At the Dinner, held by the NZ Society of Local Government Managers (Taituarã), seven exceptional and innovative project winners were announced, including a supreme award winner. Also announced were recipients of a leadership award, several overseas exchanges and leadership scholarships, and a management challenge.

Waikato Regional Council took out the 2018 McGredy Winder Taituarã Local Government Excellence Awards ® Supreme Award for Kawe Kōrero which also won The Capability Group Award for Innovation in Council - Community Relations Award Category.

Kawe Kōrero is the Waikato Regional Council’s te Reo and tikanga Māori app for staff and elected members. Designed and built with the assistance of KIWA digital, the app is a practical tool to support confident engagement with Māori.

Judges described Kawe Kōrero as fundamental to local government.

“An understanding of te Reo and tikanga is essential to effective partnership and good engagement with Māori, said Raymond Horan, Taituarã’s Sector Improvement Manager.

“Kawe Kōrero has already received wide acclaim, and therefore the judges deemed it a deserving winner of The Capability Group Award for Innovation in Organisation and People Development and the Supreme Award.”

The app can be used in any situation where employees are engaging with Māori. It is this general application and the focus on the needs of those outside council that saw this entry stand out in this category.

Also announced on the night was Matt Keil of Southland District Council as the Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year; Bay of Plenty Regional Council as the winning team from the New Zealand leg of the Australasian Management Challenge, and the recipients of Taituarã’s Overseas Manager Exchanges and Leadership Scholarships.

“The Gala Dinner is a very special event for the local government sector” says Taituarã’s Chief Executive Karen Thomas.

“It recognises the outstanding contribution and commitment to communities. Throughout New Zealand local government professionals are working on inspiring and collaborative projects and investing in their professional development. We are proud to acknowledge and celebrate this, and the important impact that local government professionals have on the communities we all serve.”

The 2018 McGredy Winder Taituarã Local Government Excellence Awards ®

A record number of 41 entries were received this year across a diverse range of local authority services – from harbour remediation to dog control. The winner of the Supreme Award, selected from the six project categories, was Kawe Kōrero submitted by Waikato Regional Council.

Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award

This award, generously sponsored by Brookfields, was offered to Matt Keil, Senior Projects Engineer – Water and Waste Services, Southland District Council.

The judges said Matt’s strong leadership attitude and mindset came through in his application. He has a strong technical background and a commitment to relationship building.

The New Zealand leg of the Australasian Management Challenge

Bay of Plenty Regional Council was the winning team in this year’s New Zealand leg of the Management Challenge sponsored in New Zealand by JLT.

This year was a hotly contested challenge with many high calibre teams.

The judges were impressed by the calm, business-like attitude and well thought through team management of Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The group produced high quality reports across a number of areas, successfully using evidence-based research and information to back up their recommendations.

They will go on to the Australasian Finals where they will compete against the Australian state winners. Hastings District Council placed second and Otago Regional Council was third.

The other announcements made at Taituarã’s Gala Dinner were the six project category winners of the 2018 McGredy Winder Taituarã Local Government Excellence Awards ®:

The Capability Group Award for Innovation in Organisation and People Development Award Category Waikato Regional Council for their project Kawe Kōrero. The judges also commended Auckland Council for its Inclusive Auckland (Diversity and Inclusion) Framework.

LGFA Award for Transforming Service Delivery Award Category Jointly awarded to Whangarei District Council, for their Trilogy project and Wellington City Council for GoShift.

BERL Award for Collaborative Government Action Award Category Environment Canterbury on behalf of the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Alliance, Kaikōura Harbour Remediation Project.

The Giblin Group Award for Innovation in Council – Community Relations Award Category Kaikōura District Council for The Hospo Project – Feeding the Village. The judges also commended Ashburton District Council for Our Place.

Better Policy and Regulation Award Category New Plymouth District Council for the Draft Digital District Plan. The judges also commended Far North District Council for Ngā Kurī Auau O Kaikohe.

The Minister of Local Government’s Award for Innovation in Asset Management Award Category Auckland Council for the Community Facilities Asset Management Enhancement (CFAME) project.

Also announced were the following Overseas Manager Exchange and Leadership Scholarship recipients:

2018 Taituarã Overseas Manager Exchanges:

Civic Financial Services Overseas Manager Exchange to the United States
Sheryl Bryant, General Manager, City Future, Palmerston North City Council

JLT Overseas Manager Exchange to British Columbia
Glenn Young, Utilities Manager, Manawatu District Council

JLT Overseas Manager Exchange to Australia
Barbara Whitton, Customer Relationships Manager, Western Bay of Plenty District Council

JLT Overseas Manager Exchange to Australia (Queensland)
Marianne Cavanagh, Principal Advisor, Corporate, Whanganui District Council

These exchanges, which provide managers with the opportunity to focus on development of their managerial career though a short exchange with a partner manager in another country, are made possible through the support of Civic Financial Services and JLT.

2018 Taituarã Leadership Scholarships

The Skills Organisation Melbourne Business School Leadership Development Programme: Steven May, Chief Executive, Wairoa District Council

Leadership Development Centre (LDC) Leadership in Practice Programme: Phillip Hindrup, Transport Services Manager, Horizons Regional Council

These leadership scholarships are part of Taituarã’s LGLeadershipPathways initiative that provides opportunities for local government managers to develop their leadership skills.


For further information and photos, please contact Ann Thomson, Taituarã, 027 294 3852.

The full media pack is available here.