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Shaping Our Future

ACE New Zealand

2020/21 Annual Report

Who we are

We are ACE New Zealand – we lead, support and advocate for consulting and engineering firms in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Together, we’re building positive and sustainable futures for our communities.

A message from our president Ian Fraser

Reflecting on the last year, I’m proud of the central role ACE New Zealand has taken in generating the forums needed for our industry to remain connected throughout the COVID lockdowns and recovery.

The forums enabled our members to share their challenges and strategies and to hear from others which assisted us all to navigate the significant uncertainty and to provide clear messages to the Government as they considered how best to support the economy.

The year also saw us transition from the leadership of Paul Evans as our Chief Executive to Helen Davidson. I’m excited to be working with Helen and for ACE New Zealand to capitalise on her deep knowledge and passion for our sector.

Throughout the year, the ACE New Zealand team also continued to deliver outstanding service to our members, through our thought leadership on infrastructure investment and skills shortages, to negotiating better contractual conditions with some of our key Government clients, and relevant and engaging training webinars.

While our member organisations rise to the immediate challenges of buoyant market conditions, we must keep an eye on the long game ensuring we have a pipeline of diverse candidates to employ and that we continue to transform our service offerings to be relevant in an increasingly carbon accountable and automated future.


Ian Fraser, ACE President

GHD Chief Executive APAC

Who we are and where we're going

Slide 1

We continued to be a credible and trusted advisor to New Zealand’s decision-makers. We’re now visible more than ever, and we’ve built trusted and influential relationships with key clients and stakeholders across the sector. Over the last year you’ve seen us at the table having constructive conversations and negotiating better procurement and contractual conditions for members.

Slide 2
Infrastructure for the Long Haul report

Highlighting the benefits of investment in infrastructure, why we need to address our infrastructure deficit now, and advocating for the Government to support and empower Te Waihanga The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission.

Key industry groups

We represented our members on key industry groups including The Construction Sector Accord Forum, Waka Kotahi Industry Liaison Group, and the Construction Clients Group.

Slide 3
Skills-based approach to immigration

We gathered data from members on the sector’s challenges and ongoing impact of Covid-19 to effectively advocate for a targeted and skills-based approach to immigration and MIQ.

Better procurement and contractual terms

With our Legal Forum we advocated for better procurement and contractual terms to ensure members can continue to provide sustainable value for Aotearoa.

Slide 4
Nick Francis
Chair of ACE New Zealand’s Legal Forum

I am a Senior Legal Counsel in the Beca legal team.

The Legal Forum is a collaboration between legal advisors from ACE New Zealand members, who work collectively to identify and address industry-wide issues affecting our commercial and legal environment. About 15 members meet every two to three months.

We seek engagement with clients and other industry participants to support a sustainable sector. For me, it’s a great opportunity to step beyond the day-to-day deadlines and proactively address significant issues. In particular, over the last year we’ve been working with a range of clients to address concerns and negotiate more reasonable outcomes, including issues relating to ‘most favoured nation’ pricing in the All of Government CCS Panel and contractual terms for Kainga Ora and KiwiRail. We’re also leading work in emerging areas of interest to ACE members, such as issues arising from the greater prevalence of digital projects.

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Slide 1

When we’re connected, we can share concerns and solve problems together, learn and grow from each other to build a stronger future-fit sector, and utilise our collective expertise and passion to build a better Aotearoa.

Slide 2
Built strong relationships in transport

Auckland and Christchurch transport groups built strong relationships with transport clients and contributed to key policy programmes.

Supported members during Covid-19

We teamed up with Engineering New Zealand during Covid-19 to connect with chief executives and directors of member firms to share information and identify issues for collective advocacy.

Annual Remuneration Survey

Provided our annual Remuneration Survey with Strategic Pay, giving members clear information about remuneration trends across our sector.

Launched a new website

Our new website showcases our members and membership to clients and provides a personalised experience for members.

Slide 3
Engaged with our young professionals

We worked closing with our Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch young professional committees to get feedback and guidance on how to engage with young consultants and engineers. We looked at support through educational programmes to upskill the next generation of business leaders.

Launched a new member onboarding process

All new members have a seamless and engaging welcome with ACE New Zealand.

Connected into our regions

Connected into our regions through our Regional Chairs

Kept members up to date on key sector news and issues

We continue to email our member database every Thursday with key news from around the sector and important updates from ACE New Zealand.

Slide 4
Doris Stroh

In the ACE New Zealand Transport Group Auckland Chapter, 15 transport professionals from across Auckland share ideas, trends, and opportunities; solve problems; and connect with key clients, including Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport.

Looking back over the last 12 months, a few highlights really stand out. The obvious one is of course, how well we navigated the pandemic. It was fantastic to be able to connect (virtually!) with colleagues from across the industry as we responded to a completely unprecedented situation, and to be able to collectively come together and share ideas on how we could support our business and our people.

The level of engagement with our clients has really improved, and it’s great to see clients really starting to value the expertise and capability that consultants bring.

We’ve had success in advancing the industry, including our advocacy around the skills shortage, the importance of a visible pipeline of work and getting money into the system. This came together in an invitation to meet with Minister Michael Wood in response to our letter “Slowdown in the transport industry funding at the worst possible time.

I’m looking forward to working with ACE New Zealand and David from the Canterbury Chapter to continue to challenge and move the industry forward. It’s an exciting time to be in the transport sector and ACE New Zealand has a critical role to play.

Doris Stroh, Chair Transport Group, technical director and transport unit operations leader, Aurecon

Slide 5
Danielle Gatland

The Young Professionals group contributes to ACE New Zealand’s vision by organising professional development events and providing insights to the ACE team about the younger (under 35 years) members.

We have five committee members who drive the programme plus several champions within member organisations who provide oversight and help promote our activities. fter recruiting three new committee members and several champions in 2020, we’ve reset our purpose, vision and values to set the foundations for a thriving community into the future.

The Young Professionals group is an integral part of ACE New Zealand who ensures we’re providing additional support to people earlier in their careers, bridging the gap between younger and more experienced professionals and providing a platform for our future leaders to be heard.

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Slide 1

Future-fit is about empowering our members and their clients and communities to overcome the disruptions (good and bad) of today and tomorrow, to deliver world-class solutions for a better Aotearoa. We’ve continued to offer first class training and development opportunities utilising technology driven training. And we’ve delivered some critical tools and resources to make it easy for you to do your job. Our people are critical to us being fit to deliver for the future.

Slide 2
Provided upskilling opportunities

Provided thought provoking training to continue building the capability of members to thrive in the challenges of today and tomorrow.

New guidance documents and resources

Issued and worked on new guidance documents and resources for members, including:

Guidance on Force Majeure Provisions under NZS3910
Third Party Disclaimers Advisory with CEAS
Diversity and Inclusion policy

Slide 3
Updated and digitised our producer statements

Joined forces with Engineering New Zealand to update and digitise our joint producer statements series and start work to update the construction monitoring document.

Supported The Diversity Agenda

Continued our support of The Diversity Agenda with Engineering New Zealand and Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (112 agenda members and 48 Accord signatories as at 31 March 2021 and a full calendar of events to drive the conversation forward).

Updated ACE New Zealand Rules

Amended our Rules to allow for greater transparency and member involvement in our Governing Board elections process, to ensure we have a diverse Board to take ACE New Zealand forward.

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Celebrating our members

ACE New Zealand members do great things every day. We recognise members’ achievements at the annual ACE Awards (celebrating people and projects) and share member stories through original, engaging content.



Honorary Life Members
Win Clark
Mike Kerr

Presidents Award
Susan Freeman-Greene

Gold Awards
Dunning Thornton – Nelson Airport Ltd – Nelson airport
Good Earth Matters – Environment Canterbury Regional Council – Waimakariri Flood Protection Project
Ruamoko Solutions – LeoLabs Inc – Leolabs Space Radar Structure

Silver Awards
AECOM – Christchurch City Council – Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub
Beca –  Transpower New Zealand – Bunnythorpe to Haywards Reconductoring Project
Beca & WSP – Christchurch City Council – Dudley Creek Flood Remediation
Holmes Consulting LP & Tonkin + Taylor – Christchurch City Council – Christchurch Town Hall
Jacobs & WSP – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency – Waikato Expressway – Huntly Section
MRCagney – Auckland Council – Access for Everyone
Stantec New Zealand – Auckland Transport – Franklin Road Upgrade

Merit Awards
Aurecon – Fulton Hogan and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency – Taipā Bridge
Jacobs – Downer New Zealand and Ōtākaro – Avon River Precinct Stormwater Design
Pattle Delamore Partners – New Zealand Defence Force – PFAS Investigation Programme
Riley Consultants – Cappella and Kauri Landing Property – Squeezing Time – an elegant geotechnical solution
Stantec New Zealand – Wellington Water – Visual Property Assessment Tool – from streets to Street View
WSP – Auckland Transport – Auckland Transport Road Safety Programme Business Case
WSP – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency – Edendale Realignment
WSP & Beca (Auckland System Management Alliance)  – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency – Auckland Harbour Bridge Lighting Replacement

Sustainability Awards
Dunning Thornton and Nelson Airport Ltd – Nelson airport
MRCagney  and Auckland Council – Access for Everyone

Client Awards
Environment Canterbury Regional Council – Waimakariri River Flood Protection Project
Transpower New Zealand – Bunnythorpe to Haywards Reconductoring project

Emerging Leader Award
Simon Fenton

Student Award
Alice Ying
Devina Shedde
Githmi Amarasekera

Our members

Being a member of ACE New Zealand means your organisation is committed to quality and continual improvement, to being part of driving a strong sector for the future and adding your voice to the critical conversations and committed to do this together in a connected and collaborative way. We’re proud to be your partner in this important mahi, building a better Aotearoa together.

member firms
staff employed
0 +

Technical staff

Engineers (6937) 52%
Architects (227) 2%
Project managers (698) 5%
Planners (466) 4%
Land surveyors (349) 3%
Valuers / cost managers (114) 1%
Scientists (481) 4%
CAD operators / draftsperson (773) 6%
Technicians (711) 5%
Other / quantity surveyors / contract engineers / other contractors (568) 8%
Technical staff

Non-technical staff

Administration (683) 5%
Directors & management (346) 3%
Finance (290) 2%
Human resources (155) 1%
Other / legal / health, safety & wellness (421) 3%
Non-technical staff
membership increase
0 %

7% increase in membership in the last 3 years

Most member firms are sole traders or less than 100 staff

Firms are based mostly in Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington regions

New members since April 2020

Gaia Engineers
Shorewise Engineering Consultants
Southern Civil Consulting
McKenzie & Co Consultants 
Collective Success 
Cribb Consulting 
GNA Consulting 
Coffey Services (NZ) 
Aspire Consulting Engineers
Studio Logistic
Kaiuru Consulting
RMA Ecology
Macedo Consultants
May and Partners
Grounded Consultancy

Apr 20
May 20
May 20
May 20
May 20
May 20
Jun 20
Aug 20
Oct 20
Oct 20
Oct 20
Nov 20
Nov 20
Nov 20
Nov 20
Feb 21
Feb 21

Retired/resigned members

Bert Kroon & Associates
ExtraMile Consulting
SeismTech Consulting
Hutchinson Consulting Engineers


Jul 20
Jun 20
Jun 20
Jul 20
Oct 20
Mar 20


What's next

Advocacy on skills shortage
JUNE, 2021
Member insight research
Governing Board elections
JULY, 2021
Strategy review and priority identification
AUGUST, 2021
Future-Fit Aotearoa Conference
ACE New Zealand Awards
Remuneration survey results released
Rules review

Financial reporting

ACE organisational expenses

$771,410 - 70.6%
$745,551 - 64.1%

Association expenses including FIDIC

$50,286 - 4.6%
$78,782 - 6.8%

Events, training and awards

$144,920 - 13.3%
$244,469 - 21%

Advocacy, research, thought leadership and industry initiatives

Remuneration survey, diversity agenda, legal advice, advocacy, contracts, PR, advertising and media, research and development

$125,449 - 11.5%
$93,650 - 8%
ACE award winners


We forecasted a deficit of $5,567 in 2020 / 2021. Actual net surplus was $30,373 (after tax).

Membership fees

$948,707 - 84.5%
$936,196 - 75.5%

Awards, events and training

$129,113 - 11.5%
$252,116 - 20%

Cost recovery and other income

$44,618 - 4%
$51,359 - 4.1%

Our People

The ACE New Zealand Board provides governance for ACE, setting strategic direction and overseeing our performance.



Ian Fraser


Chief Executive APAC

Ida Dowling

Immediate Past President

Senior Transport Consultant
Commute Transportation

Jenson Varghese

Board Member

Regional Manager NZ

Glen Cornelius

Board Member

Chief Executive
Harrison Grierson Consultants

Paul Burton

Board Member

Chief Executive Geotechnics
Tonkin & Taylor

Guy Dennis

Board Member

New Zealand Bid Manager

Megan Barfoot

Board Member

Company Director, Civil Engineer

Ceinwen McNeil

Board Member

Chief Executive
BVT Engineering Professional Services

Chris Maguire

Board Member

Upper North Island Water Group Manager
Stantec NZ

Ida Dowling stood down as President in 2021, and Richard Morley-John and Weng Yuen Kam completed their term.

Our Regional Chairs are the voice of their region. They play a critical part in our new member onboarding, connecting local members, and sharing key regional challenges with management and the Board.



Marlo Bromley


DTCE Structural Engineers

Rob Brown


Managing Director
Shorewise Engineering Consultants

Colin Dryland

North Shore

Senior Associate Civil Engineer

Reb Fleet


Gray Consulting Engineers

Matt Harris


South Island Business Manager
Babbage Consultants

Tony Matthews


Project Manager

Alastair McEwan


Senior Environmental Engineer

Russell Nettlingham

Hawkes Bay

Civil and Structural Engineer
Strata Group Consulting Engineers

Campbell Ogilvie


Infrastructure Team Leader

Atiqa Rashid

Bay of Plenty

Structural Design Engineer
Manktelow Consulting Engineers

Maryam Razz

Canterbury/West Coast

Electrical Design Engineer
Pedersen Read Consultant Engineers

Chad Williams


Project Manager

As of 31 March 2021, the ACE New Zealand team was:



Helen Davidson

Chief Executive

Holly Morchat

General Manager Membership & Engagement

Eloise Angus

Communications & digital engagement specialist

Janet Ziegler

Finance and Administration Manager

Michelle Sloan

Membership & Database Specialist

Ross Holden

Communications Manager

Paul Evans was CEO from March 2019 until March 2021.

ACE is grateful to the many members who freely give their time and energy to contribute to the success of the organisation:

  • Our Board
  • Regional Chairs
  • Awards judges
  • Legal Forum
  • Transport Group
  • Young Professionals Group
  • Contributors to our guidance notes and resources
  • Members who have committed their time to blogs, advocacy, policy, and leading webinars

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters

To become an ACE sponsor email

Tonkin + Taylor
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ACE New Zealand is subject to the Privacy Act 1993. We will only collect, use and store your information for a purpose connected with one of our functions as a professional body. We may contact you using the information you provide us, but you can unsubscribe from our communications at any time.

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ACE New Zealand provides the ACE New Zealand annual report website (this website) as a service to the public. ACE New Zealand is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within this website.

While ACE New Zealand makes all reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, ACE New Zealand does not guarantee that the information on this website is correct, complete and up-to-date. ACE New Zealand does not accept any liability, direct or indirectly, for any loss or damage which may result from any advice, opinion, information contained on this website. You are solely responsible for the actions you take in reliance on the content on or accessed through this website.

Although the website may include links providing direct access to other internet resources, ACE New Zealand is not responsible for the accuracy or content of information contained in these sites.

Links published on this website do not constitute an endorsement by ACE New Zealand of the parties or their products or services. Product information is based solely on material received from suppliers. Views expressed in any article on this website are the views of the authors individually and do not necessarily reflect the view of ACE New Zealand or its members.

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Unless otherwise stated, the services featured on this website are only available within New Zealand, or in relation to postings from New Zealand. You are solely responsible for evaluating the fitness for a particular purpose of any downloads, programs and text available through this site.

Although ACE New Zealand makes all reasonable efforts to ensure this website runs smoothly, we do not warrant that the service from this website will be uninterrupted, timely or error-free.


We do not monitor or review the content of other parties’ websites that are linked to from this website, and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of those websites.

You should evaluate the security and trustworthiness of any other site connected to this website or accessed through this website yourself, before disclosing any information to them. We do not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from your disclosure of personal information to third parties.

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All content published on this website is protected by copyright and is owned, controlled by or licensed to ACE New Zealand, or the party listed as the provider of the material.

Unauthorised copying, reproduction, republishing, reuploading, posting, transmitting or duplicating of any of the content is prohibited.


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If any of these terms and conditions are deemed invalid or unenforceable for any reason, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be severed from these terms, and the remaining terms will continue to apply.

Failure of ACE New Zealand to enforce any of the provisions set out in these terms and conditions does not constitute waiver of their right to do so in the future.

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