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Toki wins gold

05 Sep 2022

Westport’s Toki Poutangata Bridge has taken top honours in the prestigious ACE New Zealand awards announced in Rotorua last week. Toki won the Gold Award for project excellence, beating out an impressive field of candidates for the highest accolade.

District Revitalisation Programme Sponsor Mike Duff accepted the award on behalf of Council and the project partners. Also in attendance was Dan Crocker of DCSS, the bridge specialist who designed Toki’s iconic tapered truss structure.

ACE is New Zealand’s premier consulting and engineering association with more than 240 professional members including the largest global firms. The annual awards showcase the best of the best as judged by industry experts. Finalists this year included Auckland’s Downtown Tāmaki Makaurau development, Commercial Bay and City Rail Link mega-projects.

Mike Duff says “The Gold Award is the absolute pinnacle and I’m so pleased for the Toki team who thoroughly deserve this recognition. It shows once again that we can match it with all the big players on the national stage.”

“DCSS’s design expertise, the craft and skill of both Rea Engineering and Adams Construction really brought Toki to life. Alongside CGW, Local Collective and our main contractor WestReef, everyone committed to the best quality outcome for our community. The ACE judges clearly saw that same excellence and passion.”

Also critical to Toki’s success was the support from project partners. PGF funding via Kānoa (MBIE) and KiwiRail land approvals were the original catalyst. However, it was the cultural collaboration with Ngāti Waewae which elevated Toki to the next level.

“The importance of mana whenua and pounamu became the inspiration for Toki. Ngāti Waewae’s gifting of the beautiful E Toru Nga Mea kōhatu to the people of Buller is a wonderful example of our growing relationship.”

“We especially acknowledge Ned Tauwhare, Council’s iwi representative, who was instrumental in the concept design and bestowing the pounamu taonga which now sits proudly alongside Toki.”

With the new south connector trail between Toki and Buller Bridges nearing completion, pedestrians and cyclists will soon have a safe and easy-to-follow route from the Westport town centre to the start of the Kawatiri Coastal Trail (KCT), which in turn already extends to Tauranga Bay and beyond.

“We look forward to the south connector opening at the end of the month to link Toki to KCT and complete a unique West Coast journey experience. This is all part of the integrated master plan to offer residents and visitors alike the connectivity to discover and enjoy our amazing natural environment.”

ACE Awards 2022 – Winner Gold Excellence Buller District Council

Toki Poutangata Bridge, Westport Outstanding Project Award

The Toki bridge, designed by DC Structures Studio (DCSS), is a tapering truss measuring 5.8m high at the river-facing end, with an overall width of 3.1m, total length of 38m and a span between bearing supports of 29m.

The full lift weight including decking will be 24 tonnes. The ramp on the town side rises in two flights to a height of 5.4m above ground level, with a linear walk length of 77m at 1:12 grade with rest zones every 9m. The usable walkway width is 2.5m on the bridge and 2.3m on the ramp, with both using 28mm thick Fibre Reinforced Polymer non-slip decking materials and stainless steel countersunk fixings.

The name chosen for the bridge Toki Poutangata (or Toki for short), describes a ceremonial adze of chiefly authority, and consists of a pounamu blade lashed to an elaborately carved handle. This styling has been carried through into the truss design of the bridge structure, with its distinctive tapered shape and green colour, drawing focus to the Buller River.

The bridge concept was developed in collaboration with mana whenua, Ngāti Waewae. It represents strength, mana, bravery and triumph, all traits and characteristics synonymous with the Buller district.

For more information on the project go to


For more information please contact:

Programme Sponsor District Revitalisation Michael Duff