Hays NAWIC Excellence Awards 2016


Women transforming construction sector

Winners of the second annual Hays NAWIC Excellence Awards have been hailed as “inspirational leaders who are passionate about changing the construction sector” during last night’s awards ceremony at Mac’s Function Centre in Wellington.

The awards celebrate the outstanding achievements women are making in New Zealand’s construction industry. With 10 percent yearly growth rates predicted through to 2019 it makes sense to encourage more women to work in construction and to highlight career paths available in this exciting sector.

Outstanding leadership and a commitment to putting people first saw Lynne Makepeace of Fletcher Construction and Karen Sanderson from Beca jointly win the Professional Woman of the Year Award. Lynne won the award for the construction category and Karen won the award for the professional category.

Recognised as an “incredibly effective leader”, Lynne leads a team of 180 to ensure that the Auckland’s $1.5B Waterview Connection project is completed on time, on budget and with zero harm to the team. Her high standards and outstanding team leadership skills inspired the judging team.

Karen’s innovative approach architecture and her commitment to “putting people first” earned praise from the judges. She set up Beca’s architectural team in Christchurch and is driven by a humanisticapproach to architecture. Karen gives back to her industry bymentoring young architects.

Carmen Sutton from McIntosh Builders took out Tradeswoman of the Year forher strategic leadership and outstanding communications skills.

Ahome renovation project saw Carmen switch careers from truck drivingto building houses and she has never looked back. She now leadssole-charge building projects while also training apprentices.

Vanessa Carswell of Warren and Mahoney and Gemma Collins of FletcherConstruction were named joint winners of the Outstanding Achievementin Design Award. 

Vanessa employed innovative ideas to resolve complex design issues on therebuild of the iconic Isaac Theatre Royal. Working in difficultconditions with limited power in Christchurch’s red zone proved noobstacle for Vanessa who re-engineered the theatre to expand thefunctional space by an additional 400m2.

Gemma,who manages a team of 35 building services engineers, is creditedwith playing a lead role in securing the Commercial Bay contract. TheAuckland tower will be the tallest office building in New Zealandwhen completed.

Judges praised Gemma’s use of sustainable design solutions and her ongoingleadership in engineering throughout her 25-year career.

Described as “a role model for women in architecture”, Megan Rule of South Pacific Architecture won the Helen Tippet Award for activelypromoting the participation of women in construction. Meganco-founded Women + Architecture and is actively involved in mentoring younger architects. She leads by example and has made a significant contribution to highlighting the career paths available to women inthe construction industry.

The Excellence in Construction Administration Award went to Carolyn Pitman of Fletcher Construction. Described as the “go to guru”for policies and processes, Carolyn successfully deals with a widerange of subcontractors and plays a pivotal role in her team.

Vanessa Coxhead of Victoria University School of Architecture won the Apprentice and Student Award (professional category) for her entrepreneurial approach to architecture and her ability to showcasethe values of architecture to the wider community.

Natalie Thornton of City Decorators won the Apprentice and Student Award(trades category) for her outstanding work as an apprentice painter.

A desire to create a better life for her family led Natalie to take up an apprenticeship. She is highly motivated and often has full responsibility for painting an entire house. Now in the final stagesof her apprenticeship, Natalie is focused on eventually leading herown crew.

Highly commended awards and special merit awards were awarded to thefollowing finalists:

Rula Alatia (Jasmax) – highly commended – Professional Woman of theYear (professional category)

Sarah McDonald (Fletcher Construction) – highly commended –Professional Woman of the Year (construction category)

Antonia Speight (Acuite) – special merit – Professional Woman of the Year

Flavia Wolf (Fletcher Construction) – special merit – Professional Womanof the Year

Nicola Thompson (Fletcher Construction) – special merit – ProfessionalWoman of the Year

Mi’eashaSaunders (Venture Developments Ltd) – highly commended –Tradeswoman of the Year

Sarah Bryant (Jasmax) – highly commended – Outstanding Achievement inDesign

Deirdre Johns (EcoChill) – highly commended – Helen Tippett Award

Alex Cutler (NZ Green Building Council) – highly commended – HelenTippett Award

Karin Cunningham (Plumbing World) – highly commended – Excellence inConstruction Administration

Susy Pryde (Johnstone Construction) – highly commended – Excellence inConstruction


Georgia Bartley (Victoria University School of Architecture) –highlycommended - Apprentice and Student Award (professional)

Lydia Stewart (Aaron Stewart Builders) – highly commended – Apprenticeand Student Award (trades)

For further information onthe NAWIC Excellence Awards and for interview opportunities pleasecontact:

NAWIC acting president –Diana Barr– email: dbarr@connorconsulting.co.nz

phone: 027 529 5776

NAWIC communicationsmanager – Gina McKenzie -email: ginalmckenzie@yahoo.comphone 022 355 7601

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