Excellence Awards and National Photography Competitions 2013 - full list

The winners and runners-up of NIWA's annual Excellence Awards and National Photography Competition 2013 have been announced.

The Health and Safety Award was presented to Steve Mercer for being the driving force behind the Health and Safety Committee. He has long been recognised nationally as an inspirational champion for diving safety, making himself available to clarify any ambiguities, lend advice and act as a mentor.

Daniel Hayward was runner up in this category for bringing a wealth of information and experience from his short period offshore and sharing it with the NIWA Vessels team.

The Support Services Award was presented to Shareen Sharma-Prasad for being unfailingly prompt, courteous and helpful in her role as Payroll Manager. She provides excellent behind-the-scenes service, always demonstrating high standards of accuracy and organisational efficiency.

Stuart Escott was runner up in this category for his vital contribution in maintaining the required level of service for internal and external clients during changes to the IS team.

The Customer Focus Award was presented to Alan Porteous for his climate outreach and applications in New Zealand, and his key role in developing and managing NIWA's climate-related activities in the Pacific. As a result of Alan's efforts, NIWA is now the first point of call in the Pacific for climate and hazard support and information.

Peter Arnold was the runner up in this category for working hard to strengthen NIWA's links with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and steadily growing our work with them by 500 percent.

The Leadership Award was presented to Alison MacDiarmid for working tirelessly and successfully to build NIWA's credibility and delivery to customers with an interest in seabed resources. She led a large and diverse science team, from four NIWA sites, as well as external consultants.

Steven Ashley was the runner up in this category for doing a great job bringing the IT support team together to focus on providing the best service to NIWA, while maintaining a fun work environment.

The Operational Innovation Award was presented to Tim Allen for completely redesigning and overhauling procurement at NIWA. Tim seamlessly replaced manual, paper-based systems with desktop e-purchasing that significantly increased efficiency and reduced transactional costs.

Richard Nelson was the runner up in this category for leading a team of technical staff responsible for modifying an 'off-the-shelf' echosounder to estimate the abundance of deepwater fish effectively.

The Project Delivery Award was presented to Bernard Miville for leading NIWA's operational forecasting services, ensuring that a wide range of clients have access to our forecasting science in a form that is tailored to meet their requirements. He demonstrates enormous diligence and delivers excellence without fuss.

Cindy Baker was the runner up in this category for providing excellent science and professional advice on a project to re-consent the Huntly Power Station's abstraction and discharge of heated water into the Waikato River.

The Science Communcation Award was presented to David Wratt for being an outstanding communicator and leader in climate and climate-change science, making an unparalleled contribution to science communication in New Zealand. He is a representative on the IPCC Bureau and heads the NZ Climate Change Centre.

Craig Stevens was runner up in this category for his drive and energy in communicating with a range of audiences in novel ways.

The Early Career Science Award was presented to Paul Franklin for his rapidly expanding scientific expertise in ecohydraulics and fisheries which are now being applied to water allocation through highly effective advice to regional councils, particularly championing the concept of environmental flows.

Petra Chappell was the runner up in this category for playing a leading role in the production of commercial guidance products and climate summaries for various commercial clients and end-users.

The Applied Science Excellence Award was presented to Michael Uddstrom for leading the science behind forecasting for weather-related decision making. He championed the purchase of NIWA's supercomputers to enable the research and forecasting and he realised the benefits of research by applying it to specific user needs.

Max Gibbs was runner up in this category for his application of a compound-specific stable isotope (CSSI) method for identifying the origin of sedimentation in rivers and estuaries.

The Research Excellence Award was presented to Cliff Law for pioneering and participated in major iron fertilisation experiments in many of the world's oceans. He is recognised globally as an expert in ocean biogeochemistry and is a world authority on the effectiveness of iron fertilisation as a geoengineering approach to lowering atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Doug Booker was runner up in this category for the contribution he has made to New Zealand Inc. through various NIWA programmes, in particular the Surface Water Allocation Programme.

Michelle Kelley received the Extraordinary Achievement Award in recognition of being awarded a Doctor of Science from the University of Auckland for her substantial and sustained contributions to her fields of research over her career. The award recognises the quality of her work as a taxonomist and her contributions to such diverse fields as natural products and drug discovery, aquaculture, biodiversity assessment and conservation management and climate change.

Tony Bromley received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with NIWA and predecessor organisations over the past 50 years. His contribution to meteorological and air quality investigations has been hugely valuable, as has his work in atmospheric sampling and analysis. Tony has championed meteorological measurements and atmospheric transport processes and regularly leads field installations for meteorological monitoring, air quality measurements and atmospheric sampling.


The NIWA National Photography Competition 2013 winners were also announced at the Excellence Awards Dinner.

The Our People winner was Crispin Middleton for Pre-dawn start in New Zealand's most Northerly Harbour, Parengarenga, chosen by NIWA staff and members of the public as an excellent example of NIWA people and/or equipment (including boats) at work.

The Our Places winner was Jean Keddy for Spotlight on Tapu te Ranga, chosen by NIWA staff and members of the public as the best example of land, water and/or sky scapes of locations where we work.

The Our Work winner was Daniel Leduc for Nematode from Chatham Rise crest sediments chosen by NIWA staff and members of the public as the best example of our work, which could include animals, plants or other species studied by our people.

The Special Award winner was Crispin Middleton for John Dory cruising Northern Arch. This category called for photos that stand out because of humour, imagination, unusual interest or similar. NIWA staff and members of the public chose the winner.

The Judge's Choice winner was James Williams for That's Amore, selected by a panel made up of NIWA photographer Dave Allen, Chief Financial Officer (and keen photographer) Michael Parrott and professional photographer Gerry le Roux.