The Ministry of Health last night scooped the top award at the annual New Zealand Procurement Excellence Awards.

The Awards, hosted at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland, are in their fourth year running and were established to lift the standards of the country's procurement profession to improve long-term social, commercial and environmental success.

The Most Effective Teaming Project of the Year Award went to the Ministry of Health's national air ambulance team for their project which created the national Air Ambulance Service. This award was added this year.

The judging panel said they were impressed with the Ministry's approach to the project and the level of inter-agency collaboration required and displayed in a short space of time.

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"They corralled many different skill sets and effectively managed complexity and timeframes. This is probably the largest application in the world of this approach – very impressive," the judges noted.

Other winners of the night included Frae Cairns of Auckland Council who won Young Procurement Professional of the Year, Karen Dawson of the Ministry of Education who was named Procurement Professional of the Year, the Department of Corrections awarded Social and Environmental Impact of the Year and Oranga Tamariki who was given the Most Innovative Project of the Year award.

EY advisory partner Scott Blackwood, who is also the chair of the Procurement Excellence Forum, said this year's awards were dominated by the public sector and demonstrated solid procurement practice across Government.

"Each year New Zealand public services spend billions of dollars with third parties, and this year it is great to see how these groups are taking a collaborative and customer first approach to their procurement to deliver not only improved fiscal value, but better services for all New Zealanders," Blackwood said.

"We are seeing a trend towards organisations streamlining approaches and processes to better engage with their respective sectors to deliver empowered and sustainable communities to support New Zealand now and into the future."