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Landscape Views - Issue 18

This is a column by landscapers, for landscapers. In it, you’ll find knowledge, views and insights from professionals just like you, who are currently working in the industry

Q. Have you ever entered the RML Landscapes of Distinction awards?

Green Therapy

Interviewee: Bryce Coutler – Director Location: Christchurch

Staff: 7

We entered the RML Landscapes of Distinction (LOD) Awards for the first time in 2022 and came away as Supreme Winner, which was a huge surprise to us, as we’d only entered into two categories (Horticulture and Environment).

I wasn’t going to put us forward until I attended a webinar by RML and we realised that our Bob’s Cove project would be a good fit. There was also more support available to guide us through the application process than I anticipated, which made things easier, although my tip would be to keep all your project documentation if you intend to apply.

We entered the awards because we’re very proud of our crew and the work they did on Bob’s Cove. Every single staff member played an important role in the final project and we wanted to show off their expertise. Having won once, we’re chomping at the bit to enter into the design and construction categories to display our staff's excellent work!

We’ve been an RML member for one year, and I wanted to join the RML to show clients that we’re achieving a certain level of professionalism, and that our work is of a high standard. The awards are a good way of doing that, but it’s not the only benefit of our membership. I also thought that it could be a good recruiting tool as we try to attract staff in the future as well.

Luijten Landscaping

Interviewee: Robert Luijten – Director Location: Auckland

Staff: 40

We’re big fans of the LOD Awards and we will continue to enter our favourite projects because it gives our whole team, from design through to landscapers, recognition for all the hard work they do throughout the year.

It’s always a proud moment when you win an award for one of the projects you’ve completed. Celebrating success doesn’t happen enough in this industry, so the awards provide a great way to compare projects nationwide and gain recognition for those completed to the highest standards.

The awards are a big part of the benefits we receive as part of our RML membership; however, we also value being part of a national organisation representing landscaping professionals. We train our own staff, and we love the fact they know they’re being trained by a registered and professional organisation.

To anyone thinking about entering the awards, I’d say to give it a go. I would love to see the process simplified further because there is a lot of project information required, but it is worth it in the end to get the recognition.

My biggest practical tip would be don’t skimp on the photos. Make sure to hire a professional photographer, who can create a library of great images for your application, and for advertising and online marketing. We've even used them to wrap our vans – now that’s a way to stand out from the crowd!


Interviewee: Euan Milne – Contractors Manager

Location: Nelson

Staff: 18

We haven’t entered the LOD awards before and, to be honest, it’s probably just a bit of laziness on our behalf! Another small part of it is that the entries are always at such a high level that it can be intimidating to put yourself next to those businesses.

Having said that, we’ve just completed an interesting project for Nelson City Council that we want to look at entering into the 2023 LOD awards. The project is called Te Pā Harakeke and it’s a big landscape revitalisation project that we’re pretty excited about.

We’ve been RML members for some time now, so it’s a bit of an exciting step to enter the awards for the first time and pit ourselves against the best landscapers across the whole country! It’ll also be good to give our staff some recognition for their efforts. Plus, we might be able to use it for marketing down the line – even if we are flat out at the moment!

For us, the most important part of being an RML member is gaining the recognition that comes with being a member of a professional organisation. The awards are secondary to that, even if it’s a nice extra.


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