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Waitakere Best Managed in Country

May 1, 2006

Media Release (For Immediate Release)

Waitakere Best Managed in Country

Waitakere City Council has the best management in the country- and that’s official.

A team of six staff have won the annual local government “Management Challenge”, which saw them pitted against 16 other Councils and local authorities from around New Zealand. Teams for the final had been selected after a series of regional competitions held over the past few months.

The challenge (run by Local Government Management Australia) required teams to come up with strategies and solutions "on the spot" to a series of problems- a test of ability to respond under pressure of time, working with a lack full information and personnel who may be unavailable.

It is designed to develop new skills in the areas of leadership, teamwork and issue resolution.

One scenario faced by the Waitakere team at the New Zealand finals involved a report which found the Council was not performing in terms of environmental outcomes.

"We had to brief the Mayor and then the press - our line was not to put any "spin" on it, that we had commissioned the report because we needed to know the facts and we had to act on the recommendations," says team member Monica Sharma.

The Waitakere team is: Peter Sewell, Dai Bindoff, Philip Brown, Ross McLeod, Setareh Masoud-Ansari, Monica Sharma and Bronwyn Allerby.

Waitakere City chief executive Harry O’Rourke says the win is tangible recognition of the calibre of staff at the Council.

“This team is made up of people from across the organisation, from the likes of consents area, project management and policy development, which shows the depth of outstanding ability we have,” he says.

The Waitakere team received an all-expenses paid trip to Perth (in late May) to represent New Zealand at the Australasian finals. That will see “Team Westies” up against state winners from around Australia.



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