2022 Awards of Excellence to Industry

On 1 May 2023, the 2022 Minister of Defence Awards of Excellence to Industry were presented by Hon. Andrew Little, Minister of Defence. These awards highlight and reward the contribution made by industry to New Zealand Defence. 

About the Awards of Excellence

This year two businesses received awards for Prime Contactor of the Year, and Sub-Contractor or SME of the Year respectively, and five individuals received a Special Award for work that has been invaluable to Defence during what has continued to be an unprecedented and challenging time.

The complete list of winners and finalists can be found here.

The 2022 Category Winners

Prime Contractor of the Year : Qioptic Ltd

 In early 2022 Qioptiq was selected to design and deliver a new thermal in-line sight for the NZDF's Modular Assault Rifle System. This award acknowledges Qioptiq's approach to relationship building and delivering quality outcomes. The company invested time and resources to develop an understanding of the NZDF and how it operates, displayed professionalism and enthusiasm in building a relationship that became essential during COVID-19 travel restrictions, and goodwill and commitment to quality by continuing to refine their product to deliver the best outcomes.  


Sub-Contractor or SME of the Year: Inde Technology Ltd 

Inde Technology Ltd delivered a stable system for remote desktop access, which is critical for business continuity planning and has allowed for flexible working arrangements. Inde Technology brought specialist expertise to delivering the solution, and ensured Defence was trained and supported to maintain the system. The company's focus on delivering value throughout the project stood out. 


The 2022 Special Awards Winners

Tū Kaha (Courage) Award Winner: Mike Sheedy, Gemtech Solutions Ltd

Mr Sheedy was commissioned to review Army logistics arrangements for warehousing, maintenance, repair and overhaul - known as Project Alexander. This thorough and wide-ranging review was carried out collaboratively with the incumbent supplier, Lockheed Martin NZ, and Logistics Command Land and resulted in a number of improvements including embedding continuous improvement and benefit realisation processes. Mr Sheedy conducted the review diligently and respectfully, and ensured that all stakeholders felt considered and valued throughout the process.  


Tū Maia (Integrity) Award Winner: David Goodrich OAM, Silver Spirit Partners

The acquisition of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft fleet is delivering one of the largest and most significant capablities to be introduced into service in several generations. Commercial through-life support arrangements of this scale and type required an experience negotiator and Mr Goodrich delivered a commercially strong contract for Defence, in less than ten months and while COVID-19 travel restrictions were in place. His expertise, knowledge of the sustainment provider, and the respect for him within the sector were critical in delivering the contract and the certainty it provides. 

Tū Tika (Commitment) Award Winner: Patrick Power, Airbus NZ

A blended workforce supports the deeper maintenance programme of the NH90 helicopter fleet. Managing this requires a strong and engaging leader and in providing that leadership Mr Power has delivered a world-leading programme that has helped to establish New Zealand as an international authority on NH90 deeper maintenance. He has built and maintains a high-performing team and is generous in his sharing of knowledge to upskill the wider workforce. He is a trusted partner to the RNZAF, and his experience and advice is sought by members of the wider NH90 user community. 


Tū Tira (Comradeship) Award Winner: Lionel Ng, Auckland Regional Public Health Service 

During the COVID-19 lockdown period and restrictions on travel, Mr Ng was responsible for enforcing border requirements on returning RNZN ships. He worked closely with Defence to understand implications of time impacts on isolating ships' operations, and the reduced risk posed by the way these ships are operated. Standard operating procedures were developed for delivery and receipt of swabs and for managing on-board cases. Mr Ng ensured Defence was kept informed on emerging policy changes and went out of his way to minimise the effects on Defence's maritime movements. 


Kotahitanga (Unity) Award Winner: Steven Renata, Kiwa Digital Ltd 

The Ministry of Defence formed a rōpū to focus on upskilling the knowledge of te ao Māori of its people, and Kiwa was commissioned to support this by developing a mobile app. In addition to being feature-rich, this easy-to-navigate app enables phonetic sounding out of words to support learners, and inclusion of a history section for people to expand their knowledge. Throughout the process Kiwa displayed flexibility by accommodating additional needs of the Ministry, such as translation of a number of terms that are unique to Defence. 


In addition to the winners, other finalists were:

Finalist for Prime Contractor of the Year : Airbus New Zealand Ltd 

Airbus NZ was nominated for the technical services it provides for NH90 deeper maintenance activities at RNZAF Base Ohakea. Their personnel operate as part of a blended workforce with RNZAF, providing a point of continuity and increased resilience. Airbus NZ supported the upskilling of new Air Force personnel while delivering innovative solutions such as a corrosion resistance programme. As a result, Aotearoa New Zealand has become a respected leader in the sustainment of the NH90 helicopter with a comparatively high fleet availability.


Finalists for Sub-Contractor or SME of the Year

Big Mal Ltd provided outstanding, highly specialised services for maintenance and management of the NZDF's firing ranges in the Auckland region, ensuring operations are carried out safely, efficiently, and in a way that minimises harm to the environment

Electronics Navigation Ltd delivered a new maritime Damage Control Communications training simulator, providing specialised training that mirrors the conditions found on seagoing platforms.
Marops Ltd developed assessment and training requirements to support the Frigate Sustainment Communications Programme, in line with the Defence Manual of Learning.

South Pacific Scaffolding Ltd supplied complex scaffolding and shrink-wrapping services to Babcock and the Royal New Zealand Nacy as they worked to maintain various seagoing vessels, including HMNZS Manawanui and frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessel projects.


The Minister of Defence Awards of Excellence to Industry were established in 1998 to highlight and reward the contribution made by industry to Defence. The Awards are administered by the New Zealand Defence Industry Advisory Council (NZDIAC) on behalf of the Minister of Defence.