2021 Spatial Excellence Awards


Nominations are open for the 2021 Spatial Excellence Awards Presented by Survey and Spatial NZ

The Spatial Excellence Awards celebtrate the highest standard of achievement in the New Zealand geospatial community - they are for all New Zealand professionals and organisations working with spatial data.

The awards are divided into two main categories: individuals and for organisations. Both categories are made up of a number of separate awards.​ ​Winners of each award category are automatically entered into the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) regional awards.

Download the 2021 APSEA Nomination Kit

The categories available are:

Individual Awards

Individual Awards are for New Zealand-based professionals and students. ​The following individual awards categories are available.

Professional of the Year (Only open to S+SNZ and SSSI members)

The Professional of the Year Award recognises a practitioner who is working in any of the disciplines of the surveying and spatial sciences whose professional achievements are acknowledged by peer citation as exemplifying the highest standards of excellence and ethical conduct.

Specific criteria:

  • Outstanding performance in their occupation.
  • Service to the surveying and spatial profession over a year or more.
  • Held in highest respect by peers
  • Made a lasting difference to the surveying and spatial profession by their leadership.
  • Contributed to continuing professional development.

Future Leader of the Year (Only open to S+SNZ and SSSI members)

The Future Leader of the Year Award recognises a young professional who has made significant contributions in the field of Surveying and Spatial Science and acts as a role model for others in the industry.

Specific criteria:

  • Outstanding performance in their occupation.
  • Leadership.
  • Participation in professional sub-committees and groups.
  • Contribution to significant projects.
  • Ongoing continuing professional education.
  • Under the age of 30 as at 31 December 2020.​

Diversity and Inclusion (New in 2021)

This award recognises a surveying and spatial professional who has improved, contributed to the improvement of, opportunities for those from diverse backgrounds and/or actively campaigned for a more inclusionary workplace or industry, in a way that has had a positive and long-term impact.

Diversity is about employing people who are different across a range of indicators such as age, gender, sexual orientation, industry background, cultural identity, ability as well as diversity of thinking approaches among many others. Inclusion is about valuing that difference and creating processes and cultures that enable a sense of belonging and psychological safety.

The following criteria should be addressed:

  • Contribution to the profession: provide information on the nominee’s specific contribution to championing and building a more inclusive and diverse profession, either as an expert (e.g. research, teaching etc) or as an a role model or ally (e.g. championing difference and behaviours that lead to a more inclusive culture, including challenging inequality, barriers and bias etc).
  • Impact: provide information about professional initiatives that the nominee has played a key role in that had have far-reaching impacts. Can the nominee demonstrate positive outcomes arising from their interventions for individuals, an organisation or the profession more widely.

Educational Development

The Education & Professional Development Award is conferred on practicing teachers, facilitators or academics who have substantially contributed, through teaching, research, publication or professional activities.

​It acknowledges leadership not only in empowering students in the use of technologies, but also in supporting other teachers to acquire knowledge and/or promote excellence for practising academics in the fields of surveying and spatial science.

Specific criteria:

  • Teaching, and/or
  • Research, and/or
  • Publication record, and/or
  • Contribution to primary and/or secondary surveying and spatial education teaching
  • Professional activities; service to the university, community and profession.​

Postgraduate Student

This award is for a Postgraduate (PhD or Masters by Research) student who has undertaken a research project that contributes to the ongoing progression of the surveying and spatial profession.

Specific criteria:

  • The quality and usefulness of the research and development.
  • Relevance of the project to current issues and initiatives.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise.
  • Significance and implication of research for the spatial industry/science.
  • Quality of project design and implementation.

To be eligible, the nominee must complete the degree to which their research contributes within 12 months of the entry.

Undergraduate Student

This award is for an undergraduate student (final year student or graduate within 12 months of entry in Certificate, Diploma, Bachelors, Honours, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters by Coursework programmes) who has undertaken a research project in the course of their studies that contributes to the ongoing progression of the surveying and spatial profession.

Specific criteria:

  • The quality and usefulness of the research project.
  • Relevance of the project to current issues and initiatives.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in the project.
  • Quality of project design and implementation.

​​To be eligible, the nominee must complete the degree to which their research contributes within 12 months of the entry.

To enter the individual awards, entrants apply online with a written submission, including images or attachments, detailing why they or their nominee should be recognised.

Enter your Individual nomination here.

Industry Awards

Seven award categories are for any New Zealand-based organisation – private, public, academic or not for profit – provided it has worked on a project relating to spatial data in the past year.​

Community Impact

The Community Impact award recognises unique contributions the spatial industry has had on people and communities.

Specific criteria:

  • Demonstrated community acceptance, understanding and uptake of the solution.
    • Project description: Describe the project, technology or solution that has provided a positive impact to local communities.
    • Benefit to communities: Describe how the project was identified, why the project was undertaken, who were the key actors involved at a community level and its intended or delivered impact.
    • Methodology, verification and reporting: Describe the rationale for the project, how the initiative has been validated and reported on. Describe any cultural, safety and structural or technical integrity considerations and the rationale for actions taken to address these.
    • Contribution to the field: Describe how your project showcases emerging or developing technologies or ideas as they are applied to supporting communities.

    Environment and Sustainability

    • Benefit to the environment. Impact on natural resource management and effect on the balance of the environment.
    • Methodology, verification and reporting. 
    • Actions taken to address safety and structural or technical integrity. 
    • Application of emerging or developing technologies.

    Innovation and Commercialisation

    The Award for Innovation and Commercialisation recognises products or projects that made a significant contribution to the industry through the introduction of a new idea, method, technology, process or application resulting in social, environmental and/or economic benefits.

    Specific criteria:

    • Design of original solutions or ingenious adaptation of existing solutions.
    • Innovative application of emerging or developing technologies.
    • Commercial viability including market take-up of the innovation.
    • Overcoming barriers of entry to market.
    • Sustainability (social, cultural, environmental and/or economic) benefit to the industry or the community.​

    International partnership

    The International Partnership Award recognises organisations that have successfully conducted business through developing trade opportunities in international markets through unique projects, products and services. This may be through products or projects that have successfully been delivered through local or international collaboration in a market outside of New Zealand or coordinated with international organisations/clients, applying surveying and spatial knowledge, products, and/or IP.

    Specific criteria:

    • Proportion of local specific content.
    • Developed locally and/or developed in conjunction with the export market.
    • Actively marketed into export countries.
    • Overcoming barriers of entry to the export market.
    • Use and application of technology, services or data within an export market.

    Spatial Enablement

    The Award for Spatial Enablement recognises products or projects in which the application of spatial information, methodology and/or tools has greatly improved the outcomes of a project, process or product.

    Specific criteria:

    • Application of spatial information, methodology and/or tools in a non-spatial market or project.
    • Demonstrated benefit and outcomes as a result of spatial enablement. Identification of the business outcome that was not able to be delivered without the spatial technology and information.
    • Has the project been implemented and how long is it likely to be utilised.​

    Technical Excellence

    The Technical Excellence Award recognises products or projects that implemented spatial solutions to an exceptionally high technical standard, overcoming significant technical challenges, and delivering outstanding results for the client.
    In contrast with the Innovation Award, this category focuses on excellence in applying existing technology and methodologies.

    Specific criteria:

    • Level of complexity of the challenge.
    • Degree of technical methodology to overcome the challenge in delivering the solution.
    • Peer review and/or client satisfaction.
    • Potential as a new spatial sciences benchmark.

    Workforce Development and Inclusion

    The Award for Workforce Development and Inclusion recognises excellence in approaches taken to develop and prepare workforce for current and emerging technology and market needs.

    The following criteria should be addressed:

    • Project description: Describe approaches taken to develop talent and skills for your or your client’s workforce. Describe unique challenges keeping pace with emerging technology, business practices, legislative and regulatory changes to ensure the skills currency of your workforce is developed.
    • Skills gaps and development of workforce: Describe how your business addresses skills gaps and how it manages the ebb and flow of meeting skills needs.
    • Diversity: Describe how your organisation addresses diversity across the workforce and describe the benefits to your or your client’s business performance and culture.
    • Training, educational programs: Describe training and education programs are undertaken (e.g. internships, apprenticeships, micro-credentialling etc) and the impacts these have on your productivity, staff retention and culture.
    • Demonstrated benefit and/or contribution to the industry: Describe how the approach has had an ongoing impact on the organisation and/or community, for example realising new technical, social, cultural, environmental and/or economic benefits.

    To enter the awards, entrants apply online with a written submission, including images or attachments, detailing why they or their nominee should be recognised.

    Enter your Industry nomination here


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