Tom Maw from Downer, left, and sponsor representative Gary Richardson from Hirepool. Photo: Barry Whitnall.

Downer takes home supreme local contractor award


Downer were the big winners at the annual Nelson/Marlborough Civil Contractors Awards on Friday night.

It was a glitzy affair at the Rutherford Hotel as the region celebrated its best contractors and infrastructure projects of the past year.

Downer claimed the coveted Hirepool Supreme Award for its Queen St project in Richmond.

Judges say the daily challenges of the project were immense, with the entire street needing to be excavated in the project which required 84,000 work hours.

Chief Executive of Civil Contractors New Zealand, Peter Silcock, says it has been a difficult year for contractors, however, the region is still seeing a number of good infrastructure projects.

“It’s been a year of change, but there is still a lot of work going on.”

Peter says the evening was about celebrating the people of the industry and the hard work they do.

“The projects only happen because of the people.”

The first award for the evening was the H & S Professionals Ltd Health and Safety Award which went to Blenheim’s Simcox Construction.

The award went to a company which has implemented the highest possible safety measures in the workplace.

Simcox Construction were lauded for its details and quality around health and safety on all fronts, regular audits, and positive feedback by onsite engineers.

General manager Antony Clark says his staff safety is paramount.

“It’s so important to us that everyone gets home safe.”

Next up was the Tasman District Council Environmental Award which went to Taylor’s Contracting.

Judges say that Taylor’s stood out above all with its commitment to protecting the environment.

“Such is its commitment the company has its own environmental manager and department, policing happenings in the field.”

CEO Charlie Taylor says the environment is very important to Taylor’s.

“We want to leave it better than when we started.”

The first project award was the Total Projects Valued $50,001 – $200k award and went to Fulton Hogan for its work on the Abel Tasman Walkway following storm damage.

Judges say the team faced “a hell of a lot of challenges along the way,” with weather and tides in a sensitive environmental area.

“They couldn’t have done a better job.”

Mike Edridge Construction took out the Cable Price Projects Valued $200,001k – $750k for its work on the Topps Irrigation Reservoir in the Wairau Valley.

Judges say the client impressed with their work as they simply got in and got the job done.

Guests were tasked throughout the night with voting for their choice of Supplier of the Year, which was ultimately awarded to Hynds.

The next award was the Land Dimensions Ltd award for Projects Valued $750,001 – $1.5 Million and was won by Taylors Contracting for its work assisting with the Pigeon Valley Fire.

Judges say Taylor’s put a focus on personal safety and coordination with a lot of work done outside the fire as well.

“The way Taylors pulled together, and the calmness they operated with, was at the highest level.”

Taylors say the project involved a lot of work jammed into a short space.

Downer again won the Hynds Award for Projects Valued Over $1.5 Million for the Queen St restoration in Richmond.

The GRUNDFOS Judges Innovation Award was for a creative project with minimal disruption, hours equipment and innovative technology.

The prize went to Downer for the Saxton Velodrome project with judges citing its revolutionary payment laying process.

Drew Hayes says the amount of planning that went into the project was responsible for its success.

Finally, the Bank of New Zealand Young Achiever Award was won by Kyle Spratt, Jonathan Marfell and Joshua Hutton, with judges unable to separate the three young contractors.