top of page

LOD Awards now open

Celebrating small and large, new builds and maintenance, hardscaping and design projects, landscape businesses of all sizes are encouraged to nominate their best work for the Landscapes of Distinction Awards

Entries for the 2023 Landscape of Distinction (LOD) Awards opened 27 February and, with a closing deadline of 12 May 2023, interested businesses should get stuck in to preparing nominations to be in to win at the award ceremony on 2 September in Dunedin.

Following on from an incredible turnout in 2022, which saw more than 130 entries submitted, RML CEO Janine Scott says she’s confident the calibre of entries will only continue to grow.

“The LOD Awards, as well as the Young Landscaper of the Year Competition held the same weekend, are major highlights in Registered Master Landscapers’ annual calendar,” says Scott.

“The LOD Awards is New Zealand’s premier landscaping event, designed to highlight and recognise the level of excellence and innovation in landscape projects around the country, and the industry professionals who made them a reality.”

Each award is independently judged by a panel of leading landscape industry practitioners.

A category for every project

“LOD 2023 is open to projects of all levels, and we urge landscapers working on smaller projects to put their work forward for the ‘Construction Under $100,000’ category,” said Scott.

Categories include various project sizes and spend brackets across Residential, Commercial, Landscape Design, Construction, Horticultural Management and Maintenance and Environmental Revegetation.

“This broad range of categories and budgets ensures businesses involved in both large and small-scale projects have equal opportunity to compete in,” says Scott.

The design-only category introduced last year – in which students are asked to prepare a design to a brief set by the judges – will continue as a staple for the awards going forward.

“Adding this category was an important milestone for RML, as increasing our support for young people in the industry is a key focus,” explains Scott.

Entrants can enter projects into multiple categories and there is no limit on the number of projects that can be submitted.

A helping hand

To help businesses prepare a winning entry, Scott has confirmed there will be increased support through regional meet-ups and webinars – the kind of support that helped last year’s Supreme Winner decide to enter the awards for the first time.

“I wasn’t going to put us forward until I attended an RML webinar and we realised that our Bob’s Cove project would be a good fit,” says Green Therapy Director Bryce Coutler. “There was also more support available to guide us through the application process than I anticipated, which made things much easier.”

Coutler and his team were absolutely thrilled to come away with top honours and his team is now chomping at the bit to enter more categories this year.

Director of Luijten Landscaping Robert Luijten, whose business has entered and won various awards over the years, offered advice on how to stand out.

“My biggest practical tip would be don’t skimp on the photos,” he says. “Make sure to hire a professional photographer, who can create a library of great images for your application.”

Head Judge Penny Cliffin further explains why the initial submission is so important.

“We use an online application system, which means that only category finalist projects are visited, so thorough project documentation and photographs are extremely important,” says Cliffin. “Video is also a very powerful tool to demonstrate the spatial quality of design projects.”

She says that, based on the submission, judges should be able to assess the spatial and aesthetic qualities of the project, material selections, construction methods, attention to detailing. and maintenance standards, as applicable to the different categories.

Be in to win

RML chairperson Janet Clarke calls on landscapers to enter the awards and highlights a number of benefits to doing so.

“The LOD Awards are a great way for landscape companies to strut their stuff for the public, providing exposure and providing material for marketing campaigns,” says Clarke.

“It could also help build connections with other landscape companies and suppliers, who may be interested in working with you, or even help as a recruitment tool for new staff.”

For previous winners, a standout benefit has been the staff morale boost that comes with winning.

“It gives our whole team, from design through to landscapers, recognition for all the hard work they do throughout the year,” says Luijten.

“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.”

For more information go to

Registered Master Landscapers is committed to supporting landscape professionals and young future leaders.

For more information contact CEO Janine Scott on or phone 0275 444 090


bottom of page