materials in Aotearoa.

ACE New Zealand Chief Executive Helen Davidson said: “The Client Award recognises an outstanding client that enables a consultant to help lead, connect and shape the future of Aotearoa. It also recognises clients who align with the fundamental principles of the Construction Sector Accord.

“This is a remarkable project and Tūhoe Charitable Trust thoroughly deserves this award.”

About the ACE Awards

The ACE Awards recognise consulting and engineering that achieves the highest level of innovation and excellence, and results in remarkable outcomes. The judging panel evaluates the submissions, conducts client interviews and tours project sites. This work is then reviewed by a group of peers, which makes the ACE Awards the pinnacle of achievement in the professional services consulting sector.

These awards are the 2021 ACE Awards, originally scheduled to take place at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland in September 2021 but delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions. They took place online on Tuesday 22 February.

For a full list of award winners and photos for use by media, please visit www.acenz.org.nz/2021winners


For further information contact:

Suzie Hart
Communications Manager
ACE New Zealand
[email protected]


About ACE New Zealand

ACE New Zealand is a firm-based member organisation representing more than 230 professional services firms, ranging from large global firms to employee-owned SMEs and sole traders.

Our members deliver critical technology, construction, infrastructure and environmental solutions, providing the essential expertise needed to create remarkable outcomes for Aotearoa.

We act as the collective voice for our members, providing a system-level perspective to their unique challenges. We invest in initiatives that benefit firms of all sizes and sit at a macro-level within the sector.