Supreme success at the 2024 New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards

21 May 2024

Boffa Miskell’s landscape architects, landscape planners and urban designers were well-represented at the 2024 NZILA Awards.

John Potter FNZILA, Julia Wick, Steve Dunn FNZILA, Rebecca Ryder FNZILA, Luke Porter, Stuart Houghton, Mark Brown, Rachael Eaton, Boyden Evans FNZILA, Connor McKeown

In the Resource Management & Strategic Planning category, the Waikato Regional Seascape Study within the Coastal Marine Area earned an Award of Excellence. 

The judge’s citation noted, “The Waikato Regional Seascape Study pulls together an impressive amount of research and data into a high-quality strategic plan. The project team’s ground-breaking research on natural character has informed the Policy for Coastal Marine Areas, as well as detailed ONL / ONF identification.

“The study is an in-depth exploration of ‘seascape’ environments. These dynamic, important environments are framed within an appropriate landscape planning framework. The systematic assessment of regulations is evident in a robust resource management process that included effective Iwi Management Plans, and an extensive understanding of environmental management."

The project had already won the 2023 Technical Documentation Award from the Resource Management Law Association (RMLA).

Myers Park Underpass won an Award of Excellence in the Civic and Urban Design category, and the judges commended the transformation of the space. 

“The team at Boffa Miskell were presented a highly challenging site, and the judges commend the hard work and dedication which is evident in the final product at Myers Park. Graham Tipene’s Waimahara installation and the use of a soundscape environment, allows for a dynamic and dramatic experience. This is offset by the clever and considered use of materials, sizes, level changes and edge details through a typically difficult underpass space.

“The history of the stream (Te Waihorotiu) and the stories of Horotiu are embedded in and reflected throughout the design. Additionally, the use of timber detailing and the rich planting story, echoes the streamside environment of the past and displays a dedicated sustainability story.”

Two very different projects were awarded in the Master Planning and Urban Design Strategy category. An Award of Excellence went to Sandy Point Domain Masterplan.

The judges noted, “Engagement with stakeholders and partnership with Mana Whenua Waihōpai Rūnaka and Te Ao Marama Incorporated has informed masterplan outcomes. Consideration has been given to diverse conditions, recreational eco-adventures and eco-parklands, wetlands, native planting and forested areas, existing areas of significant biodiversity, the Ōreti River and riparian areas and coastal environments.

“This is a great example of planning for long-term outcomes with an astute sense of guardianship for the landscape.”

The Aotearoa Urban Street Planning and Design Guide was the Category winner, and winner of Charlie Challenger Award for supreme excellence in landscape planning.    

“The Guide provides a framework for the movement, place-shaping and function of urban streets to support staff, designers, contractors, local councils, industry and the community. It also supports a new national roads classification system, the One Network Framework. The aim is safe inclusive streets for movement of people, goods and services, as well as improvement in health, resilience and climate adaptation,” said the judges.

“The breadth of this engagement and collaboration has enabled use of the Guide in planning, design and implementation across Aotearoa.”

Stuart Houghton led the Boffa Miskell project team, and this is his second Charlie Challenger Award. The Auckland East-West Transport Study was the 2015 winner.

The Play Spaces category was won by Te Pā Harakeke. The judges said, “This large, naturally focussed play and discovery space draws from its natural environment, on the fringe of the Waimea estuarine inlet in the centre of the Tāhunanui recreation reserve, for design inspiration and the activities it provides…

“This project is a fine exemplar of landscape architecture in terms of design ability along with nature and place-making for the community to interpret.”

This is the second award in as many days for Te Pa Harakeke. The night before, it was named Project of the Year at the Stormwater Excellence Awards, which Stantec had entered on behalf of the project team.

Connor McKeown, a graduate landscape architect in the Wellington office, earned an Award of Excellence in the Student category for ‘Sharing the Ecotone’ 

"This project shows how design can minimise the restriction of inland migration of intertidal species along urban coastlines; especially where coastal infrastructure such as seawalls have been created. Connor’s research included mapping species distribution and behaviour and testing design pro Waikato Regional Seascape Study within the Coastal Marine Area totypes that increase habitat for intertidal species. Design outcomes include penguin passage corridors, intertidal habitat corridors for shellfish, and bird habitat poles.

The judges said, “This project stands out for its clear presentation, articulation of issues, communication of design considerations, and potential to influence sea wall development in urban areas.”

In addition to the project awards, Rebecca Ryder FNZILA was the recipient of the President’s Award for recognition of outstanding leadership in governance change within the profession; and Rangitahi Kawe received the President's Award for emerging leadership.

Five Boffa Miskell landscape architects became registered members of the Institute.