Paper of the Year

The Paper of the Year Award recognises the best technical paper submitted for the Water New Zealand's Conference & Expo. Each eligible paper is marked against following five criteria:

  • technical content: is the technical content sound, does it have sufficient substance and does it increase available knowledge?
  • practical content: does it have practical application?
  • future use: can it be used to assist future work?
  • clarity and logic of the written presentation
  • originality: is there something new that is innovative?


The Gold Award winner receives a Trophy and a Mystery Weekend, plus a Framed Certificate. The Silver Award winner receives a cash prize and a framed certificate.

Special thanks

Water New Zealand thanks Hynds for its generous sponsorship of the award since 2002, and the Conference Technical Committee for its commitment and dedication in marking the papers.

2021 Recipients


What if Allowable Drinking-water Nitrate Limits Are Reduced to Address Possible Chronic Health Effects?
Bridget O’Brien – WSP and Timothy Chambers – University of Otago

Runner up:

It is Water Conservation or Universal Water Metering – Applying the Kübler Ross Change Curve
David Taylor, Maria Buzzella and Justin Lundon – New Plymouth City Council

Recipients of the Paper of the Year Award

2020Eddy Mofardin, David Bergmann, Andrew Forster-Knight, Juan Londono, Jonathon Crook, Alan Bailey
Vibration Sensors: Listening for Network Leaks
2019Stephen Grace, Watercare Services Ltd, Nigel Kay, Jacobs and Shannon Goff, McMillen Jacobs Associates
Developing a corrosion strategy to protect New Zealand's largest wastewater asset
2018 Lupe Suniula and Laurence Jenner (Watercare Services Limited) Innovative energy opportunities for water utilities
2017 Luke Sutherland-Stacey, John Nichol and Geoff Austin (Weather Radar NZ); Tom Joseph (Mott MacDonald); Ken Williams and Nick Brown (Auckland Council) Operational use of rain radar
2016 Gold : Salina Poudyal First Flush TSS and Heavy Metals from Urban Carparks Under a Low Intensity Rainfall Climate
Silver : Chris Nokes Failing the Drinking-water Standards – Insights from the Annual Survey
Bronze : Bram Beuger and Jess Daly Challenges and Innovations in Dairy Factory Wastewater Treatment
2015 Martin Neale (Golder Associates) Re-Engineering Urban Streams: The Effects of Daylighting on Stream Ecology
2014 John Monro (Interflow Pty Ltd) Design of Liners for Deteriorated Sewers - Latest Research to Make it More Efficient
2013 Iain Rabbitts, Nicky Smallberger and Mike Charteris Conquering Extreme Turbidity
2012 Peter Browne Overcoming Rotorua Lakes Ecological Challenges
2011 Paul Webber, et all Addressing the Environmental Effects of Mining on the Ngakawau River
2010 Chris Nokes, Catherine Moore, Barry Loe, Murray Close, Liping Pang, Viv Smith and Susie Osbaldiston Keeping Waters apart New Separation distance guideline for onsite wastewater systems and wells
2009 Kerry Newnham Using a markov model to estimate pipe detoriation
2008 Megan Devane, Brent Gilpin, Beth Robson, Fariba Nourozi and David Wood Decision analysis trees for identification of faecal sources in water
2007 Tracey Freeman and Garry Macdonald (CH2M Beca) Buffer distances for odour producing infrastructure assets Planning for the future in Australia and New Zealand
2006 Matthew Sheppard, Peter Baudish and Gary Boot Biological removal of manganese in a community water supply
2005 Deborah Pedly and A Davies (Watercare); P Roan (Tonkin & Taylor) Large Scale Watermain Flushing
2004 Garry Macdonald, Stephen Priestley and David Papps (Beca Companies) Project Manukau decommissioning and restoring Mangere Oxidation Ponds to Manukau Harbour
2003 Gene Browne (Kingett Mitchell and Associates) Controlling nuisance flies: An old problem with recent solutions
2002 Brent Gilpin, Marion Savill (ESR); Robert van Duvenboden (Auckland Regional Council); L Franks (Manukau City Council); T James (West Coast Regional Council) The identification of human faecal contamination in river waters using new chemical and molecular microbial indicators
2001 Jonathan Coakely (Ministry for the Environment) Practical Tools for the Management of hazardous waste
2000 Peter Browne (URS New Zealand Ltd) Small community and institutional wastewater treatment and disposal
1999 Louis Schipper and Maja Vojvodic-Vukovic (Landcare Research) Denitrification Walls: A practical approach for removing nitrate from shallow groundwater
1998 Graham McBride (NIWA); Desmond Till (Consultant); Clare Salmond (Wellington School of Medicine) National study of health effects of marine bathing and implications for new guidelines
1997 G Ionas, JJ Learmonth, SD Herd, EA Keys and TJ Brown (Dept. of Microbiology and Genetics at Massey University) What is Cryptosporidium? Is it found in New Zealand Waters: Can we improve current methods of detection?
1995 Tracy Freeman (Beca Steven); Shiu Singh (Wiremakers Ltd) Manufacture of chlorinated copperas adding value to by-products
1994 Bill Vant (NIWA); Mike Larcombe (Bioresearches) What wastewater nutrient load should Manukau Harbour take?
1993 Garry Macdonald (Beca Steven, Auckland) A regional Wastewater scheme for Hawkes Bay
1992 D & D McAven of Prebbleton Pollution, a personal perspective from Prebbleton
1991 K Mackie (Forestry Research Institute) Assessing the impacts of the Forest Industries on the Upper Waikato River: A report on a collaborative public good programme
1990 M Larcombe (Bioresearches) Marine disposal of sewage into the Bay of Plenty: How much more or how much longer?
1989 G Bedford, J Whittaker and A Wilson (New Plymouth City Council) An innovation sludge treatment process
1988 CBM Duncan (Consulting Engineer) Land treatment and disposal of municipal wastewater on the Coromandel Peninsula
1987 JC Rutherford and RD Pridmore (DSIR Water Quality Centre, Hamilton) The significance of phosphorus and nitrogen in the management of Lake Rotorua
1986 DJ Orbell (Fielding Borough Council) Trials and tribulations associated with the treatment of waste discharges from a corn processing plant
1985 MJ Noonan (Lincoln University) Sources and sinks of faecal coliform bacteria in a river system