New Zealand infrastructure projects recognised at awards ceremony


Eight winners were announced last month at the 2021 IPWEA NZ Asset Management Excellence Awards, providing an opportunity for asset and infrastructure management professionals to showcase their great work

A successful infrastructure project is usually a team effort delivered by a range of parties including local government, central government, consultants, contractors and suppliers. The Awards provide recognition of how teams have come together to deliver something special and not achievable by one party alone.

Best Public Works Project Under $2 Million

Tidal Creek 2 Bridge Replacement
Submitted by: WSP
Team: Buller District Council, Concrete Structures Limited

Tidal Creek 2 Bridge is a 35metre long bridge situated along the Karamea Highway on the West Coast of the South Island. Prior to construction, a former bridge existed which was restrictive to freight (HPMV), with just a single lane along the narrow and winding road. Replacing this bridge was vital to improve efficiency and user safety.

Buller District Council was granted funding as part of the COVID-19 Shovel Ready Responses, and implementation of the new bridge at the site took place within 12 months of this milestone.

Excellence in design was met through an optimal geometric alignment and span configuration, leading to significant savings. A focus was placed on constructability early in design. Needing to progress at pace in order to meet the conditions of funding was matched by the implementation of a hybrid project delivery model, resulting in a high quality but efficient build, in challenging circumstances.

Best Public Works Project $2 Million – $5 Million

Mangawara Bridge
Submitted by: Waikato District Council
Team: Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust, KiwiRail, Waka Kotahi, Taupiri Marae, Taupiri Urupa Komiti, Taupiri Community Board, Beca, Waikato District Alliance and Emmetts Civil Construction, Holmes Consulting, Waikato River Authority

Mangawara Bridge is a new 60metre single span arch bridge which crosses the Mangawara Stream. The delivery of the infrastructure is the result of years of collaboration between multiple stakeholders with an aim to provide better outcomes for their communities, a safer passage to Taupiri Maunga, and improved Rail Network resilience.

The completion of this bridge has enabled KiwiRail to close a dangerous level crossing, and has stopped trespassing on the railway bridge. It also enabled Waka Kotahi to close an unsafe accessway from a busy arterial road. Further to this, the bridge has provided safe vehicular and pedestrian access to the Taupiri Urupa, a site of great significance. The project has also improved rail freight efficiency and enhanced the immediate environment.

Best Public Works Project over $5 Million

Cobham Drive Bay Connection Shared Pathway
Submitted by: Downer
Team: Waka Kotahi, Wellington City Council

Cobham Drive Bay Connection is a beautification and community programme funded and developed in partnership with Waka Kotahi and Wellington City Council. The walking and biking improvements along the seaward side of Cobham Drive forms part of the plan to turn the coastal recreation area into an eastern gateway for Wellington.

Through this project, a 1.5km cycleway and separate footpath has been delivered for Wellington city, offering improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists, improved connectivity for communities, increased use of active mode transport and recreational choices. The project has also successfully engaged local iwi and has protected little blue penguins and other indigenous New Zealand species. The delivered pathway has also added a new revetment wall to prevent further natural erosion along the coastline, protecting the assets and communities for the future.

Excellence in Asset Management

The Waka Kotahi Strategic Maintenance Investment Justification Project
Submitted by: IDS, Waka Kotahi, WSP
Team: Downer, Fulton Hogan, Beca

The Waka Kotahi Strategic Maintenance Investment Justification Project aims to answer a key question: how much investment is needed in order to maintain the 24,000km of New Zealand State Highway Network over a 3 year funding block (2021 – 2024)? This research will inform the long term strategic 10-year and 30-year investment horizons.

To complete the project, IDS used a scientific model that forecasts road condition, maintenance and renewal needs into the future. With the help of other organisations and industry specialists, a suite of advanced technical developments in asset modelling and analysis was delivered, intended to be shared with the industry in order to enhance infrastructure decision making across the country. The model also sets the scene across the entire network for a wave of highway renewals over the next five years that will have a large economic and social impact for future generations.

Excellence in Project Innovation

Paihia Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
Submitted by: WSP
Team: Far North District Council, Marshall Projects Limited

Paihia Wastewater Treatment Plant is an essential community facility owned and operated by the Far North District Council, serving people and businesses across the region. A recent upgrade to the plant resulted from a shared desire to improve the quality of water entering the habitat of the endangered Northland Mudfish (Waikaka) in the culturally significant Waitangi Wetlands.

Constructed in the 1980s, the pond had been treating effluent and discharging this into a local stream. In order to protect the cultural and ecological qualities, the project aimed to maintain stringent ammonia and nitrogen standards much stricter than standard requirements.

The project uses innovative ‘Bioshell®’ technology to achieve a minimal ammonia presence for $18million less than a conventional upgrade, all whilst reusing an existing system. Innovative procurement and project delivery lead to a flagship project demonstrating a sustainable and affordable approach to upgrading Wastewater Treatment Plants across Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Excellence in Water Project

Papakura Stage One Water Treatment Plant
Submitted by: Brian Perry Civil
Team: Watercare Services Ltd, Suez, ACH, Neo Consulting, Tonkin + Taylor

Between November 2019 and May 2020, Auckland received less than half of its normal rainfall; the shortage of water in the dams was seen to be one of the most extreme drought events in New Zealand in modern times. In an accelerated programme of just 61 working days, an operational water treatment plant was built, in order to address Auckland’s water supply crisis. This involved constructing a temporary water treatment plant, as well as a pipeline to connect it to the city’s network. The end result provided AA graded drinking water to Auckland residents.

150 tons of water treatment equipment, including nine new tanks, four granular activated carbon containers, a UV treatment container, a flocculation clarifier system and containerised chemical dosing systems were installed demonstrating technical excellence, collaboration, innovation and health and safety. This provided reassurance and relief to the Auckland community.

Excellence in Road Safety

Peninsula Connection
Submitted by: GHD
Team: Dunedin City Council, Boisch, Fulton Hogan

The Peninsula Connection (sections one to ten) has delivered a unique road safety design in response to the needs of the local Dunedin Community, connecting pedestrians and cyclists to townships that were previously poorly accessible for those not in cars. The shared path has improved road
safety for cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

The team were challenged to deliver innovative and collaborative planning, design and delivery, with stringent resource conditions and budget constraints. Community feedback influenced designs for seating, bus shelters, landscaping and access, including the protection of a 150 year old wall. Further to this, value engineering allowed for $18 million in savings for the project.

Excellence in Environmental & Sustainability
Supreme Asset Management Excellence Award

Piritahi House Removal Programme
Submitted by: Piritahi
Team: Dempsey Wood, Harrison Grierson, Hick Bros Group, Kāinga Ora: Homes and Communities, Tonkin + Taylor, Woods

With construction and demolition waste contributing to nearly 50 per cent of New Zealand’s landfill waste, Piritahi has aimed to shift away from the historical practice of state home demolition, to a new methodology of house removal: relocate where possible, followed by a reuse and recycle deconstruction approach. This practice has diverted 1,000 tonnes of construction waste from landfill each month.

The ‘House Removal Programme,’ removes state housing from large scale project areas while working collaboratively to apply industry-leading waste minimisation practices. This critical work enables significantly increased intensification and sustainable housing outcomes for Kāinga Ora: Homes and Communities.

Relocatable houses are also provided to Ara, a charitable trust that uses them to help train young apprentices and secondary school students in gateway projects. Piritahi and Kainga Ora are also investigating the provision of more appropriate, relocatable houses to iwi and to urban Māori groups, non-governmental organisations, and community groups.