Winners shine at the Wellington Property People Awards

Wellington put on a show for the annual Wellington Property People Awards held this evening at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. Special thanks to our panel of judges and family of sponsors Hawkins, Precinct Properties, Beca, Archaus, Colliers International, Momentum, ortus, Greenwood Roche for supporting this spectacular local event.

And the winners are:

Beca Young Achiever of the Year Award

The Building Intelligence Group - Matt Cowen

The Judges noted that this was one of the hardest categories to judge due to the high calibre the nominees.

Matt Cowen stood out because of the complexity of projects he has delivered, his aptitude as a team player and his ability to form good relationships with suppliers and clients. Highlights of his career so far include seismic strengthening of the Majestic Centre, the Department of Internal Affairs new head office at St Paul’s Square and the current remediation of NZ Post House.  

As one of Matt's colleagues remarked, "in construction you often see twenty people at the first design team meeting and three people attending in the last stages.  Matt will always be one of the last standing as he commits to seeing the job through with the same enthusiasm he started with."

Congratulations Matt!


Archaus Urban Design Award

McKee Fehl - Press Hall 80 Willis Street / 22 Boulcott Street

The testimonials on this project say it all:

“The concept of unlocking Press Hall, which was essentially buried in between Boulcott Street and Willis Street, was a clever idea,”

“The newly formed urban laneway leading to the food hall is activated by vibrant and diverse kiosks and a bar above, the veranda can now be occupied by people adding to the urban fabric of the street.”

“Never before have such old, run down, dark and dingy buildings been so substantially structurally modified, seismically upgraded and refurbished to create such an open, vibrant and modern workplace.”

And the judges agreed saying, “This feels like an iconic development with wide benefit for Wellington”.

Congratulations McKee Fehl!


Colliers Best Team Award

Hawkins 2017 Limited -  Te Papa Art Gallery Team – Matt Dorn, Chetan Jeram

This team consisted of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Hawkins, Warren and Mahoney, OPUS and Maltbys.

The Toi Art Gallery opened to the public as programmed and on budget in March 2018. This was all the more challenging given the museum remained open to the public throughout construction.  

The client was very happy - this outcome could have only been achieved by the outstanding work and attitudes of the entire cohesive project team. Positive and trusting working relationships were established with all parties. The open communication and management style that was implemented, meant that everyone bought into the programme and had a shared vision.

Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said “Toi Art is all about the fact that art is for everyone, and I believe every New Zealander will find something here that speaks to them, something to amaze and challenge them.”

The judging panel credited the team with the success of the project, describing the space as beautiful and inspirational. It is a space that does Wellingtonians proud.

Congratulations team!


Momentum Outstanding Leadership Award

Kevin Lavery - CEO Wellington City Council

Complaining about the local Council is common place in New Zealand and particularly in the development community. While the grumbles exist in Wellington City, Kevin Lavery is a CE who listens, patiently explains the position the Council is in and looks to do what he can within the political parameters he has to operate under.

Under Kevin’s leadership the Council is improving its processes and producing plans with the growth of Wellington in mind.

Kevin’s nomination said “He absolutely speaks what he thinks. You know where he’s coming from and what he wants to achieve. He knows there are barriers, but at least outwardly he’s not phased. What appeals to me is his positive attitude.  While in a political role, he comes across as an ordinary person with a passion for Wellington and its future."

Congratulations Kevin!

Judges Choice Award

Ian Cassels - The Wellington Company   

Ian Cassels’s developments are all over Wellington. From his first property, ‘Invincible House’, which he converted to apartments in the late 1990’s, to the dozens of properties and hundreds of apartments he has developed over the years, Ian is a passionate contributor to the Wellington property industry. 

His leadership and strategic vision have paved the way for Central Wellington’s residential and commercial property market, finding solutions where others saw only problems and offering inspiration where others saw gloom. To this day he is committed to attracting more urban residents to the Central City, convinced a thriving, livable city is key to a thriving local economy. Ian has shown tenacity in driving high quality medium density housing including in Island Bay and Shelly Bay.

Ian has and continues to - quite literally - shape Wellington.

Congratulations Ian!

ortus Long Service Award

The McGuinness Family 

When you think high-end residential apartments or key commercial office buildings in Wellington, the companies Willis Bond and LT McGuiness should be near the top of anyone’s list. Behind both of these truly Wellington companies is the McGuinness family. 

Their buildings include the recently completed PwC building on the waterfront – an architectural, engineering and construction feat.  The award winning Clyde Quay Warf apartments and One Market Lane.  Macs Brew Bar and the NZX buildings also make the list.  Renovation of St Mary of the Angles.  They are helping to revitalize Cuba St.  Waves are being made in the Auckland Market.

Individual members shun the limelight, preferring to let their buildings do the talking.  Nor is it easy to pin down who in the family deserves the most credit, because it is always a team effort.

Two companies, one team, one family.

Congratulations the McGuinness family!

Greenwood Roche Supreme Award  

McKee Fehl - Press Hall 80 Willis Street / 22 Boulcott Street

What stood out for the judges was the ability of McKee Fehl to repurpose and modernise the site - the end result is an iconic development that adds vibrancy to Wellington but also respects the heritage of the original building.

The development has wide  benefits as noted by Chris Wilkinson - Wellington hasn’t seen something like this before. There are lots of wonderful older buildings with beautiful bones getting a new life.

Congratulations McKee Fehl and the Press Hall team!


A huge congratulations to this year's winners and thank you to our Principal Partner, Hawkins for making this event possible. We look forward to welcoming you back to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the Wellington property industry in 2019.


Should you wish to be part of the 2019 Wellington Property People Awards, please contact Carol Harley via