Connecting New Zealand

Bay of Plenty Contractors fly high at awards

09 Oct 2023

The CCNZ Bay of Plenty Branch Hynds Construction Awards took place amongst jets, torpedoes and vintage flying machines at Classic Flyers in Tauranga on 6 October, with awards presented to the region's top people and projects.

This was the second awards evening hosted by the branch, attracting around 220 people from across the local industry and its clients.

Higgins Bay of Plenty took out this year's Supreme Award, also winning the Category B award for projects with a value between $1m and $5m for the delivery of the Motu Scour Emergency Works.

Category A for projects up to $1m went to Bridge It for the Kopurererua Valley Redevelopment Bridges, while HEB Construction's delivery of the Te Maunga Outfall Landward Section for Tauranga City Council took out the award for projects over $5m. Tauranga City Council Project Manager Chris Thomas congratulated the HEB team on a job well done.

"No project is successful without a good contractor," Mr Thomas said. "I'm ecstatic we were able to deliver this project, together."

The people behind the projects featured at the awards as well. This year's Emerging Leader category saw excellent contenders, with Tristan Paget of Higgins and Dale McElhinney of Brian Perry Civil highly commended.

Project Manager Liam McCord of CB Civil took home the award, crediting his success in the industry to the knowledge of past generations, passed down by his trainers, supervisors and colleagues, to him. He is now passionate about passing this knowledge on to build capability in others, he said.

“I like to fold our sub-contractors into our team to build trust and demonstrate integrity. This allows everyone to focus on the end goal, which is to provide quality infrastructure for our country. The company has put their faith in me to develop staff while overseeing some of their largest projects.”

Project manager and site engineer Nina Lotz of HEB Construction won this year's Woman in Construction Award, and credited her success in the industry to an award presented to her by CCNZ (then the Contractors Federation) nine years prior on her graduation from Unitec.

"I don't know where I would have ended up otherwise! It gave me a taste for civil construction, and I've loved it ever since." 

This year's Apprentice of the Year went to Jaide Russell, also of HEB Construction, who entered the civil industry straight from school and was surprised to find out just how many career pathways were available to her.

Jaide is currently grader operator and Leading Hand for a pavement crew. She recently achieved formal recognition of her knowledge, skills and on-job experience through the completion of the NZ Apprenticeship in Civil Road Construction Level 4, an UpSkills Leadership course and a cultural competency course. These learnings saw her explore new ways to lead a safer and more productive team, resulting in an invitation to contribute to the company’s training competency framework. Tobias Pulley of EPL Construction was highly commended.

The event also included the first regional EPIC Photo Competition, with Hollie Atarau of Whakatane-based Waiotahi Contractors winning the regional photo competition with a photo of longstanding Project Manager Gary Locke seated on a construction site during sheet piling, just weeks prior to his retirement.

It was fitting Gary also took to the stage to receive the award and be recognised for his lifetime of service and dedication to constructing the Bay of Plenty.

CCNZ Bay of Plenty Branch Chair Gerry McLaughlan said he was immensely proud of the Bay of Plenty's civil contractors. It was outstanding to see the awards flourish with so much support in just their second year, he said.

“It was great to have a chance to be together and celebrate some of the great work we've done over the past year. Seeing people's enthusiasm to celebrate the industry, its people and its successes reminds us of the difference we've made. I think all this year's finalists have done us proud.”

He thanked the event sponsors, judges, and everyone who had been involved in delivering a successful event that celebrated the Bay of Plenty's civil construction industry - in particular Branch Secretary Kat Chantler who had taken on the responsibility for delivering the awards.

View the event photos online at the CCNZ Facebook Page>>

The crowd enjoyed the venue, which was full of classic flying machines - dating right back to Richard Pearse's historic 1904 invention

Event MC Nick Rado entertains the crowd, including one of his famous comedy routines

CCNZ Chief Executive Alan Pollard and Bay of Plenty Branch Chair address the audience, Branch Secretary Kat Chantler receives flowers for her work organising the event  

And this year's winners are...

Apprentice of the Year - sponsored by Higgins

Jaide Russell, HEB Construction

“People know what they can expect from me, whether that’s at work, on the rugby field or with my friends and family. I do everything to the best of my ability, and I know I have so much more to achieve.

“I see the value that qualifications can bring to an individual and the business.  I love it that no two days are the same and it’s satisfying seeing a job progress and be completed successfully. I have an awesome team and I’m excited about my future.”

Emerging Leader - sponsored by Success Group 

Liam McCord, CB Civil

“I like to fold our sub-contractors into our team to build trust and demonstrate integrity. This allows everyone to focus on the end goal, which is to provide quality infrastructure for our country. The company has put their faith in me to develop staff while overseeing some of their largest projects.”

Woman in Civil - sponsored by Sharp Tudhope Lawyers

Nina Lotz, HEB Construction

“I enjoy promoting the sector as an exciting career opportunity for women. It’s vital we show girls at school what we do. Working in civil construction is an amazingly rewarding experience. There’s always an opportunity to innovate, learn and work as a team to exceed client expectations.”

Project Category A: $0 - $1m - sponsored by  Hirepool

Bridge It, Kopurererua Redevelopment Bridges

Project Category B: $1m - $5m - sponsored by Vertu Equipment

Higgins, Motu River Scour Emergency Works Permanent

Project Category C: Projects over $5m - sponsored by GPIL

HEB Construction, Te Maunga Outfall Landward Section

Supreme Award - sponsored by Hynds

Higgins, Motu River Scour Emergency Works Permanent

Bay of Plenty Photo Competition - sponsored by  EPIC Careers in Infrastructure

Hollie Atarau, Waiotahi Contractors - Gary Locke at Matata

"Captured in a single frame, the essence of dedication and resilience in the construction industry is embodied by Garry Locke, our Special Projects Manager at Waiotahi.

"This striking photograph, reveals a powerful story. Garry has been an integral part of our team since 1994, overseeing countless projects with unwavering commitment. In this particular moment, he sits amidst the accomplishments of a Sheetpiling project in Matata, taking a well-deserved break.

"His face tells a story of countless challenges faced and conquered, each line etched with the wisdom of years of experience. At a remarkable age in his 70s, Garry defies the limitations of time and continues to work as vigorously as someone half his age.

"He's the embodiment of true grit and determination, a real 'man's man' who never shies away from hard work. This month, Garry has decided to step back from his duties, leaving behind a legacy of excellence. In this photograph, we honor not just a Special Projects Manager, but an industry icon who has dedicated his life to construction. Garry Locke, a testament to the construction industry."

Thanks to our amazing sponsors

Premier sponsor and Supreme Award - Hynds Pipe Systems

Award and function sponsors

Brian Perry Civil






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