Still need convincing about the value of entering a team in the 2021 Management Challenge? Hear from 2020 winners Hauraki District Council on what forged such a memorable experience for them.

How did you feel when your team was announced as the winner?

Excited and a little overwhelmed. I was also incredibly proud of the team, and happy that a small team from New Zealand had managed to win the Australasian Challenge.

How significant was the win in 2020 of all years?

2020 was definitely an interesting year, so any positive outcomes were especially welcome.

What did you learn from participating in the Final? 

I learned that our team are very adaptable. The tasks in the final didn’t really fall into our areas of expertise as well as they did in the regionals, and it was great to see the team applying knowledge and techniques they had learned through the year to tackle tasks they were not as comfortable with. I also learned that despite being a small council we still have some great people that are capable of achieving at a high level.

What surprised you? 

I was surprised by the high level of competition, both in the regional competition and in the finals. I was also surprised by how much we managed to get through in a day!

What was your favourite task in the Final, and why? 

Our team really enjoyed the task set by JLT. Having the video component and a well-constructed fiction was a nice break from the other tasks. It was certainly one of the more interesting tasks on the day. 

How do you think what you learnt from the Live Task will be used back at your council? 

Some of the research we did into career paths and ways that people end up at council were of interest to our recruitment team, so we have passed that information on already.

On a personal note, how do you think being part of the winning team in the Australasian Final will help your career?

I am relatively new to council, so participating in (and winning) the Challenge has been a great way to learn a lot more about different aspects of council. I think having ‘Australasian Management Challenge Winners – Team Leader’ might also look good on the CV when the time comes.

How important was your team’s mentor ahead of the Final? 

Our mentor was crucial to our success. None of us had been involved in a Challenge before, so her insight was incredibly valuable. Our mentor also organised training and practise, and that preparation was a big factor in our win.

Will any of you be mentors for next year? If so, what do you hope to gain from that experience? 

It is likely that one of us will mentor a team in the next year or two. I think mentoring offers the chance to participate without some of the stress of actually being involved in the day. Mentoring will also give more of a chance to practise/implement a different set of skills.

Would you like to enter a team? 

We still have space for one more team for the 2021 Management Challenge. Find out more about how to enter