Photo: Hauraki District Council Chief Executive Langley Cavers watches on as the Hiko Hauraki team are presented with the winning trophy from Taituarā Chief Executive, Karen Thomas.

The announcement was made during the LG Professionals Australia National Gala Awards Evening held virtually earlier this week.

The team won the New Zealand leg of the Challenge (sponsored by Marsh) in July and went on to compete virtually with Australian teams.

Hiko Hauraki team member, Grace Davies, said the team were very shocked by the win.

“The final Challenge tasks were really challenging and with the event being held virtually we had no idea what we were up against with the Australian teams. We were so stoked to win!”

Taituarā’s Chief Executive, Karen Thomas, is also thrilled with the win.

“The Management Challenge has been won by a New Zealand team six times in the last 20 years, and we have also had eight top three placings over this time.

“This makes us the most successful ‘state’, or in our case, ‘country’, to take part!”

Lead Facilitators of the 2020 Australasian Management Challenge, Jim Myhill and Jane Trotter, commented on the winning team: "Hauraki District Council were the very deserving winners of the Australasian Management Challenge. The team performed consistently well across all the live and written tasks and demonstrated creativity, strategic thinking, the ability to problem solve and a sound understanding of the challenges facing the local government sector.

A characteristic often displayed by only the highest performing teams, they gave the illusion that they simply had more time to prepare task responses than the other teams - as their responses were more consistently complete, well developed, professionally presented, and included more creative ideas.

Overall the team displayed a very professional and polished performance throughout the Challenge - and are to be congratulated on their consistently high standard."

Registrations for the 2021 Management Challenge are now open, and all councils are encouraged to take advantage of this fantastic experience that provides both team and individual skills development opportunities.

Grace Davis gained a lot of confidence from the experience.

“Give it a go! It was a lot of fun and a great way to gain a greater understanding of local government and learn more about the work that my colleagues in different parts of council do.”

The Australasian Management Challenge provides real-life problem-solving experiences for local government professionals, as well as opportunities to develop leadership, communication and analytical skills. Teams must tackle a quick succession of real life scenarios based on the kinds of management challenges that may arise day-to-day in the local government environment.