BECA’s BOP branch won awards for staff at both the emerging and experienced level in the inaugural Property People Awards.
Planner Christine Ralph won the Carrus Outstanding Leadership Award, while the Harrison Grierson Young Achiever Award went to fire engineer Kevin Weller.
Ralph heads BECA’s planning team and is noted nationally for the leadership role she has played over the past three decades.
“I established our planning business in Tauranga 33 years ago,” said Ralph, adding that she was the first female professional in the building.
In her nomination, BECA said that Ralph quickly established herself as a market-leading planning consultant, relied upon for the quality of her advice and professional approach.
Under her leadership the Planning Team grew to more than 15, with new disciplines added over time. The wider Environments Team has now grown to more than 30 people based in Tauranga.
“She forged professional leadership in the Beca planning business and led the way for working mothers in Beca (and the consulting industry generally) being the first person in the company to gain maternity leave in 1988 under the new legislation.”
In 2004 she became the business improvement adviser for the Beca Planning Business-line nationwide and in 2007 was promoted to being a technical director, which has led to her involvement in projects throughout New Zealand.
Ke consenting projects for the region have included:
- Route P and K arterial routes (now Takitimu Drive)
- Tauranga Harbour Link -Bridge duplication
- Motorway developments for NZTA incuding Tauranga Northern Arterial, Te Puna to Omokoroa, Tauranga Eastern Link and Baypark to Bayfair.
In 2007 she was awarded a Distinguished Service Award by the New Zealand Planning Institute for her significant contributions.
BECA BOP regional manager Gavin Frost praised her as a strong advocate for balance and pragmatism.
“Her empathy and juggling of the multiple needs of various parties has been impressive to observe.”
Kevin Weller has been with BECA since he started his career almost seven years ago. He transitioned from his original role as a mechanical engineer to specialise as a fire engineer a year or so after he joined the firm.
He did his bachelor of mechanical engineering at University of Waikato, then with BECA’s support did a masters in fire engineering at the University of Canterbury.
“It was my first job and BECA have been really good and have advocated for me,” he said.
“The range of projects we get to do is fantastic.”
Weller has also been a volunteer firefighter for the Omokoroa Fire Brigade for the past three years.
He said taking up the role had been coincidental to his career and had come about because a former neighbour had encouraged him to join.
“He spoke very highly of it and it’s been fun,” he said.
Weller said he was delighted to have been nominated for the award, but had been quite surprised he was put up for it as there were many eligible young people in the firm. To win it was “huge”, he said.
“To actually turn up on the night and win it was fantastic. It was a cool night with a lot of big names in the room and many other talented people up for awards.”
Paul Adams, Carrus Corp
The Hawkins Long Service Award given to Paul Adams was described as a very special honour for someone who had been in the property industry for more than 20 years.
The judges said Adams had demonstrated exceptional skills dedication, commitment, and leadership, inspiring others within the industry.
To quote Mark Cairns from the Port of Tauranga, “Paul is an outstanding good bastard.”
Adams originally founded one of the BOP’s biggest players in the kiwifruit industry, Bay Horticultural Services.
In 1990, he refocused on property, establishing Carrus Corporation, which is today the largest land developer in the Bay of Plenty, with such major projects as The Lakes.
He is also well-known for his philanthropic contributions to the community, and has been a major supporter in bringing the new University of Waikato campus in Tauranga.
“Carrus’ projects over the past 28 years have shaped Tauranga into the City it is today, setting the bar for others in the industry when it comes to enduring quality and long-term appeal,” said the judges.