2021 Winners and Finalists

Congratulations to our five winners

  • Major Consulting Group winner of the Safety Innovation Award for small to medium organisations.
  • Piritahi winner of the Safety Innovation Award for large organisations.
  • Brian Perry Civil winner of the Safety Leadership Award.
  • Pipeline and Civil winner of the Safe NZ Safety Contribution Award.
  • Dunlop Builders winner of the Kalmar Construction Mental Health and Wellbeing Award.

Safety Innovation Award (for small to medium organisations)

Winner - Major Consulting Group

Major Consulting Group is on a mission. They believe that people in the construction industry have a tendency to think about asbestos in terms of the costs of removing it, without necessarily understanding enough about the material itself, the nature of the risks or the duties of care.

So how would you go about improving the knowledge and understanding of principals, tradies, property managers, facilities and project managers without putting together yet another fact sheet or training package? Major Consulting’s idea was to design a board game. The judges thought this was innovative and fun, and a number of major players in the industry have thought so to.

The game is a highly professional product using humour and competition, and lashings of laughter to drive home important messages and improve knowledge about asbestos. The judges enjoyed the game’s title “Don’t Lose Your Head”, which refers to the competitive aspect where players win or lose tokens in the form of body parts, or take them off their competitors, depending on their knowledge and preparedness and whether they can answer the questions the game throws up.

The judges agree completely with Major Consulting that knowledge is the basis for solutions and that people tend to retain information that they had fun learning. This boardgame is a great tool that fills a crucial gap. Well done, Shelley and the team.


  • Groom Landscapes.
  • Special mention - Safety 1st Removals.

Safety Innovation Award (for large organisations)

Winner - Piritahi

Piritahi is an alliance of six major companies formed three years ago to deliver infrastructure and amenity for Kāinga Ora’s large-scale urban development projects. Piritahi’s promise is to streamline land development to allow more homes to be built faster; making neighbourhoods safer, more usable and more beautiful, and having a positive impact on the affordability of housing by maximising efficiencies.

Achieving these lofty goals still involves Piritahi staff driving between 500 and 700 waratahs each and every week, mostly the old-fashioned way with a rammer that’s been around for as long as waratahs have. And the rammers have a habit of hurting people. The health and safety team at Piritahi realised that you simply can’t eliminate the potential for harm. No amount of training can overcome the differences in height and reach of the users or the changes in height and position as the waratah is rammed.

So they set out to redesign the rammer. And the judges were really impressed by the way they went about it and amazed by the simple and elegant solution – a waratah rammer that doesn’t come off the waratah until the user disconnects it. To achieve this fantastic solution they put together a team of the guys on the ground and the health and safety team to hunt for the solution. They came up with some ideas and tested and analysed several prototypes, improving it each time. And best of all they involved their supplier as well so the innovation could be put into production to benefit the rest of us. This safety innovation award is about a new idea to address or manage a specific risk. Piritahi did just that and the judges loved it.


  • Capital Journey. 
  • Fletcher Construction.

Safety Leadership Award (for small, medium or large organisation)

Winner - Brian Perry Civil

Waikato 50 was the project to deliver the treatment plant for the Watercare project to increase the resilience of Auckland’s water supply. Challenges for senior managers were many but they included a non-negotiable timeframe with design and construction running parallel; a tight site working around existing infrastructure and assets; a massive workforce including high levels of subcontracts; oh, and COVID 19.

David Taylor was the Project Director who led the safety response. The first job was to join up the teams from Fletchers and Watercare both literally and figuratively and David reckons this collaboration was the key to the exceptional safety record of the project. What attracted the judges’ attention to David’s nomination was that everyone else agreed with him. And that’s the very essence of this Award category – where organisational leaders like David drive health and safety performance through visible and active involvement.

The judges were mightily impressed by the wide range of activities and actions that made up the initiatives from the commonplace like toolbox talks to the specialised like facilitating local accommodation to reduce fatigue caused by commuting. But what made it special and an award winner were the vision, the collaboration, the leadership. Sure, the project was delivered on time and on budget and that’s great, but the safety record was exceptional.

The judges also want to recognise and acknowledge the significant foundation provided by Watercare’s Enterprise Model which rests on trust and collaboration and aims to reduce construction injuries by 20% every year, and also by Fletchers’ new nine Life Saving Rules.


  • Hawkins.
  • TopMark Electrical.

New Zealand Safety Contribution Award (for an individual or small team)

Winner - Pipeline Civil

Pipeline & Civil is a big civil construction company which values its diverse group of workers from a range of different cultural ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The company says that it values caring for each other and its wider community even before financial success.

And at the forefront of that effort in the business is Steve Jenkins, who’s the HSQE Manager. This Safety Contribution award is about people who “light the spark” for others and the business put Steve’s name forward because they say he’s a passionate change-maker who influences and mentors at all levels of the business. But his colleagues also point to his 30 years of passion for the health and safety of others.

So, what makes Steve the man who lights the spark? The judges were told that it’s not just about technical knowledge even though Steve is an acknowledged expert, trusted by all. But this is a man who relates to everyone. He makes the effort to know people by name, to get alongside, empower and encourage. He’s confident and successful in influencing senior management. The judges heard about his collaboration and mentoring. They saw evidence of it in his success in establishing a new role which gives an existing worker the opportunity to follow a career in health and safety management under Steve’s guidance.

The judges are happy to leave the last word about this worthy winner to Hugh Goddard who’s Pipeline & Civil’s Managing Director. He wrote “A magnetic and enthusiastic character, Steve’s passion for his work fuels and ignites passion in others.”


  • Rabo Construct.  
  • The Roofing Specialist.

Kalmar Construction Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Winner - Dunlop Builders

2021 is only the second time that the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award category has been included in this evening of celebration. There were many entries and the judges want to acknowledge the effort being applied out there in the industry to value and support the whole package with their workers and their whānau. It was especially pleasing to see that there were small and even tiny companies making very significant investments in the overall wellbeing of their folk. What a sign of growing maturity in the sector!

Dunlop Builders is a small Wanaka-based residential building company that everyone loves working for. And the judges believe that a very big component of the success of the company lies in the determination of Bryce, Niall, Jess and the others to take care of all aspects of their people’s lives. Bryce Dunlop says that when doing business planning, mental health has equal status with profits, timelines and quality.

The Dunlop team really care about personal and team development, communication and relationship skills. They discourage overtime and weekend work. They have a “no questions asked” approach to sick leave. Their team social events do not centre on alcohol. They get involved in the local community in conservation and other work. They are big on physical health underpinning mental health and wellbeing. They encourage and subsidise involvement in local sporting events, gym membership and annual health checks. They have a team ski trip each year in work time.

And what’s the pay-off? Well, ultra-high morale, high staff retention, top-rate productivity and quality, a healthy culture, equity across the team, a strong balance sheet and a full order book. And so on and on. And how did the judges know? Because the staff told us so. Top marks, Bryce and the team.


  • Accent Construction Interiors.  
  • PFS Tiling.