The award recognised the 2016-17 planning and consenting stage of the project to build a new motorway connection between SH1 and SH18 on Auckland’s North Shore to complete the Western Ring Route, as well as increasing transport choices for everyone by extending the Northern Busway and creating over 7kms of new walking and cycling paths.The NCI project team was honoured last night at a ceremony on the Gold coast after competing against the best of the best from IAP2 award finalists around the world including New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States.In announcing the award, the judges said that “public participation practice at the 'empower' end of the spectrum is rare and has lifted the bar on tried and true practice and handed decision-making back to the communities with outstanding outcomes such as bike and walking tracks becoming standard for new motorways as an outcome of this excellent process”.“The engagement team had very clear objectives. The role of the public was well defined and there were higher levels of engagement for stakeholders who represented key groups and who would more likely influence decisions. They worked hard to empower, collaborate and involve.”As well as the top project award, NCI also won the Australasian Project of the Year across all categories and the individual Australasian Planning Category award.“This is not only a great result for the team and for the Transport Agency but most importantly for the communities we worked so closely with,” says the Transport Agency’s Chief Executive Fergus Gammie.“It shows the value of putting our customers at the centre of everything we do and it’s wonderful to see those efforts recognised on a world stage as we work to build a safe, connected transport system that works for everyone.”Mr Gammie says the awards are a reflection of outstanding team work across the Transport Agency. The awards are shared with the Transport Agency’s engineering consultant team from Aurecon NZ, who managed the delivery of the design, consenting and national Board of Inquiry approvals stage of this major project.The NCI project started construction in April this year and will be delivered in stages by the Northern Corridor Improvements Alliance over the next four years.IAP2 is an international association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation that affects the public interest in nations throughout the world. IAP2 awards annually a series of awards in Best Practice known as the Core Values awards.