Nation Dinner

Celebrating manufacturing and engineering vision – outstanding projects, innovations and research that recognise the significant impact that individuals and teams are making within Aotearoa.

Join us as we celebrate vision, technical wonder, ingenuity and problem solving at its best. A tribe of metal heads who have dared to think differently and secure tomorrows industry by innovating today.

Our MC for the evening will be Jesse Mulligan from The Project on Three, and host of Radio NZ National from 1 to 4pm, weekdays.

A household name thanks to his appearances on 7 Days, Seven Sharp and Best Bits, Jesse proves that even trained lawyers possess a funny bone – and we’re certainly banking on him to ‘find the funny’ on the night too!

Who should attend?

This is a night full of glitz and glam – with a nostalgic throwback to the 80’s, as we celebrate our industry getting ‘back to the future’ following the disruption of Covid-19.

We want this night to be fun for our members and their key stakeholders and clients to celebrate our industry wins – so while we won’t be building a time machine out of a DeLorean, we will make sure there is a great three-course meal, entertainment and a tonne (pun intended) of ‘Back to the Future’ inuendo!

Of course, if you have a project up for an award or are looking for a perfect event to network with a group of business contacts – then this is the event to book out a table and do so!

Industry Award Categories

We hold our Industry Awards every three years to recognise members who’ve significantly contributed to our industry’s success.

This is aligned with our new Future Forum series which is about building a tribe of metal heads and casting our eyes to the future so we can prepare for disruption.

What makes these awards so rewarding is that recipients are selected by their peers. An acknowledgement that we believe means so much more, because it comes from the heart of our industry – our members.

Traditionally this has covered three core award categories being our Keith Smith Memorial Award for distinguished service to the New Zealand metals industry, our Industry and Award, and our Leading Metalhead Award. As well as, the acknowledgement of the new tauira (student) receiving our Whanake Scholarship.

This year, we are excited to bring in seven new award categories to acknowledge projects, initiatives and people that are focused on resilience, sustainability, the beauty of steel, intergenerational wellbeing, and the raising up of our future engineers.

We are excited to see the entries come in, and to be able to recognise the amazing people and projects that make our industry so great!


Distinguished Service

Our most celebrated award honouring our founding Chair Keith Smith. It rewards renowned and outstanding service to the heavy engineering and/or steel industry in Aotearoa.


Next Gen Leadership

Acknowledging an influencer who gets things done, inspires others and takes people with them on a journey, along the way making an outstanding contribution to the work they do.



Recognising major innovation projects, products or services – including art, design, technology, research, engineering and manufacturing, done differently from “business as usual”.



A project or initiative which has positive social, environmental, cultural or economic outcomes to a community, iwi, organisation, the environment, education or society that is focused on intergenerational wellbeing. This can be diversity and inclusion, collaborative partners, educational initiatives and similar.


INNOV8 rerehua

Recognising projects of significant beauty and timeless design/execution, as well as design and fabrication that is in aligned to the unique environment and community in which it exists.



Recognising projects that showcase and demonstrate steel sustainability in terms of circular economy, steel recycling, re-use, repurposing, and reduced waste.



Recognising projects that showcase and demonstrate steel resilience – including seismic, fire, and corrosion performance. #steelisstrong #steelforseismic


Fab 4.0

Recognising excellence in welding through innovation in fabrication and manufacturing, the demonstration of digital integrations and commitment to the development of a skilled workforce.

Student award categories

Student of the Year

Recognising a post-grad research student or group who have delivered research and innovation outcomes that have potential to advance heavy engineering and the use, manufacture or performance of structural steel to address industry challenges.


Whanake – wahine toa

Recognising the new tauira (student) joining the whakapapa (DNA/geneology) of the Whanake Scholarship as part of our commitment to actively extend our industry’s capacity to create a more diverse and attractive industry that Kiwi’s work with – and for.


Pūhoro Tautoko

Recognising the top tauira across the motu within the Pūhoro STEMM Academy program. The Kaihautū for each operating rohe of Manawatū, South Auckland, Christchurch, Hawkes Bay and Waikato nominating their top candidate of their four year journey.