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Water New Zealand Award winners 2019


Join us in congratulating our 2019 Award winners for 2019!

Beca Young Water Professional of the Year 

India Elioart, WSP Opus

The Beca Young Water Professional of the Year Award acknowledges and rewards a young water professional who has made a significant contribution to the water industry and the general community, and who has demonstrated exception achievement in the early stages of their career. 

In recent years, the recipients have had significant working experience, however this year the judges have selected a candidate who is just beginning their career but who has impressed us with her potential and promise. She already exhibits a great deal of determination, both as a consultant and volunteer, to make a positive difference to communities in New Zealand and elsewhere.

With a focus on global issues related to sustainable use and preservation of natural resources, this young professional has been a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders since her days as a Resource Management Engineering student at Canterbury university.

This has involved working on projects in Vanuatu and now managing the Solar Stills Trial in Kiribati – a project which is vitally important locally, and involves working with key partners to build technical and management skills of country partner organisations.

Her vibrant enthusiasm for natural resources and catchment management, particularly in challenging environments, and has made her an exceptional asset to the water resources sector.


TRILITY Young Author of the Year 

Caitlin Cairncross, Tonkin + Taylor - Designing pipelines for low wastewater generation

Caitlin gave a interesting presentation, and her passion for engineering shone through.  Her presentation was well planned and made good use of graphics. The committee congratulate her on conveying complex design project information in an understandable manner.  She responded to questions with confidence.


Hynds Paper of the Year Winner 

Developing a Corrosion Strategy to Protect New Zealand's Largest Wastewater Asset - Stephen Grace, Watercare Services Ltd, Nigel Kay, Jacobs and Shannon Goff, McMillen Jacobs Associates 

An excellent paper that made good use of graphics. The authors set the scene with an introduction to Central interceptor Project and a description of microbially induced corrosion. They go on to describe how the sampling and testing data was used to develop the corrosion protection strategy which was implemented in the hydraulic and ventilation design. The paper highlights that Watercare had the foresight to carry out investigation early, to inform the design and tendering process.


Hynds Paper of the Year runner up

A 'How to Guide' for Securing 35 Year Discharge Consents - Mark Bourne, Watercare Services, Padraig McNamara, Simpson Grierson

This paper describes the value of effective collaboration with stakeholders during the resrouce consent process.The discussion about working with the local iwi was particularly interesting.Overall an informative and well writing paper. The committee congratulate her on being able to convey complex information in an understandable format.


Hynds Presentation of the Year

Stuart Anderson, McConnell-Dowell - Army Bay WWTP Outfall Project - Record Breaking Innovation

An engaging and insightful summary of an extraordinary project undertaken at Army Bay that was professional carried out, with a focus on Health and Safety.The presenter summarised this complex project effectively and the visual presentation was excellent.Questions were answer with flare and confidence.


Jacobs Poster of the Year 

Listening to the reflections in the Dark - Hugh Blake-Manson

This paper had a catchy title and made great use of graphics, including diagrams, graphs, and photos.The distributing sensor technology discussed in the poster offers excellent possibilities to provide efficiencies for both cost and time. An exemplar poster.


Ronald Hicks Memorial Award sponsored by Mott MacDonald 

Martin Neale and Andrew Schollum of Puhoi Stour, Kris Fordham of Civix Ltd., and Nick Brown of Auckland Council, for the paper, presented at the 2018 Stormwater Conference, entitled:

SAFESWIM: A sea change in assessing beach water quality risk

The paper provides an overview of the SAFESWIM programe which greatly improves communication to the public of the risks of swimming at Auckland’s beaches, with consequential improvements in health.SAFESWIM incorporates diverse information souces within risk prediction methods, and uses advances in programming and communication technology to provide real-time information on risk.This world-leading platform has had a great impact already on the public’s view towards the risk of beach use, and has applied a spotlilght to the need for infrastructure investment to reduce pollution. This large innovative project was developed quickly with a wide team.In addition to the 4 awardees, important contributions were made by Surf Livesaving Northern Region, Auckland Regional Public Health Service, University of Auckland, NIWA, Morphum Environmental, DHI, Mott MacDonald, and Translate Digital, with particular acknowledgement due to Craig McIlroy at Auckland Council.

The 4 award recipients have agreed to donate their $1000 prize to Surf Livesaving Northern Region.


IXOM Operations Prize 

Marcus Coley & Leevaai Toremana

The IXOM Operations prize recognises a Water New Zealand member or members for their efforts in solving an operating problem at a wastewater treatment plant.

This year we recognise Marcus Coley from Downer and Leevaai Toremana from Horowhenua District Council for working together to make improvements that would meet the new drinking water regulations introduced earlier this year. Compliance with the revised Drinking Water Standards requires that all drinking water have routine monitoring of total coliforms and enumeration testing for E.coli. Marcus and Levaai reviewed monitoring practices to ensure the council was able to meet the new requirements. They streamlined the process and used an online system to remove anomalies and difficulties in getting results to the lab. Their aim was to develop a system that would provide real-time results and could be monitored and reported on via a dashboard. The result was a Criterion 2A method of data capture which effectively monitors bacteria in drinking water and removes the historical issues.


Site Safe Health & Safety Innovation Award 

Pattle Delamore Partners & Auckland Council

The award this year goes to Pattle Delamore Partners Ltd and Auckland Council for their novel method of reducing hazards to staff - using a drone to collect water quality samples.   

This can be a dangerous occupation, especially in rivers, lakes or offshore, where samples are collected manually from banks, bridges or boats and especially when rivers are in flood. Obvious risks are falling in and drowning or getting hypothermia.   To avoid this, staff at Pattle Delamore Partners Ltd have combined a relatively inexpensive waterproof drone with a lightweight sample sleeves which can collect samples from up to one kilometre away, eliminating the need to approach or go on water. It is particularly beneficial in high risk situations and this simple straightforward initiative is a cost effective, economic solution that is easily accessible commercially to other organisation. Drones are currently being used for water testing at six popular Auckland beaches in support of Auckland Council’s Safeswim programme.


Pipeline & Civil Project Award 

McConnell Dowell  for the installation of the new wastewater outfall at the Army bay Wastewater Treatment Plant

This award goes to McConnell Dowell for the installation of the new wastewater outfall at the Army Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant at Shakespear Regional Park north of Auckland.

The project involved the new wastewater outfall, along with upgrading the existing pump station and a new ultraviolet disinfection facility. The whole system was designed and built to cope with increased wastewater flows and growth in the Whangaparāoa, Ōrewa, Hatfields Beach and Silverdale communities. The new outfall and ancillary buildings had to be built within a pestfree conservation area and protecting endangered wildlife living in the park. McConnell Dowell used new state-of-the-art piping and innovative methodology to complete what was a technically challenging project on time and under budget. While tunnelling the onshore section, it set a world-record for the longest Direct Pipe® drive of almost two kilometres. The new facility was completed in earlier this year. The willingness of all parties to try something not done before has put New Zealand at the forefront of this type of project on the world stage. It was a fantastic example of how to deliver a complex project and is recognised with this award.


Water New Zealand Trainee of the Year 

Jen Rowland, Downer

This year the Trainee of the Year award goes to a person that her employers wish they could clone because of her great work ethic and bubbly personality which has a positive impact on all those around her.

Jen Rowland is part of the Auckland Wastewater Team.  In 2017 she completed the NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Works Level 2 and is currently pursuing Utilities Maintenance Level 3.

She’s come a long way in a very short space of time, moving from service-woman to leading hand within one year.

Jen has a willingness to go the extra mile and delivers exceptional customer service.


5S Society YWP Conference Attendance Prize 

2018 Winner: Caroline Hope, Beca

2019 Winners: Evie Wallace, Beca and Kirsten Woods, Stantec


Best Exhibition Multi-stand 

Xylem New Zealand

Best Exhibition Single-stand

Treadwell Group