New Zealand roading project wins top engineering prize


Infrastructure Decision Support (IDS), WSP and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Strategic Maintenance Investment Justification Project won big at the 2022 Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Excellence Awards on Wednesday night in Adelaide

It won the ‘IPWEA Australasia 2022 Excellence in Asset Management’ category and the prestigious ‘IPWEA Australasia 2022 Public Works Medal for Project of the Year.’

Waka Kotahi engaged IDS in May 2019 to answer the “billion-dollar” question around how much investment is needed to maintain the roads and road surfaces within the New Zealand State Highway network over a three-year funding period.

This information was vital to support the 2021-2024 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) and inform the long-term strategic 10-year and 30-year investment horizons.

The NLTP is a three-yearly investment package that ensures transport can be delivered nationally, regionally and on a local authority level.

Just three months ago, this project also won the ‘2021 Excellence in Asset Management’ category at the IPWEA New Zealand Asset Management Excellence Awards.

IDS used the dTIMS (Deighton Total Infrastructure Management System) modelling that forecasts road condition, maintenance and renewal needs into the future to provide Waka Kotahi with assurance and confidence of a nationally consistent focus of investment.

This ensured the appropriate amounts of money were provided in the right locations whilst ensuring a functional, reliable state highway roading network that is well maintained and protected for generations to come.

Dr Theuns Henning, CEO of IDS and Senior Lecturer at Auckland University says “we were thrilled to have won the New Zealand award a few months ago, but to also win the same for Australasia and then the overall project award is very humbling.

“The project was a huge undertaking. So many within the industry were involved every step of the way, and it is something that everyone who was involved can be immensely proud of.”

Vanessa Browne, Waka Kotahi National Manager – Programme & Standards, says asset management is a very specialised field, and recognition doesn’t come any higher than this.

“The state highway network is New Zealand’s largest asset, valued at more than $50 billion, and responsibility for that asset is not something that Waka Kotahi takes lightly.

“Thanks to the work of this project, Waka Kotahi can have greater trust and confidence in our processes. What it helps us achieve is a more consistent approach, which ensures we’re investing in the right places, and delivering the best transport outcomes for New Zealand.

“We congratulate our team on this success and the work they are doing on behalf and for the benefit of the New Zealand public.”