The Charlie Challenger Award for landscape planning and George Malcom Award for design, celebrate supreme excellence in landscape architecture practice.  Nominations to receive a Supreme Award is at the judge’s discretion, selected from Tiers 2 & 3.

  • George Malcolm Award

    Recognises supreme excellence in landscape design. A winner will only be awarded if the entry attains a very high standard, and entries will only be selected from the finalist pool from the Tier 3 Landscape Design and Tier 2 Sustainability or Te Karanga o te Tui awards categories.

  • Charlie Challenger Award

    Recognises supreme excellence in landscape planning. A winner will only be awarded if it attains a very high standard, and entries will only be selected from the finalist pool of the Tier 3 Landscape Planning and Tier 2 Sustainability or Te Karanga o te Tui awards categories.



    Members can enter these categories separately.  At the judge’s discretion, entries from Tier 3 that exemplify best practice in these areas may be elevated to Tier 2.

  • Te Karanga o te Tui (TKT)

    Award Code: TKT

    Description: Projects will need to demonstrate best practice Iwi engagement, design expression or adherence to Te Aranga principles or similar.

    Specific Criteria: The key to achieving excellence in designing New Zealand cultural landscape is reliant upon successful engagement with Mana Whenua/ahi kā/home people in the first instance. All entries are required to demonstrate how this has been achieved, alongside how the project aligns with the following principles:

    Mana: Mana Whenua have been respected, recognised and actively engaged with the project, preferably led by Mana Whenua for the rohe.
    Whakapapa: Names and naming reference local associations.
    Tohu: The project acknowledges and incorporates the wider cultural landscape.
    Taiao: The project acknowledges and incorporates the natural environment.
    Mauri TuEnvironmental mauri (including the human environment) is enhanced.
    Ahi Kā: Design expression and artistic excellence is evident.
    Mātauranga: The project challenges, augments and extends the corpus of indigenous Aotearoa landscape architecture knowledge and experience.
    Hāpai: The project motivates and encourages Māori to engage.
    Wairuatanga: The project considers the concept of spiritual energy and dimension as a means for well-being.
    Kaitiakitanga: The promotion of stewardship/guardianship of the environment is evident across the entire project.

  • Sustainability (SUS)

    Award Code: SUS

    Description: Projects will demonstrate design, construction and/or long term management initiatives which:

     i.   reduce or minimise damage to the environment; and complement
          natural or existing environmental processes, and/or

    ii.   are restorative to natural processes associated with the site or with
          adjoining land or waterways.

    Specific Criteria: In addition to i) and ii), entries in the Sustainability Award category must also fulfil at least 3 of the requirements below:

    a) Longevity:
    Demonstrate how the project is intended to endure, reducing the need for early upgrades or replacement.

    ·     Projects must show a demonstrated understanding of whole of life’
          costs, and/or application of life-cycle analysis, relative to the scale
          and nature of the project.

    ·     If short term (pop up installations, temporary or gap-filler type
          projects) the project must minimise the ecological or carbon
          footprint for the duration, or demonstrate how it contributes to
          a wider or long term sustainability objective (for example
          ‘parklet’ initiatives reducing dependence on vehicles in a
          main street and adding vegetation).

    b) Certification:
    Adherence to sustainability ratings specific to landscape, achieves ISCA accreditation for sustainable infrastructure (roading or stormwater for example), Living Building Challenge, Green Star, LEEDS or other sustainable building certification or adopted processes as relates to landscape architecture.

    c) Embodied energy:
    Demonstrate how the project has reduced its carbon footprint through initiatives such as the use of alternative concrete additives, balancing cut and fill, selecting alternatives to steel, plastics or highly refined or manufactured products.

    d) Water:
    Demonstrate how the project reduces or negates harmful effects to natural systems though the management of stormwater, reduces the use or wastage of water, shows re-use of a water resource or promotes the long term sustainability of a waterbody

    e) Materiality and re-use:
    Demonstrate how the selection of materials, products and processes used in construction and fabrication are derived from renewable sources.

    ·    Incorporates re-claimed, re-purposed, recycled, upcycled (second life
         materials and/or component elements).

    ·    Project demonstrates re-use or anticipated breakdown for re-use at
         the end of the life expectancy of a site.

    f) Innovation and smart design:
    Use of new or innovative materials or methodologies (i.e. not commonly or previously used in landscape architecture) which especially reduce the use of resources or increase carbon absorption - such as planting methods, materials, mulch alternatives, extension of the raingarden concept, use of alternative energies etc.

    g) Sustainable management
    Demonstrate how management of the project/work reduces maintenance and future cost obligations, or contributes to the sustainability of larger physical or natural networks.

    NB: Projects applying this criteria will generally have adopted a long term approach to cost, community, environment and/or wider network impacts. This may apply to specific soft and hardscape elements (lighting, water features, surface treatments, street furniture etc.); or to a wider network of public spaces or policy (street tree policy, cycling network).


    These categories represent the depth and breadth of landscape architecture practice in New Zealand.

  • Student (STU)

    Award Code: STU

    Description: Entries, irrespective of the grade mark received for the work, will consist of varied content, from conceptual design thinking and visual communication through to written landscape planning and management documentation. Collaborative works will be accepted.

    Specific Criteria: Projects will be judged on their ability to demonstrate competency in the field of landscape architecture through creative endeavour, research and quality of design expression.

    Essential Criteria: 1–5

  • Unbuilt Visionary (UV)

    Award Code: UV

    Description: Includes the design and visual communication of anything within the extended realms of landscape architecture irrespective of scale, cost or ownership. Realization of the project must be unstarted at the time, although may be brought to fruition in the future.

    Specific Criteria: The documentation demonstrates a high level of design innovation and creativity, clarity of content and quality of design expression.

    Essential Criteria: 1, 2, 4

  • Residential – Single Dwelling and Multi-Unit (RES1 RES2)

    Award Code: RES 1

    Description: Single Dwelling includes the design of privately owned lots with a single dwelling – irrespective of scale, density or context.

    Award Code: RES 2

    Description: Multi-unit includes the design of land and facilities associated with private or publicly owned groups of 2 or more dwellings – irrespective of scale, density or context.

    Specific Criteria for RES 1 & 2: Projects will demonstrate how the design and built outcome enhances the lifestyles and quality of life for residents.

    Essential Criteria: 1–9 

  • Urban Spaces (URB)

    Award Code: URB

    Description: Includes the design of publicly owned streets, laneways, public open spaces, waterfronts.

    Specific Criteria: Projects will demonstrate how the design and built outcome contributes to the community and urban setting through the improvement of:

    • social interaction
    • economic activity
    • amenity 
    • accessibility
    • safety

    Essential Criteria: 1–9 

  • Institutional (INST)

    Award Code: INST

    Description: Includes design of publicly and privately owned land containing:

    • museums
    • libraries
    • art galleries
    • stadia and sports centres
    • education such as schools, tertiary campuses, early learning centres
    • health (including hospitals, clinics and rest homes)
    • other institutional landscapes not listed above

    Specific Criteria: Projects will demonstrate how the landscape contributes to the successful user experience, setting and operation of the facility.

    Essential Criteria: 1–9 

  • Commercial (COM)

    Award Code: COM

    Description: Includes the design of privately owned land containing shopping malls, business parks, individual commercial developments or groups of buildings with retail and/or office interfaces at ground and podium level.

    Specific Criteria: Projects will demonstrate how the landscape contributes to the successful user experience, setting and operation of the development through:

    • social interaction
    • economic activity
    • amenity
    • accessibility
    • safety

    Essential Criteria: 1–9 

  • Parks (PARK)

    Award Code: PARK

    Description: Includes public parks and reserves of any scale and context that are set aside and managed for community use.

    Specific Criteria: Projects will demonstrate how the space and/or facilities provide amenity and engage with the communities that they serve.

    Essential Criteria: 1–9 

  • Playgrounds (PG)

    Award Code: PG

    Description: Includes public and private children’s playgrounds of any type, scale and context.

    Specific Criteria: Projects do not need to achieve all of the criteria below, but must display multiple attributes from the list below to achieve an Award:

    Projects being considered for an Award should:

    •  Demonstrate how the playground provides an inclusive play space,
       that engages children in physical active, cognitive and social play;
    •  Demonstrate how the playground encourages and supports the
       child’s development of gross motor skills across a range of different
       muscle groups, through the equipment or structures provided;
    •  Demonstrate how the space and/or facilities engage with the
       communities they serve;
    •  Broaden the types of play available to users within one space
       (natural, recreational, inventive, educational), through diverse and
       flexible spaces, and multi-functional landscape elements;
    •  Encourage social interaction and shared play across age groups
       (inclusive of adults), and all abilities;
    •  Maximise the borrowed landscape to extend play opportunities
       which include existing or surrounding Park areas.

    Essential Criteria: 1-6, 8 & 9


  • Small Projects (SMALL)

    Award Code: SMALL

    Description: Includes the design of furniture, products, applications/technologies and any other small scale project not covered in other categories.

    Specific Criteria: Projects will demonstrate well thought out solutions to the design, documentation and fabrication/establishment of small built projects and may include stand-alone projects such as furniture design, tools or applications.

    Note: Projects need to be completed, and able to be viewed, visited or sufficiently understood by the judging panel. If this relates to a design technology, process or detail, it may require additional text or photos of it working on a site, or being employed through a drawing package through to construction for example.

    Essential Criteria: 1, 3-6 & 9  

  • Infrastructure (INFRA)

    Award Code: INFRA

    Description: Includes the provision of landscape architecture services on the design and delivery of transportation, energy, water and waste, slope and coastal stabilization, natural systems or any other form of infrastructure needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.

    Essential Criteria: 1–9 

  • Community Design (COMNTY)

    Award Code: COMNTY

    Description: Includes projects located anywhere in the world completed by a New Zealand based landscape architect which has been delivered to specifically match the design needs of local communities.

    This category applies equally to pro-bono work, and client funded projects - the emphasis is not on the scale or complexity of the project, but how it involved members of a local community in the landscape architectural process.

    In this context, a ‘community’ is a Marae, specific neighbourhood or community group, local residents, members of a school, sports association, senior citizens or other organisation which is linked to the landscape or design project through specific engagement in the design process, or involvement in other aspects of the project set up and delivery (construction works, art work, plant supply, landscape establishment etc).

    Awards will be considered for projects in this category which have actively engaged with residents, government agencies, NGO’s, Iwi, elders, volunteers, and advocacy or special interest groups.

    Projects must provide design documentation, policy frameworks, built aspects (hard and soft-scape elements) or other project content to completion, and cannot be bids or proposals completed for communities to deliver themselves.

    Specific Criteria: Projects must demonstrate all 3 attributes as listed below:

    1.   Sufficient focus around the role of the landscape architect throughout
         the project - meaning evidence of mentorship, design guidance,
         and/or relevant capacity building

    2.  Direct involvement of community members in the policy-making
         design, construction or environmental enhancement aspects of
         a landscape architecture project;

    3.  Measurable physical, cultural or commercial benefits to an
         identified community, beyond the immediate life of the landscape
         or design project.

    Essential Criteria: 1–9

  • Education and Research (ER)

    Award Code: ER

    Description: Covers research and scholarly work in landscape education.

    Specific Criteria: Must be either innovative or ground breaking research or demonstrate a measurable addition to New Zealand’s understanding of landscape architecture.

    Essential Criteria: 1, 5, 9

  • Strategic Landscape Planning (STRAT)

    Award Code: STRAT

    Description: Illustrating broad scale, area based landscape planning research, guidance and strategies, which influence landscape policy outcomes or land use at a national, regional, district or local level.

    Specific Criteria: By way of example, broadscale landscape characterisation and evaluation.

    Essential Criteria: 1-6, 8 & 9

  • Project Based Landscape Planning (PROJ)

    Award Code: PROJ

    Description: Defining the contribution of the landscape architect to designing, planning and managing effects, including approaches to avoiding, remedying or mitigating landscape, natural character and visual effects as well as the introduction of beneficial environmental effects (across all aspects of environment).

    Specific Criteria: Landscape evidence prepared for Environment Court hearings is only acceptable if it is part of a wider package focused on landscape issues. The hearing must have been completed, decision granted and decision accepted by all parties.

    Essential Criteria: 1-6, 8 & 9

  • Landscape Management (LMAN)

    Award Code: LMAN

    Description: Showing the role of the landscape architect in achieving effective,   sustainable and resilient long-term enhancement or management of a landscape.

    Specific Criteria: Projects will demonstrate the positive and effective involvement of the landscape architects input into the project and their role in relation to other experts - if any.

    Essential Criteria: 1-6, 8 & 9

  • Landscape Publications (LPUB)

    Award Code: LPUB

    Description: Documenting books, videos, think-piece articles, blogs or the like that promote or illustrate the profession or the landscape.

    Specific Criteria: A copy of the publication in its final intended format needs to be provided.

    Essential Criteria: 1-6, 8 & 9


    The Enduring Landscape Award, where nominations are made by NZILA members for projects that have stood the test of time – a period of 20 or more years.

  • Enduring Landscape Award (ENDURE)

    Award Code: ENDURE

    Description: Nominations are being sought by all members for an enduring piece of designed and managed landscape that contribute to the betterment of society or demonstrate great forethought. The built project should be at least 20 years old, still well maintained and utilized, and truly showcase visionary thinking and long term engagement. This is the chance for us all to remember those projects that continue to shape our lives and inspire us.

    Essential Criteria: 2, 3, 6, 7, 9