Finalists announced for inaugural Construction Accord Beacons Awards

The Construction Sector Accord is proud to announce the finalists in the inaugural Beacons Awards, championing the construction sector’s most transformative and innovative approaches.

The winner will be announced by Building and Construction Minister and co-lead Accord Minister Hon Poto Williams at Infrastructure New Zealand's Building Nations 2021 virtual event on 18 November. The event will also include a panel session with the finalists, to share their insights with others in the industry.

Infrastructure New Zealand's Building Nations 2021(external link)

The three Beacons Awards finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Canam Commercial and Whangarei District Council, for the procurement process on the Whangarei Civic Centre project which focussed on community objectives including an 80% minimum local contractor requirement.
  • KiwiRail, for reducing construction risks and improving productivity by increasing digital capability on its new rail projects and upgrades, including the use of the digital construction technology known as BIM (Building Information Modelling).
  • New Plymouth District Council, for its supply chain leadership including moving away from the Lowest Price Conforming tender method, and focusing on long-term partnerships.

They were selected from a field of seven Beacon case studies, all of which are exemplars of the Accord values showcasing good practice and innovation.

"While we could select only three finalists, the judges wanted to highlight the quality of all the entries, They have shown courage and leadership in sharing their stories, and that's exactly what we want to achieve with Beacons: we want to shine a light on best practice in the industry and create a culture where businesses and leaders are open to sharing what they have learned The Beacons Awards give these new ideas a platform so that others gain the confidence to try something different," said Andy Cochrane, the Accord's Beacons Director.

The judges assessed the entries against criteria including contribution to the Accord's goals and outcomes, innovation, replicability, and ability to support sector-wide transformation.

"This was a distinguished and diverse panel of senior leaders from across the sector. We were blown away by their engagement with the case studies and the expertise and insight they brought, and we want to thank them for their commitment to supporting this important process," said Andy Cochrane.

The Judges

Chris Bunny, MBIE, Construction Sector Accord Steering Group Co-Chair

Ross Copland, Te Waihanga Infrastructure Commission

Malcolm Fleming, NZ Institute of Building

Marilyn Moffatt, NZ Institute of Quantity Surveyors

Peter Silcock, Civil Contractors NZ

Maretha Smit, Diversity Works New Zealand

Helen Davidson, Association of Consulting and Engineering NZ

Bharti Raniga, ConCOVE

Facilitator: Dean Kimpton, Construction Sector Accord Transformation Director

Analysis and support provided by Research New Zealand(external link)

Judge's comments

Canam Commercial and Whangarei District Council

The judges found that the Canam Commercial and WDC project "ticked the boxes of workforce development and getting better community engagement in procurement" making it a "compelling project" that should lead to "systemic and transformational change".

The judges also applauded the diversity on the project, noting it was extremely rare to see 20% women on a site, with one judge noting they "had never seen that, it's a pretty remarkable achievement".


Given the challenges that many organisations experience adopting new technology, KiwiRail was recognised for its willingness "to share learnings and information on its website, training others" as a demonstration of leadership that will support sector-wide transformation. The judges saw the approach of working with supply chain partners to adopt BIM as "transformative", noting that "this project will help others to use BIM".

Other benefits were recognised too, including the fact that technology also enabled a more collaborative and healthy project environment.

New Plymouth District Council

New Plymouth District Council was applauded for the bravery and leadership it demonstrated in looking beyond price and ensuring that smaller businesses and their people were protected, as they are "the people who are the most vulnerable in the system".

The panel appreciated the way the Council recognised the influential role it played as a client, noting that "for industry transformation you really have to start with client leadership". The shift away from the Lowest Price Conforming tender method was recognised as "truly transformational" that could "shift the dial" towards more holistic measurement of value.

Last updated: 03 November 2021