Supermarket project takes out top award

A Marlborough construction project has been named the best in New Zealand after taking out the top spot in its category at the Registered Master Builders commercial project awards.

Robinson Construction Limited won the retail project category for Pak'n Save Blenheim, in the Westwood retail centre. The company also scooped a silver award in the tourism and leisure project category for Grovetown's new Rangitane Cultural Centre.

Robinson Construction co-owner Phil Robinson, of Blenheim, said the win came as a surprise.

"We entered it to see how it measured up nationally," he said. "We're just delighted we got there with Pak'n Save."

The awards were held at the Auckland Museum on Friday night and saw 38 of the country's top commercial properties vying for awards in seven categories.

The award was also a win for Marlborough, Robinson said.

"We can be pleased that what we're building in Marlborough measures up nationally," he said. "We were lucky to be involved in the project."

The supermarket was described by the judges as a worthy recipient of the retail award.

"The local knowledge and experience of the Blenheim-based contractor, including precasting all panels in their own yard, was invaluable, and the standard of finish gives no hint of the time pressure driving the project."

Robinson Construction co-owner Nick Robinson project managed the construction, which took nine months to complete.

The pair were also pleased to have picked up a silver medal for the Rangitane Cultural Centre.

"We knew the design we had at the Rangitane centre was tremendous," Robinson said. "We were very hopeful it would do well."

Stonewood Homes Marlborough were also recognised, with a bronze medal in the tourism and leisure category for Manakau Lodge, a luxury bed and breakfast in Kaikoura.

Director David Campbell said he was ecstatic.

"This is unique, we'll never do it again because we never build commercials [properties]," he said.

The awards are run by the Registered Master Builders Association, and are the commercial off-shoot of the House of the Year contest. Judging criteria included design, contract management, construction and delivery.

The supreme award went to a bridge in Whangarei modelled on the traditional Maori fish hook.