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Auckland Transport

Previous Commute Awards winners Previous Commute Awards winners

Check out who has won Commute Awards over the past few years.

Take part in this year's Travelwise Choices Awards


The 2017 awards ceremony took place on 28 June. It was a fantastic day with presentations from our keynote speaker Barbara Cuthbert (Bike Auckland) plus 2016 winners Tejo van Schie from Westmere Physiotherapy and Debbie Wilson from Counties Manukau District Health Board.

Award winners

Supreme Award

For the entry that, in the judge’s opinion, was truly remarkable.

Winner: Datacom


Datacom won the most prestigious award for leading the way with their ‘positive commuting bonus’ - a cash incentive for any staff member giving up their car park within a specific time frame. With great end-of-trip facilities, company electric bikes, discounts at bike retailers, plus money from the scheme to potentially purchase a bike, Datacom makes active travel a viable transport option for their staff.

Sustainable Travel Champion Award

For that person in an organisation who goes the extra mile to motivate others, organise events, or actively promote travel options.

Winner: Joanne Ferry – Tonkin and Taylor

Joanne Ferry

Joanne is always on a mission to get colleagues out of cars and onto their bikes by encouraging cycling to meetings instead of using fleet vehicles.

Her dedication led to an increase in Tonkin and Taylor’s participation in the Auckland Bike Challenge, up from 20% in 2016 to 34% in 2017. She also encouraged their Wellington (89.1%), Nelson (88.9%), Christchurch (88.7%) and Hamilton (82.6%) offices to participate in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge.

Highly commended: Jessica Rose – Wairaka Land Company

Jessica Rose

Jessica passionately promotes benefits of active commuting to staff by bringing in new ideas, collaboration, and motivation to influence travel behaviour change at Unitec and Wairaka Land Company.

She motivated Unitec staff to participate in the Auckland Bike Challenge where they have been in 1st place 2 years running. Jessica is currently working on a project that aims to get 80% of students commuting using sustainable travel and 20% of staff commuting using bicycles by 2020.

Think-outside-the-car Award for Creative Excellence

An award is for an out-of-the-ordinary initiative or an outstanding campaign with an innovative approach.

Winner: Environmental Resource Management (ERM)

Environmental Resources Management

ERM has top-down leadership from their managing director when it comes to promoting sustainable travel. Staff are actively encouraged to carpool wherever possible including to client meetings and with project staff from other companies. Their staff even walk to different offices so they can carpool with people from other companies. ERM have been able to give up all but one of its office carparks, which is kept for clients and guests. 

Highly commended: Datacom

Datacom have increased the uptake of sustainable travel options through a number of initiatives. Their end of trip facilities include 120 secure bike parks, 18 showers, a drying room and lockers. Company electric bikes were introduced along with a fun health and safety engagement programme aimed at introducing people to electric bikes. They also introduced a ‘Positive Commuting Bonus’ which gives staff a cash incentive if they give their car park up within a specific time frame.

On-board Award - public transport

For a company with increased use of public transport.

Winner: Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB)

Waitemata District Health Board

WDHB employs nearly 8,000 staff. Their 2017 Travel Survey showed there has had been a shift in the number of staff travelling sustainably to and from work, including public transport increasing by 3%, cycling by 2% and walking 1%. Initiatives implemented include participating in the Auckland Walk Challenge and Auckland Bike Challenge, implementing a shuttle service between North Shore and Waitakere hospitals, reducing the need to drive, and installing new bike and motorbike parking at North Shore Hospital.

Highly commended: Aucky Walky Tours

Aucky Walky Tours

Since 2016, Aucky Walky Tours have shown over 250 visitors and locals around downtown Auckland. On their ‘Hello Auckland’ walking tour, they stop at Britomart Transport Centre to explains how AT HOP cards work and the City Link bus route. Aucklanders who have done the tour often remark that it’s been years since they’ve caught a bus, and many don’t own an AT HOP card. Aucky Walky Tours shows them how!

Pedal-power Award - cycling

For a company with an increased uptake in cycling.

Winner: Gladeye


Gladeye increased the number of staff cycling to work each day from 8.5% to 45% in 4 weeks by providing a designated environment for bikes. Their ‘bike gang’ re-designed and modified an internal office space for cyclists, including parking for 20 bikes, a custom-built clothing rack for wet gear, helmet and shoe lockers, pumps, and cycle maps. The space removed a number of reasons staff had given for not cycling.

Highly commended: Isthmus


At Isthmus, bikes are stored inside and have even been incorporated into their studio design. The company also provides bike racks, changing areas, showers, and towels. As a result, over 30% of Isthmus staff regularly cycle to work. The company also provides electric bikes for staff to use for travel to work and meetings, and they have introduced a parking policy so users pay for all on-site parking. All parking revenue goes into the Isthmus Environment Fund, which is used for community-based projects.

Step-it-up Award - walking

For a company with an increased uptake in walking.

Winner: Max Health and Living International INC

Max Health

The Auckland Walk Challenge was used as a opportunity to help their team bond, and Max saw it as an opportunity to promote their company's healthy living values. Although it was hard to get staff on board at first, through passionate promotion, they became dedicated to the challenge and morale in the office was improved.

Highly commended: Aucky Walky Tours

Aucky Walky Tours' ‘Hello Auckland’ walking tour combines a walking tour with a ride on the ‘locals’ bus, so visitors see and learn more about Auckland. In February, Free Walk Fridays were put on so locals could see their city like they’d never seen it before.

Match-maker Award – carpooling

For a company with an increased uptake in carpooling.

Winner: Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB)

WDHB promotes carpooling at their workplace by providing priority carpooling spaces for staff. The implementation of a shuttle service between North Shore and Waitakere hospitals has also reduced the need for staff to drive to work.

Highly commended: Environmental Resource Management (ERM)

ERM’s managing director encouraged his staff to use alternative means of transport to travel to and from work by requesting carpooling to client meetings with project staff from other companies. Staff have taken this on board by walking to other office locations so they can carpool with other companies. This enables them to leave their cars at home and travel sustainably to work.


Supreme Award

Isthmus Group is a company engaging in architecture, design planning, landscape architecture and urban design interwoven with commitment to the creation of vibrant new communities, healthy new ecologies, and built environments.

Isthmus Group has won the Supreme Award for commitment from their management team: staff have not only been provided with showers, changing areas and secure cycle parking; but the Director of the company gave up his parking space for a Cityhop car, which can be used by all staff in case of emergencies or if they need a car during the day.

The Green Trip Award for mode shift


An award for reducing car trips.

The Auckland DHB has approximately 10,000 health and medical staff employed which equates to over 8,000 full-time equivalent positions and is the largest trainer of doctors in New Zealand.

Auckland DHB is the Winner of the Green Trip Award for Mode Shift for their Sustainable Transport Project which has provided incentives for their staff to travel by sustainable transport and increased parking fees to fund different transport options, services and facilities for staff.

Tourism Holdings Limited (THL) have been Highly Commended for the Green Trip Award for Mode Shift for constantly promoting all modes of sustainable transport. They have had a fleet bike trial, public transport trials and constantly communicate the benefits of sustainable transport to their staff.

Green Trip Award for mode shift: Tourism Holding Limited

Think outside the car award for creative excellence

Smales Farm is a commercial business hub on the north shore.

Smales Farm has been awarded the Think-outside-the-car-award for Creative Excellence for providing different ways for staff to travel sustainably.

They also have plans to include different technologies to support Electric Vehicle use and ride sharing schemes in the near future.

Pedal power award

WhereScape is a company that pioneers data warehouse automation software.

They are the winner of the Pedal Power Award for success in creating a cycling culture at work by promoting cycling for commuting and business purposes.

They also created original motivational tools for staff.

Pedal Power Award: WhereScape Ltd.

Highly commended: AUT

Auckland University of Technology has been awarded Highly Commended for providing secure cycle parking facilities and showers for staff and postgrad students with a swipe card access system, which has embedded the administration and maintenance of cycle parking in the relevant departments.

Match maker award

Counties Manukau Logo 2 300X240For the most successful carpooling promotion.

Winner: Counties Manukau Health Board

Counties Manukau Health provides health and disability services to an estimated 512,000 people within the Auckland, Waikato and Hauraki Districts.

Counties Manukau Health are the Winners of the Match Maker Award for encouraging carpooling by showcasing case studies of:

  • Staff that currently carpool,
  • holding carpooling events,
  • having dedicated carpooling spaces for staff that carpool.

Highly Commended: Beca

Beca is a consultancy services organisation delivering projects across the Buildings, Government, Industrial, Power, Transport and Water market segments.

Beca has won the Highly Commended award for promoting carpooling through shared lunch, events and developing a fun Carpool Karaoke video which was circulated to staff and encouraged people to carpool.

Travel Champion Award: Westmere Physiotherapy Clinic

Westmere Physiotherapy Clinic is a small clinic and the clinicians there are making a big impact on sustainable transport choices.

They are the Winner of the Travel Champion Award for being ambassadors for active transport, promoting walking and cycling for commuting both verbally and by consistent modelling.

Using walking and cycling on their home visits as well as commuting, and recommending commuting by sustainable transport to their patients as part of their health advice.

Travel Champion Award: Westmere Physiotherapy Clinic

Step it up award for success in active transport: St John

St John New Zealand is a charitable organisation that provides ambulance services, first aid training and event medical services as well as other community progammes.

St John has won the Step it up Award for promoting walking to work and to work meetings as a healthy alternative for their staff, through fun challenges and prize draws, which kept their staff engaged.

Step it up award for success in active transport: St John

Travel Champion Award: Helen Baillie-Strong

Highly commended.

Helen is the Facilities Manager at Vend, a retail Point of Sale Software Company, and has been awarded Highly Commended for sharing her cycling enthusiasm with the whole office.

She has accomplished getting bike racks for the workplace and creating a social instant chat group where colleagues can share biking stories, news and encourage each other.

Travel Champion Award: Helen Baillie-Strong

Travel Champion Award: Genny Stevens

High Commended 2016.

Genny, from business accounting software company Xero, has been awarded Highly Commended for being an absolute bike advocate.

She has been organising cycling activities, providing individual motivational support to colleagues and changing the perception of cycling to be attainable, safe and fun way to get where you are going.

Travel Champion Award: Genny Stevens


Supreme award

Beca Ltd for their outstanding Sustainable Travel campaign to ‘cut-the carbon’

Highly Commended award: Auckland District Health Board for pursuing a wide range of sustainable transport initiatives, and involving staff, patients and visitors.

Travel champion award

Auckland District Health Board

Ian D’Young and Phil Schulze have lead their organisation’s Sustainable Transport Project.

They have had a people-focussed approach to keep the project relevant to staff, and their ongoing commitment has contributed to the success of the project’s many sustainable transport events and initiatives in 2015.

Pedal-Power Award

Smales Farm for actively promoting cycling to its businesses and to the wider community, providing a base for the annual Bike the Bridge event and consistently supporting initiatives such as BikeWise Month and the national Bike to Work Day.

In conjunction with these, Smales Farm included initiatives such as ‘give it a go’ electric bikes, food trucks, free bike checks and cycle information.

After hours, the car park at Smales Farm hosted beginner bike skill and bike maintenance sessions for their staff.

Highly commended award

MRCagney for promoting and celebrating a cycle-friendly culture at their workplace.

Due to relocation in offices, MRCagney were inspired to embrace their new environment and look towards different commuting options including walking, cycling and using public transport.

MRCagney have embraced the ‘bicycle culture’ by installing highly visible bicycle racks along the wall of the open plan office.

This has helped them establish their brand as a modern, forward thinking, urban transport planning consultancy.

Step-it-Up Award

Counties Manukau Health challenged their staff to increase their physical activity over a two week period through active travel, with participants recording their active trips.

The first 60 staff to sign up were given pedometers with a goal of walking 10,000 steps per day.

Feedback from the participants showed high levels of commitment, and sustained behaviour change.

After the 2 week period had ended, 86% of staff who had signed up for the challenge had increased their active travel with 96% stating that the challenge had motivated them to continue being more active.

Match-Maker Award

Waitemata District Health Board has had an on-going commitment to carpooling, through both promotion and policy, including implementing a Guaranteed Ride Home scheme.

This past year they have achieved a 100% increase in staff sign-ups to the Let’s Carpool website.

WDHB are also committed to travel options as part of a wider sustainability programme.

This includes their revised travel plan and the implementation of their commute travel guide which provides walking and cycle routes for North Shore hospital staff.

On-Board Award

Microsoft Ltd challenges employees to try the ‘Give it a Go’ public transport trial for two weeks instead of driving to work.

Employees blog about their experiences, and then nominate a co-worker to ‘Give it a Go’ as well.

While small numbers have been involved to date, they have achieved a 100% conversion to public transport so far.

Green Trip Award

Beca Ltd delivered a Sustainable Travel campaign to promote Active Transport, Public Transport and Carpooling.

Their comprehensive campaign to ‘cut the carbon’ included a staff travel survey, posters to inform and inspire staff, and events including ‘matching’ carpoolers, a Walk and Bike Day with free breakfast, and calculating carbon savings.

Think-Outside-the-Car Award for creative excellence

Unitec has a number of cycling related initiatives underway.

They substantially increased their bike parking with student-designed covered bike racks and their Sustainability Framework looks to increase cycling mode share to 20%

Their new campus master plan focuses on enabling better public transport integration, centralising carparking with priority carpool and electric vehicle parking, connecting existing public cycleways through campus and providing excellent end of trip facilities.


Winner 1: Progress on Travel Plan

AECOM reinvigorated their Auckland office travel plan in preparation for a move to a new 5 star green rated building in central Auckland in 2012.

In order to do this a Travel Plan Team was set up to deliver baseline and follow-up surveys, draft the travel plan actions and implement the measures.

These measures were targeted around supporting employees with their move to the new building, helping them to realise their sustainable transport options and also aligning with their sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies.
Key measures included:

  • Cycling – secure storage for bikes, information on cycle routes, participation in annual Bikewise events
  • Walking – umbrellas available from reception
  • Public Transport – AT Hop cards available for business use, public transport trial tickets (AT funded), public transport ticket subsidies (AECOM funded)
  • Carpooling – launch of AECOM group on the Let’s Carpool website
  • General – Travel to Work Expo, vistors travel information sheet, secure lockers, shower and changing facilities with complimentary towels.

One year after relocating from Newmarket to 8 Mahuhu Crescent an assessment of changes in staff commuting travel behaviour was undertaken.

The target of increasing public transport use to 33% has been exceeded – 39% of employees now use public transport as their main mode of travel to work. The targets of reducing SOV, increasing car sharing and increasing walking to work have been met.

AECOM are continuing to focus on promoting sustainable transport options, predominantly, the use of public transport and cycling. Public transport subsidies (50% subsidy) are offered every quarter to staff, and they continue to promote and offer cycling guidance and improved facilities.

AECOM’s travel plan success has enabled them to amend the locker booking system from a payment bond to encourage wider use.

Over the next year AECOM hope to engage with other businesses in the Quay Park area, through the Commute Programme, to identify and further realise the area wide travel planning benefits that area based approaches can bring

Winner 2: Delivery of Commute Packages

Mahitahi Trust along with the Commute Team delivered their first travel expo in August 2013, which gave staff information on their personal commutes.

This expo coincided with the changes in the company car policy, to help staff through this transition. The Mahitahi Trust Travel Plan leveraged off their wider wellness policy, which included transport options and a commitment to staff wellbeing.

Timing was also a factor with making the travel plan work as it was launched on the back of resource and efficiency changes.

Mahitahi Trust started with the travel choice expo and the delivery of packages grew from there. Employees were offered cycle training, followed by the opportunity to trial a bike for three months to see if cycling to work was for them. There was also a fleet bike trial that emploeess could use to get to meetings.

As a result of this, bike parking has been installed and there is a future plan to install shower and locker facilities. The Mahitahi Trust carpool programme was promoted to employees during Kiwi Carpool Week in 2014.

Carpooling was promoted in a fun and interactive way, which Mahitahi Trust envisaged would help to further decrease the congestion around their work site.

The wellness group has won the support of the CEO in delivering the travel plan and wellness programme. Congestion is an area that Mahitahi Trust want to focus on, and want to continue to find ways to reduce this around their work site.

When businesses think about travel planning and the Commute Programme, Ngahuia recommends:

  • Identifying the opportunities of travel planning and linking these to organisational goals to get senior management buy-in
  • Ensuring that you have the resources available, or a dedicated person to deliver the programme, and being consistent with the programme and messages is important to success.

Winner 3: Embedding sustainable transport into company practice

MRCagney has a goal of 100% non-car journey to work mode share. Of their 15 full time staff, 14 use public transport, walk or cycle to get to work.

This high non-car mode share has been achieved through a variety of management policies and company practices, many of which were set in place through a workplace travel plan, first developed in 2009.

The two most significant drivers of travel behaviour change at MRCagney have been business location and staff remuneration. MRCagney’s offices are in a central, accessible location, at Princes Street in Auckland’s CBD. This location has a Walk Score of 97 (Walker’s Paradise) and a Transit Score of 100 (Rider’s Paradise), providing an abundance of non-car travel options, as well as providing the company with a deep talent pool of potential employees.

MRCagney has chosen not to provide any staff parking or company vehicles and instead compensates employees directly for travel costs. These policies have influenced the location choices of new employees, with many chosen to live in locations accessible to the office by non-car modes.
MRCagney provides the following additional tools to encourage sustainable travel choices:

  • Membership to CityHop which has cars located convenient to the office
  • AT Hop Cards which makes it easy to reimburse employees for public transport journeys – employees are encouraged to use public transport for work related travel, including travel to the airport
  • Bicycle repair tools – including a pump, tire patches and wrenches.

MRCagney have helped some staff purchase bicycles for office commuting. They have also implemented a flexible workplace environment that provides staff with the flexibility of travelling when it suits them. Mean employees tend to arrive at work closer to 9:30am than 8:30am which reduces commute travel time and avoids contributing to peak travel demans.

Employees are free to telework when it suits them. The flexible working environment has been enabled by technologies such as video-conferencing, remote email/server access and cloud computing systems, and an office culture that values sustainability and responsibility.

In the near future, MRCagney expects to achieve their goal of 100% non-car mode share for travel to work.