Every two years we strive to recognise members who’ve significantly contributed to our industry’s success.

Presenting our prestigious industry awards at the Metals NZ conference’s Industry Gala Dinner to those who have demonstrated considerable achievements in export and innovation.

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.

There are three core award categories that members can be nominated for.


Keith Smith Memorial Award for distinguished service to the New Zealand metals industry

Open to every member, this award is our most celebrated – and honours our founding Chairman Keith Smith and his endowment left to our HERA Foundation.

Because this award inherently rewards renowned and outstanding service, we recognise it’s not always possible to find a suitable candidate. Which is why its only presented when its selection criteria is met.

Finalists receive two free industry dinner registrations and reimbursement of associated travel costs to an agreed level. And the winner is awarded a monetary prize from the Keith Smith bequest and commemorative plaque.


Metals Innovator of the Year Award

Open to every member and associated sector organisations, this award recognises major innovation being implemented. Demonstrated product, manufacturing or information technology innovations is required to be eligible for nomination.

We encourage our members to nominate themselves. Providing finalists with two free industry dinner registrations and reimbursement of associated travel costs to an agreed level. And the winner, a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion received by their nominated representative.


Metals Exporter of the Year Award

Open to every member and associated sector organisations, this award recognises outstanding developments in export success.  A clear increase in export sales over the last three years need to be demonstrated including evidence of an export marketing strategy to be eligible.

We encourage our members to nominate themselves. Rewarding finalists with two free industry dinner registrations and reimbursement of associated travel costs to an agreed level. And the winner, a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion received by their nominated representative.

Award recipients


Keith Smith Memorial Award - Mike Sullivan

HERA Executive Chairman Mike Lehan, Award Winner Mike Sullivan and Hon. Nicky Wagner.

Having closely followed and supported the path of SCNZ, we know the role award winner D&H Steel Mike Sullivan played in leadership for this sector – a fantastically matching tribute to the intent of this award.

He’s demonstrated leadership most noticeably in creating a vision for a New Zealand steel construction-focused association. Consequently implementing this vision by finding industry support for independent funding and establishing SCNZ. He’s also supported the industry tirelessly in numerous key roles such as our executive board and SCNZ’s as well, holding the Chairman role also.

He has also shown exemplary industry commitment, demonstrated by his company leading the charge to establishment  the SFC scheme. An approach that now has over 30 companies joined to deliver the greatest impact towards quality assured NZ steel fabrication.

Mike is a great advocate for local manufacturing, speaking out for the local industry in a quest to level the playing field, and encourage balanced decision making in public sector procurement.

Metals Innovator of the Year - MB Century

HERA Executive Chairman Mike Lehan, Award Winner MB Century CEO Marcel Mandes and Hon. Nicky Wagner.

Their winning entry of a geothermal well diagnostic tool monitoring one of the key assets of the geothermal industry was a stand out in terms of innovation. A visionary IP loaded tool which will add significantly to MB Century’s standard geothermal product and services offerings.

MB Century’s entry satisfies the need of geothermal well operators to avoid expensive blow outs by understanding the condition of their wells. Drilling and maintaining wells is MB Century’s core business, and doing a better job through commanding innovation was an opportunity worthwhile to invest $2 million in.

The high temperature casing condition (HTCC) tool operates in excess of 300 degrees Celsius and at pressures up to 350 bar. Its sensors on protruding fingers can take up to 20 measurements per second.

Metals Exporter of the Year - Page Macrae Engineering

HERA Executive Deputy Chair Dr Troy Coyle, Award Winner Page Macrae Engineering Bruce Ennis and Hon. Nicky Wagner.

With their fantastic growth in export earnings based on adding a specialist range of material handling products to the traditional contracting based services, there is no doubt why Page Macrae won this award. They’re a prime example of HERA’s strategy to transform our members from lowest-cost, tender-based contractors to providers of IP based products and services to the world in niche markets were we can be competitive.

Page Macrae designs and produces a diverse range of port handling equipment exported offshore such as log handling equipment, bulk grabs and range of environmental hoppers. Sales have been growing rapidly over the last three years, averaging a 60% increase and hitting $9 million last year. Their primary market is Australia, with emerging markets in Canada and North and South America. The company’s first sale of environmental hoppers to Peru last year was valued at NZD $3 million.


Keith Smith Memorial Award - Dr Nigel Evans

HEERF Chairman Noel Davies, Award Winner Dr Nigel Evans and Hon. Todd McClay.

In 1968, Dr Nigel Evans returned to New Zealand from Cambridge University with a doctorate in physics to lead a small team of New Zealand graduates to develop the current technology for making iron & steel from Ironsands at New Zealand Steel Glenbrook. It wasn’t an easy start given the properties of the Titanomagnetite ironsand raw material which was lower grade in iron compared to more traditional iron bearing ores, had very fine particles and also contained a problem element Titanium in oxide form.

It was Dr Nigel Evans, Dr Richard Cooper and Peter Bates who studied all these problems and redesigned this difficult process. By 1981, after significant pilot plant trials, it was shown that the revised process worked and that it could provide a good rate of return for shareholders and New Zealand. Sir John Ingram, the founding managing director of New Zealand Steel, always singled out Nigel as being responsible for the company’s surviving those early technically challenging times and said Nigel’s contribution to and impact upon the business cannot be overstated.

In the early 1980s, Nigel also led the establishment of the coil painting facility at Glenbrook and the establishment of the Colorsteel brand in the New Zealand market. Dr Nigel Evans was the representative of New Zealand Steel on the HERA Executive from 1981 to 1987. Since 1988, he led the Woolf Fisher Trust in its role as a champion of educational excellence in teaching primary and secondary schools and of student scholarships and achievement in New Zealand Universities.

For 12 years, Nigel was also a director of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare contributing to the extremely successful research centred company with global reach. In 2013 Nigel received the Insignia of an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and the steel industry.

Metals Innovator of the Year for products - A-Ward Attachments Ltd

innovator-product-award-attachment-gala dinner
HERA Executive Chairman John Frear, A-Ward Attachments Chip Dawson, Managing Directors Deborah and Simon Ward and Hon. Todd McClay.

A-Ward Attachments Ltd is a world leading designer and delivers total systems for containerised bulk material handling into a diverse range of industries around the globe. Since A-Ward invented the bulk material shipping container loader in 2006, they have continued to push the design boundaries.

The success of their intelligent machines have been proven with recent international sales to Toyota, Heineken, Coca Cola and Unilever, as well as winning several world prestigious design awards.

Metals Innovator of the Year for manufacturing process - Calder Stewart Ltd

HERA Executive Chairman John Frear, Calder Stewarts Operations Manager Jom Hands, Steel Manager Sean Lloyd and Technical QA Improvement Manager Brian Howel and Hon. Todd McClay.

Embracing new technology to improve and assure quality, increase productivity and reduce overall cost, the new 10,500sqm steel fabrication facility represents the latest in lean manufacturing but also environmentally sound manufacturing principles.

High levels of IT-driven design and manufacturing processes from integrated steel design software, workflow optimisation via beam transfer equipment, an advanced drill and plate processor line, and sophisticated process controlling welding power sources demonstrated significant hours saved in set up time and processing of orders.

Full commitment to quality assurance via participation in the Steel Fabrication Certification scheme also shows the company’s commitment of excellence to its customers.

Metals Exporter of the Year - Cuddon Ltd

HERA Executive Chairman John Frear, Cuddon CEO Andy Rowe, Freeze Dry Business Manager Steve Anderson, Director John Cuddon and Hon. Todd McClay.

Measures that Cuddon have put in place have helped to cement the brand and its awareness, improve the quality of the business in the international market and has produced terrific sales results for Cuddon Freeze Dry across a range of international destinations. Cuddon Freeze Dry have over the past three years increased their export sales of freeze dryer units by 341% into the international market.

Over this period the company has continually worked on their client service level and product craftsmanship by adding Sales and Marketing resources and implementing an inbound marketing strategy to ensure better penetration into target sectors of the international market.


Keith Smith Memorial Award - Noel Davies

HERA Director Dr Wolfgang Scholz, Heather Davies, Award Winner Noel Davies, Wife of the late Keith Smith Jean Smith and HERA Executive Chairman Peter Hutton

Awarded to the Director, Chairman and part-owner of Hydraulink Fluidconnectors Noel Davies, due to his many achievements including:

  • HERA Executive since 1992 and Chairman from 2004 to 2006,
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 (Manufacturing & Distribution Category),
  • Trustee of HERA Foundation since 2004, and its Chairman since 2006.

Metals Innovator of the Year - TiDA

Science Director Dr Peter Franz, Design Engineer Graeme Smith, Office Manager Angela Werder, Chairman Ian Macrae, Chief Executive Warwick Downing, Research Officer Aamir Mukhtar and Board Member Barry Robinson from SAFE Ltd,

TiDA (Titanium Industry Development Association) took the prize for its ground-breaking research and development of what’s known in the industry as powder metallurgy consolidation.

Metals Exporter of the Year - Southern Cross Engineering Ltd

Rocktec Operations Manager Gary Brown, SCE General Manager of Sales Terry Duff, HERA Executive Chairman Peter Hutton and SCE Service Manager Brad Guy.

This year, the Metals NZ Exporter of the Year award was won by Southern Cross Engineering Ltd (SCE) for successfully designing, manufacturing and exporting a new generation mobile grain stacker.


Keith Smith Memorial Award - Nick Calavrias

Metals NZ Chairman Noel Davies, Award Winner Nick Calavrias and wife of the late Keith Smith - Jean Smith.

Metals Innovator of the Year - Howick Engineering

Howick Engineering Bruce Coubray and Wayne Rowe with HERA Executive Chairman Peter Hutton.

Metals Exporter of the Year - A&G Price

A&G Price Peter Yates, HERA Executive Chairman Peter Hutton and A&G Price Bill Lovell.


Keith Smith Memorial Award - Dr Charles Clifton

Former HERA Structural Systems Engineer and Associate Professor Dr Charles Clifton with HERA Executive Chairman Peter Hutton.

Charles was HERA’s structural engineer for nearly 24 years. In this time, he made significant contributions to the New Zealand structural steel industry being responsible for standards, guidelines and research program development. His passion for seismic and fire engineering and composite interaction led to many innovative solutions which are now daily used in the NZ structural steel industry and indeed make it onto the world stage.

When Charles started at HERA, the market share of multi storey steel construction was basically 0% – today it is in the order of over 50%. Dr Clifton’s work was probably the most important single person contribution to this amazing growth of structural steel in New Zealand. Now as Associate Professor in all matters structural steel and composite construction Charles continues to educate and train the next generation of structural engineers in New Zealand ensuring they are aware of the tremendous opportunities a career in structural steel has to offer.

Having a passion for everything seismic and following the Northridge and Kobe earthquakes, which showed that structural steel had also some performance issues, Charles engaged in in-depth research on how to improve earthquake resistance of structural steel-framed building systems. The probably best known outcomes are Charles’s damage tolerant moment resistant connection details, such as the sliding hinge, where following seismic action the connection goes back into its original position. These designs are now standard in New Zealand’s high-rise buildings making them a much safer place to be in an earthquake.

The 9/11, event where the two World Trade Centre Buildings collapsed, caused Charles some sleepless nights and he engaged in a study of this event leading to a publication after only about a week detailing the likely causes of the collapses. This early account of what happened was published around the world. However the most significant evidence of Charles’s knowledge, experience and judgement was the fact that, when after years of intensive investigations the official findings were revealed, Charles only needed to adjust some minor details to update his original report.

Metals Innovator of the Year - WindFlow Technology

WindFlow Technology Engineering Manager John Arimond with HERA Executive Chairman Peter Hutton.

The Windflow 500 wind turbine is unique as it is the only utility scale wind turbine being produced in Australasia. More than 90% of the turbine components is sourced from local companies. It is the first wind turbine to combine two innovative technologies: the patented torque limiting gearbox (TLG) system of power control and the pitch regulated two-bladed teetering rotor. These innovations result in major reductions in fatigue loads.

The Windflow 500 design results in weight and cost reductions of between 20-50% compared with currently available commercial wind turbines of similar power rating. The end result combines cost-effectiveness, simplicity and reliability in a world leading design.

Metals Exporter of the Year - FrameCAD Solutions

FrameCAD CEO Mark Taylor, Paul Lowman and HERA Executive Chairman Peter Hutton.

FrameCAD Solutions’ point of difference is end-to-end integration in design, detailing & manufacture of steel framing for the rapid construction and residential buildings. FrameCAD has invested significantly in building intellectual property, technology and expertise – making it the world leader in cold formed steel construction solutions. FRAMECAD is dedicated to providing a complete design and build system that is innovative, cost-effective, suitable for residential and commercial construction, and fast to construct with in developed and developing markets worldwide. The company stands behind the quality and reliability of the FRAMECAD System products and services. All this is backed by the in-depth knowledge and rapid response of a multi-lingual, global customer support team.


Distinguished Service to the NZ Metals Industry Award - Stuart Thompson

Award Winner Stuart Thompson with Metals NZ Chairman Noel Davies

Stuart Thomson has been associated with corrugated iron most of his life, as a plumber, sheet-metal worker, roofer, manufacturer, development engineer and building consultant. He has corrugated with Sir Edmund Hillary in Nepal, investigated cyclone damage in the Pacific, written the industry’s code of practice – and all the while collected fascinating facts and stories (and written light-hearted verse) about this versatile, colourful New Zealand icon. Stuart Thompson is also author of a book entitled Wrinkly Tin: The Story of Corrugated Iron in New Zealand and is the “icon”, not only of steel roofing and cladding, but has also serviced the wider sheet-metals industry and particularly NASH in New Zealand.

Metals Innovator of the Year - Cuddon Engineering

Award winner Cuddon Engineering John Cuddon and Metals NZ Chairman Noel Davies.

John Cuddon was involved in the design of the first freeze dryers that Cuddon Engineering manufactured in 1963. John and Robyn Cuddon have since been actively involved in the marketing and selling of freeze drying machinery manufactured in Blenheim, to the world over. With 40 years in this market, John noted an increasing need for large freeze drying companies to switch from batch freeze drying to continuous freeze drying, and consequently initiated the design and building of a prototype continuous belt freeze dryer with spray application technology. The highly automated CFD-000 significantly reduces the labour required to operate a continuous freeze drying operation, and hence reduces the cost per kg to freeze dry suitable products. This sort of innovation highlights what is required to stay ahead of low cost producers who will continue to reverse-engineer and copy existing machinery. It takes such people to show a vision, commitment and dedication to innovation to stay ahead of the game.

Metals Exporter of the Year - FrameCAD Solutions

BBC Technologies Managing Director Greg Furniss and Metals NZ Chairman Noel Davies.

BBC Technologies Ltd. develops and manufactures innovative and affordable technology solutions for the small fruits, nuts and vegetable industries. They are well-known for their Color Sorta, now an industry standard in the North American blueberry industry, and they have recently introduced a Soft Sorta, and a Fill By Weight machine into the market. Their services are led by a highly-skilled project team who deliver extraordinary results. In February 2005 BBC Technologies’ Soft Sorter was named one of the Top Ten New Products at the World Agricultural Expo, California. BBC Technologies has developed a reputation internationally for its ingenuity and innovative approach to producing advanced processing technology, while retaining a strong empathy for its customers and end-users.


Distinguished Service to the NZ Metals Industry Award - Keith Smith

Mobridge Director and Award Winner Keith Smith.

The inaugural HERA award for Distinguished Service was presented to Keith Smith of Mobridge Ltd. Keith was chosen for the award for his outstanding service to the industry. Keith was instrumental in the establishment of HERA, and served on the Executive Board and was Chairman of the Heavy Engineering Educational & Research Foundation (HEERF) – now HERA Foundation. Then HERA Chairman Noel Davies and HERA Director Dr Wolfgang Scholz were pleased to present the award to Keith.

Metals Exporter of the Year - Warratah Engineering

Warratah Engineering and Award Winner Steven Piper.

The inaugural HERA award for Exporter of the Year was presented to Warratah Engineering. Warratah was selected for their impressive record of export success for their family of HTH 600 Heads. In 2004, Warratah’s production increased by 183% with over 95% of their products being exported, 80% of which goes to the USA and Canada. The award was received by Dave Chitty and Steven Piper of Warratah.