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2017 Awards of Excellence to Industry Winners

Defsec Media, October 2017

Annual awards recognise New Zealand's defence industry.Annual awards recognise New Zealand's defence industry.


The annual Minister of Defence Awards of Excellence to Industry presentation took place in Wellington on 11 October following the NZDIA Defence, Security and Industry Forum. Defence Minister Mark Mitchell was on hand to present the awards.


The Minister of Defence Awards of Excellence to Industry were established by the New Zealand Defence Industry Advisory Council (NZDIAC) in 1998 to highlight and reward the contribution made by industry to Defence. Nominations for this year’s awards closed on 23 June.

“I congratulate the winners, and all the finalists, in the various categories,” Mr Mitchell said. “They are an outstanding group of companies who have all the skills and deliver the top-class service that is essential for the New Zealand Defence Force to carry out its day-to-day operations.”

“These awards recognise industry’s role in supporting Defence throughout the year and the calibre of the winners, and everyone nominated, reflect the high standards of the whole sector.”


2017 Awards Categories and Winners

In addition to awards categories for the provision of goods and services to Defence, this year also saw the presentation of a Health and Safety Citation and two further awards to individuals who had made an outstanding contribution to the sector. The awards and winners this year - and their citations - include:


Category 1: The provision of a Service to Defence less that $15m

Awarded to Gilbert Sheet Metals Limited. This New Zealand-owned company is based in Auckland and specialises in all aspects of steel design fabrication and installation. Gilbert Sheet Metals fabricated metal and steel components for repair and replacement work on HMNZS Canterbury, finding solutions for diverse and complex systems under considerable time constraints.


Category 2: Provision of a product to Defence less than $15 million

Awarded to PPG Industries, a company that works closely with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and sub-contractors to supply sealants and coatings to protect the Air Force's aircraft fleet.

They have invested significantly to provide a range of training to Air Force personnel to ensure products are applied and managed efficiently and correctly, with samples of every batch supplied to the Air Force retained for investigation should any product concerns arise.


Category 3: Provision of a product or service to Defence in excess of $15 million

Awarded to Systematic Software Engineering. Based in Denmark, this company has offices around the world and provides battle management software to the New Zealand Army. It also provides associated system design services as part of the Network Enabled Army programme, which is one of the Ministry of Defence's major projects.


Health and Safety Citation

The citation for the strongest overall demonstration of excellence in health and safety carried out by an organisation supplying to defence was awarded to South Pacific Industrial, a New Zealand-owned, Northland-based engineering company.

South Pacific Industrial designed and built the fit out of the new Seamanship Training Aids facility at Devonport Naval Base, including full-size representation of ship modules. Its team spent a significant amount of time at Devonport and onboard ships to gain operational understanding, and delivered cost-effective solutions. While compressed into a small area, these solutions included built-in safety features to prevent equipment damage or injury to operators.


Special Awards for outstanding contribution to the sector

These special awards were presented to Steve Bennett of Airbus New Zealand, and Christine Baker of Bidfood.

Steve Bennett has a broad and in-depth understanding of RNZAF aircraft and maintenance practices after spending 27 years in uniform and reaching the rank of Warrant Officer. After his military career Steve worked in civil aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul and mining sectors before returning as a consultant to the RNZAF.

He was employed by Airbus in 2011 as a Maintenance Support Advisor. His significant technical and organisational knowledge, coupled with his pragmatic approach to problem-solving, has contributed to the long and successful relationship between RNZAF and Airbus.

Christine Baker is the New Zealand Defence Force (Northern) Key Account Manager at Bidfood (previously Bidvest). For more than 12 years, Christine has gone out of her way to ensure the Royal New Zealand Navy and New Zealand Army (Papakura Military Camp) receive required rations on time.

The Navy's unique requirements mean that specific delivery instructions must be met to enable the maximum amount of food to be stored on ships to sustain operational tasks. Late-notice programme changes and responses to natural disasters when they happen mean flexibility in supply chain operations is vital. Christine's many additional hours to meet required deliveries have made it possible for ships to sail with sufficient provisions.


Awards finalists included EHL Group and Stacy Barr Limited (Category 1), South Pacific Industrial Limited and L3 Technologies (Category 2), and the Boeing Company (Category 3).


The award citations are on the Ministry of Defence website:


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