Buller District Council

Media Release – Council wins another award

4th December, 2020

Buller District Council has won its second prestigious award in as many months for the Westport Water Tunnel Pipeline Project completed earlier this year.

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) is NZ’s premier professional association for public works delivery and engineering services. IPWEA held their 2020 annual conference in Dunedin this week, including last night’s awards ceremony.

The Tunnel Pipeline project won Highly Commended in the “Best Public Works Project over $5M” category during the special function attended by crown agencies, local government peers and industry professionals.

Council were represented by Group Manager Infrastructure Services Mike Duff, who was both elated and surprised by the success. \

“This really is a big deal for Buller and puts us on the map for project excellence. In terms of national recognition this is the main stage, with an impressive field across all public infrastructure – transport, utilities, buildings, energy, basically any form of built environment and amenity you can think of.

The fact that our “small job” in the hills behind Westport was judged amongst the very best in the country is quite humbling and shows what we are capable of in Buller. All credit and thanks to everyone who contributed to the success, the accolades belong to them”.

Council’s main contractor Hadlee & Brunton deserved special mention for bringing the necessary experience and technology to this ambitious project. Through excellent innovation and risk management, they completed the new 2.5km pipeline on time and under budget, restoring Westport’s century old gravity-flow system whilst achieving some world-firsts along the way.

Mike Duff says “And now, courtesy of central government’s shovel-ready funding, we get to do it all again with trunk main replacements for Westport and Punakaiki already underway, providing a welcome boost to our asset renewal priorities.

We will continue to improve and work hard for our communities. Awards along the way certainly build confidence, but they really just affirm that we are on the right track.”

At last month’s annual Water NZ conference, the project also won the Excellence Award for 2020, being the highest honour available in the Three Waters sector.


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