Global people’s award won by NCTIR Alliance for Kaikoura Earthquake Recovery project

This month, the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Alliance project Moving Mountains to Reconnect Communities was announced the winner of the global 2018 Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award.

The Alliance of more than 20 plus organisations – around 80 people from Beca – together with the New Zealand Transport Agency and KiwiRail was voted the winner from 10 shortlisted global projects for the tireless work to transform people’s lives. The project restored and reconnected railways, roads and the harbour following the devastating Canterbury, New Zealand earthquakes which hit the region in November 2016.

The $1.1 billion dollar NCTIR project was the only Southern Hemisphere finalist competing against a number of outstanding engineering projects from across the globe, including The Tate Museum in St Ives, England; the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, India and The Forth Bridge Replacement Crossing, Scotland.

Seán Harris, ICE Director of Membership, said: “I am pleased to see the public recognise how the project directly transformed people’s quality of life.  More than just a re-opening of road and rail systems, the project reconnected families and friends, and allowed businesses to welcome back tourism.  One of many inspiring submissions this year, the project stands out globally as not only one of the finest examples of outstanding technical achievement but also highlights the importance of civil engineering in enabling social and economic progress.”

Beca played a key role on the Alliance from the beginning, as a critical part of the design team providing surveying and site observation.  

 “New Zealand is our home, and many of our people were impacted by the 2016 earthquakes in the region. This project therefore had a special place in our hearts as we worked collaboratively with a range of consultants to restore access to the region as quickly as possible,” David Rowland, [Coastal Structures Lead said.

“To be recognised globally for the time, energy and heart we contributed is a proud moment for everyone involved.

Key team members from Beca continue to lead projects and provide peer review work to close out the last of the project requests.  


About the project

On 14 November 2016, Kaikoura and the North Canterbury region was hit by a Magnitude 7.8 earthquake just after midnight. The earthquake caused thousands of landslides and damaged a number of community and transport lifelines, including cutting off the town of Kaikoura from road and rail access, and limiting the initial emergency response to the area to air and sea. The earthquake was considered ‘the most complex earthquake’ ever to be recorded with modern instruments.

Read more about the project here.

See also 2018