Connecting New Zealand

Finalists named for CCNZ Z People Awards

08 Aug 2023

Finalists have been announced for the CCNZ Z People Awards, which recognise emerging leaders in the civil construction industry as well as those who have shown outstanding commitment to personal development.

The Z People Awards will be presented as part of The Civil Contractors Conference in a plenary session, alongside the CCNZ Connexis Civil Training Awards. This year's awards saw ten finalists named from 19 nominations.

CCNZ Chief Executive Alan Pollard said this year’s award nominees had shown an exceptional amount of talent, determination and dedication in their roles. 

Selecting finalists from an outstanding field of nominations had been a difficult task for the judges this year, Mr Pollard said.

“These are people who have shown extraordinary dedication and skill in their roles. This year’s entries were of a particularly high calibre, and I am frankly amazed by the stories of the nominees, many of whom have gone above and beyond for their teams, resulting in better outcomes for their projects and contributing to great workplaces for their colleagues. I am proud to recognise them for their efforts.”

These awards recognise the amazing people who work on NZ's civil construction projects - from emerging leaders to frontline workers who are committed to building their skills. You can see the stories of past finalists online, and tickets for this year's award presentations are available from the event website at

Z has a long-standing relationship with CCNZ and is a proud supporter of the Z People Awards, recognising the achievements and professional development of individuals within the civil construction industry.

Want to see some of the award winning people from previous years? Check out our awards book, which features the details of past winners.

RECENT WINNERS: 2022| 2020-212019 | 2018 | 2017

And the finalists are

Z Emerging Leader Award

The Emerging Leader Award recognises talented people from across the civil construction industry who have shown exemplary skill and leadership in their work. The winner of each year's Emerging Leader Award receives the 'Dr Dave Memorial Trophy', which was named in memory of Dr. Dave Hutchison, an outstanding person who was responsible for helping many young people build their skills and find success in their careers.

Jaime Clark - Fulton Hogan

Comments from Jaime's employer: Jaime is an exceptional communicator, with the ability to discuss and relay often technical information, to various audiences, be it a client want to just understand the high levels risks and options they have, to engineers be it consultants or work colleagues who need to understand the technical details, right through to field staff undertaking the physical works onsite, who required the key requirements and hold points to be clearly explained. Jaime is equally at home with any audience.

Being responsible for designing pavement rehabilitation treatments for annual programmes of work for various NOC contracts, who are reliant of timely completion of field testing, lab investigations, treatment optioneering, then detailed design reports, communication is critical. Jaime interacts with our NOC Asset Managers and Renewal Managers, and their Waka Kotahi clients, helping ensure there is alignment early on risk tolerance, funding constraints, and construction window constraints, to minimise the risk of affordability challenges or other complications arising delaying client design approval, or delays during construction from unplanned events.

Piripi Jessup - Topline Contracting

Comments from Piripi's employer: Piripi is a calm and present leader with a natural ability to engage with anyone. He forms solid, productive and positive relationships not only with clients and sub-contractors, but with residents, members of the public and other project stakeholders. His ability to do this has been instrumental in receiving positive feedback from multiple clients and projects. 

More recently, Piripi has been working closely with the team from Fulton Hogan on the Cyclone response and recovery work. This involves being actively involved in daily pre-start briefings, communicating with both on site and office-based team members from both Fulton Hogan and Topline Contracting. The feedback we have received from this client in relation to Piripi has been impressive. 

Moala Ofa - Ventia

Comments from Mo's employer: Mo has been an outstanding and crucial member of the Ventia Transport business and leader within our Transmission Gully O&M project. He has contributed so much to our business and the industry, most recently with delivering the operation and maintenance of Transmission Gully.

He is a motivational and emphatic leader. He motivates by supporting his staff, and leads by example. Mo celebrates success with his team with regular BBQs during toolboxes, and acknowledging good work done by staff during staff meetings. He brings a strong safety focus with his operational knowledge - there has been no injuries within his team in the year during the operation of Transmission Gully. He makes it a point to keep our colleagues safe, as well as the general public.

Bariz Shah - Brian Perry Civil

Comments from Bariz' employer: Bariz migrated to New Zealand in 2001 after living in Pakistan as a refugee for several years. Despite lacking a sense of identity and traveling an unconventional path, Bariz was able to redeem himself, graduating from the University of Canterbury with a BE(Hons) in Civil Engineering, and a Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering. He is also a member of Kāpuia, a Ministerial Advisory Group to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, providing independent oversight of the government's response to the terrorist attacks of March 15, 2019. The Group was established in response to recommendation 44 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

He is currently co-directing and co-producing a feature documentary film titled 'fiftyone', which follows his journey to Afghanistan in 2019 alongside his wife, where they established 51 micro-businesses in honor of the 51 lives lost in the March 15 tragedy.
Bariz has been a part of the Fletcher Construction Graduate Program since February 2022, and based at Auckland Airport where Brian Perry Civil (BPC) is currently delivering large scopes of new pavement and remedial work. He has found his passion to help better other people’s lives. “I initially wanted to help rebuild my homeland once I became a successful civil engineer", says Bariz. “However, one year into my BPC Graduate Engineer role at Auckland Airport, I realised my love for solving problems was not limited to a region."

He wishes to progress into a project management role within the civil industry. "As a site engineer, my goal is to build experience and capability with civil project delivery within the complex airside environment,” he says. He is particularly keen on “improving team dynamics via constructive feedback, enhancing our culture around safety and wellbeing by empowering team members to speak up when it matters, and increasing efficiency while lowering our carbon footprint by embracing sustainability and innovation.”

Ryan Thom - Utilities Infrastructure New Zealand

Comments from Ryan's employer: Ryan has been employed by Utilities Infrastructure for just under three years, starting as a junior project manager and now progressing to project manager, running the two largest projects we have secured in the past year.

He joined the industry as a graduate engineer in 2019 with Brian Perry Civil. His talent and leadership was immediately recognised, and he was rapidly given responsibility running projects and teams around the South Island.

Ryan plans to develop his technical knowledge and leadership skills to move into a senior leadership role within an infrastructure business. His ultimate goal is to own his own civil construction business and be able to grow and develop the next generation of leaders. 

Z Personal Improvement Award

This award recognises individuals who have committed themselves to ongoing training and development for the betterment of themselves and their employers and how they make the most of the opportunities made available to them in the civil and general contracting industry.

Anju Kurian - Acciona Construction

Comments from Anju's employer: Anju's personal improvement journey has equipped her with the adaptability and resilience necessary to thrive in a demanding construction environment. Her ability to handle high-pressure situations and quickly adapt to changing project requirements has been invaluable.

Anju's resourcefulness and determination to overcome obstacles have ensured the successful completion of critical milestones, contributing to the overall progress of the projects she works on. She brings her colleagues and the teams she works closely with along with her on this journey.

James Jarman - Utilities Infrastructure New Zealand

Comments from James' employer: James has had a massive impact on UINZ. He has brought an advanced level of technical knowledge, a quality focus and a drive to complete work safely, to a professional standard and to exceed technical requirements. James exemplifies the values of our business and has become the role model that has lifted the professionalism of our operational staff and the complexity of the projects that we undertake.

James has been integral to the growth of UINZ, by elevating those around him to grow – by acting as a role model and by openly sharing his knowledge and experience and his passion for teaching and coaching junior staff around him. James openness in sharing his experience and knowledge has rapidly grown the skillset of those around him. 

Jacob Walmsley - Brian Perry Civil

Comments from Jacob's employer: Jacob is a superb ambassador for BPC, with our clients, our subcontractors, and our stakeholders. He is highly regarded inside and outside the business because of his ability, his approach, and his effective engagement. Being assigned to run our Taranaki Street Pump Station project reflects the high regard BPC’s leadership have in Jacob’s abilities and personal qualities – it’s a challenging project in a highly visible location to entrust to a young engineer.

Jacob’s success is an inspiration to others in the business, demonstrating the pathway from labouring to project leadership. Jacob is an excellent role model within BPC and for our industry, sharing his passion and through his success, encouraging others into rewarding careers in construction. 

Jonny Overend - HEB Construction

Comments from Jonny's employer: Jonny is one of the longest standing employees in Christchurch. He is the ‘old head’ in the team and provides stability for the younger generation. His team look up to him. He will raise his hand for anything and leads by example for his team members. His greatest strength is his empathy and how he treats his team, which makes for happier employees, builds trust, increases employee engagement and motivation and boosts productivity. He is keen to share his knowledge and what he has learnt which allows opportunities of growth for the younger team members. The skills and knowledge he brings to the organisation, make a difference and we are proud to have him as one of our own. 

Taylor Cross - Simcox Construction

Comments from Taylor's employer: Taylor has a huge positive influence within Simcox, which brings great benefits to the business. He is respected by clients and internal teams and ensures everyone is working in a safe supported environment to complete projects on time and to budget. He is also a role model for upskilling and training with junior team members realising their own potential when they see how Taylor has progressed. 





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