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Christchurch team flies flag for NZ in Aussie council clash

21 May 2003

A Christchurch City Council staff team will represent New Zealand this weekend in an Australasian local government competition.

The Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) Management Challenge has been running since 1994. It aims to foster individual, team, and organisational development. Teams are set a range of challenges related to the kinds of issues council staff might face. Teams must deal with them in a set time.

The CCC team which won the New Zealand title was Allan Johnson, Angela Abel, Ian McKenzie, John de Zwart, Christine Byrch and Jaime Heywood. Two changes have been made to the team which is to travel to Adelaide for the two-day battle against the top teams from each of Australia’s states. Steve Bensberg and Julie Burgess, who acted as team mentor for the qualifying round, replace Ms Byrch and Mr McKenzie.

This year’s competition targeted financial skills, planning and presentation. The Christchurch City Council team was judged best among 21 from around the country, including one other from the CCC. In Australia, 74 teams entered.

Allan Johnson says the team put in plenty of practice and preparation for the event. The members’ wide range of backgrounds meant the team was able to deal with an array of issues. Another decision that paid off, he says, was to go into the competition with up-to-date technology - laptop computers, printers and a projector - which allowed the team to deliver strong presentations of the work it had done.

“ The local challenge was quite demanding and we expect the Australian final to be even more so,” Mr Johnson says. “On the other hand we enjoyed it and expect to have even more fun in Adelaide.”

  • The Australasian Finals of the LGMA Management Challenge are being held in Adelaide on 24 and 25 May. More information about the New Zealand finals can be found on the web at

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