NKBA is proud to introduce the 2024 Excellence in Design Awards judging panel, a mix of some of the brightest stars in the industry. This year we're also excited to add a special guest judge to the lineup!

Morgan Cronin, Cronin Kitchens
Winner of the 2023 Supreme Kitchen Design Award

Morgan Cronin is the Director of Cronin Kitchens, an Auckland-based company he established at just 20 years old. Still going strong after 35 years, Cronin Kitchens is known throughout the country for its beautiful, considered designs.

Having won the Supreme Kitchen Design Award an incredible five times, along with multiple other local and international awards, this is also Morgan’s fifth foray into judging the Eid Awards.

A cabinet maker by trade, Morgan is as passionate and knowledgeable about the quality of the production process as he is about design. Morgan says that “being in complete control of every detail from the design to the formulation of dimensions and details of every single piece of every cabinet that makes up a Cronin Kitchen, from on site preparation and measure, to manufacture and installation is why my kitchens are perfectly fitted within their surroundings. Quality never goes out of style!”

Drawing on his extensive experience in all aspects of design and manufacturing, Morgan’s goal is to continue to be inspired and innovative and to meet the needs of his clients.

Alongside his passion for kitchens and his family, Morgan has been a keen surfer for the past 47 years and still sees himself as a proud “frothing grom” (an enthusiastic young surfer)!

Davinia Sutton, Detail by Davinia Sutton
2023 Designer of the Year

Winning a host of Eid awards in recent years, including 2023 Designer of the Year and 2023 Supreme Bathroom Design, Canterbury-based designer Davinia Sutton brings a wealth of knowledge to the panel with her extensive experience as both a winning entrant and a judge.

With the backbone of a Diploma in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Spatial Design, Davinia has been in the industry for 22 years, in business since the age of 23 and operating ‘Detail by Davinia Sutton’ for the past 15 years.

Based in Merivale, Christchurch, Davinia's design practice is a high-end bespoke interior architecture business with projects across New Zealand, specialising in the ‘hard spaces of the home’: kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, dressing rooms, media rooms, and study areas.

Davinia enjoys giving back to an industry that has grown her business and provided a launching pad for her success. She has a passion for everything design and as the current Vice President of NKBA, she has a sincere desire to see NKBA extend further, building on the foundations that have been created and growing them to a level that it is truly respected amongst the industry and consumers alike.

Trudi Rabbitte, Rabbitte Joinery
Winner of the 2023 Kitchen Distinction Award - up to $30k

Hawke's Bay designer Trudi Rabbitte may be a new face to the judging panel but she's no stranger to the EiD podium, winning a variety of awards for the past five years in a row.

Trudi’s commitment to excellence is evident in her consistent industry recognition. With a passion for creating stunning spaces for her clients, Trudi is well on her way to achieving her goal of leaving a mark on the New Zealand design scene for her stunning designs.

Trudi brings a wealth of industry experience and knowledge to the judging panel, thanks to her dual roles as designer and co-owner of Rabbitte Joinery. Trudi understands the complexities of design from a construction perspective and is an expert in the technical aspects behind producing beautiful and functional kitchens and joinery.

Outside of work, you'll find Trudi spending quality time at the lake with her family.

Glen Johns, Kitchens by Glen Johns

Glen has been in the kitchen business all his working life having trained as a joiner. He became a kitchen designer 30 years ago and gained the Certified Kitchen Designer qualification.

Glen has especially enjoyed the many relationships he has made over the years with his clients, many of them repeat clients, which further instils his passion for kitchens and bathrooms.
Glen's career highlights so far include winning over 25 awards, among them the International Designer Award for Kitchens in 2004, and winning NKBA's EiD Designer of the Year three times.

Glen says he is “stoked to see many up and coming designers paving their way to success" and he looks forward to judging this year’s NKBA Excellence in Design awards.

Gavin Hepper, Concepts by Gavin Hepper

NBKA is pleased to welcome Gavin back to the EiD judging panel for a second year. Based in Australia, Gavin has also judged the Australian KBDi National Awards on multiple occasions, as well as the HIA (Housing Industry of Australia) Awards.

As the Creative Director and founder of Concepts by Gavin Hepper, an award-winning bespoke interior design studio specialising in kitchen and bathroom design, Gavin brings a unique combination of over 27 years of trade and design experience to his clientele and the industry with a trade qualification in shop fitting and detailed joinery, and CKDAU accreditation.

Gavin is a regular participant in industry professional panel discussions and presentations, undertaking many speaking engagements on interior design.

An award-winning designer, recognised both nationally and at an international level, Gavin considers giving back to the industry as imperative to support and mentor talent within the design community and supporting industry bodies and associations. Gavin strives to improve and educate the kitchen and bathroom industry to ensure it continues to be an innovative, ethical, and professional industry for the generations to come.

A fun fact about Gavin - when he's not wearing a signature pair of cool kicks, he loves to feel the sand between his toes.

Karen Walker, Special Guest Judge

We're thrilled to announce Karen Walker as a special guest judge for the 2024 NBKA Excellence in Design Awards.

Karen Walker is a designer, entrepreneur, businessperson, storyteller, marketer, brand and icon.
For more than 30 years she's nurtured and built her brand and business which are known for their clever design, adventurous collaborations, imaginative storytelling and constantly redefining approach to retail.
Globally, Karen's influence has seen her consistently ranked in The Business of Fashion's powerhouse BoF 500, reflecting her position as on the world stage.

Karen will be joining the panel at the final stage of judging to share her opinions on the top entries from a design and style perspective.

We're also pleased to introduce our technical judging panel, Milvia Hannah, Ingrid Geldof, and Davinia Sutton.

This expert panel will work together to ensure a detailed review and independent score of the technical elements of each entry. This process ensures that entries meet the technical skill level required to make it to the next round of judging.

Milvia Hannah, German Kitchens

Milvia is an Elite Designer of NKBA and an NKBA Life Member. She tutors the second-year block course for the New Zealand Diploma in Kitchen Design.

Milvia has worked in the kitchen and bathroom design industry for over 30 years. During this time, Milvia has gained a host of qualifications and awards, including Certified Master Kitchen Designer NZ, Certified Master Bathroom Designer NZ, NZ Diploma in Kitchen Design, NKBA Kitchen Designer of the Year, NKBA Bathroom Designer of the Year, and the NKBA Wellington Chapter Recognition Award.

Being an active member of NKBA, Milvia has held a variety of roles on the NKBA Executive Board, including Vice President, President, and Education Representative.

Milvia’s main passion is design, and she appreciates and enjoys working in an industry that allows expression of style, skill, and talent, in an ever-changing landscape.

Using her experience and knowledge, Milvia focuses on transcending and enhancing client’s living spaces, to create a balanced environment.

Ingrid Geldof, Ingrid Geldof Design

Ingrid is an Elite Designer of NKBA and an NKBA Fellow. She tutors the first-year block course for the New Zealand Diploma in Kitchen Design.

Ingrid trained as an interior designer, working for various kitchen and bathroom design companies before becoming self-employed in 1992. Since then, she has employed and trained many talented students who have also gone on to be very successful designers.

Ingrid has worked together with Rachel Barnes, her co-designer, for 21 years, and together they have been a very successful formula. In 32 years, Ingrid’s business of creating interior spaces and joinery design has accumulated over 55 design and business awards, including NKBA EiD Designer of the Year.

An active member of NKBA, Ingrid was the Canterbury Chapter Chair for many years and has served on the NKBA Executive Board, including holding the post of President.

Ingrid is passionate about furthering the benefits and services NKBA provides to its members.

Davinia Sutton, Detail by Davinia Sutton

Davinia Sutton, also an Elite Designer of NKBA, will serve as a technical judge as well as a main judge for this year’s Excellence in Design Awards.

Davinia will act as a conduit between the two panels, ensuring consistency and flow in the judging process.