Manawatu District Council Regulatory Manager, Karel Boakes, has been awarded an Overseas Manager Exchange to New South Wales, Australia by the NZ Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM).


The Exchange, sponsored by AskYourTeam, provides a hosted visit to New South Wales and a reciprocal visit to New Zealand. The aim of the Exchange is to provide a leadership and development experience for a local government professional. 

The judges were impressed with Karel’s commitment to continuous improvement and for providing clear guidance and leadership to her teams to enable them to deliver for the community.    

“Karel clearly articulated her interest in resilience to natural events, growth, and digital services in the regulatory space”, said Jenny Spencer, SOLGM’s Workforce Leadership Manager. 

“This Exchange will give her the opportunity to seek new ideas around these challenges”. 

SOLGM’s Chief Executive, Karen Thomas said that the Overseas Manager Exchanges provide a valuable opportunity to learn about local government in another country and congratulated Karel. 

“Karel has a very broad range of experience from across the local government sector and will share the learnings that this professional development opportunity provides.  

“At a time when local government professionals are working tirelessly to provide services and support to their communities, it is great to be able to announce this news. 

“We are grateful to AskYourTeam for their support.” 

Also announced today were the six category winners of the 2020 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®, including a Supreme winner, the Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award, several other Overseas Manager Exchanges (sponsored by Civic Financial Services, AskYourTeam and Marsh), the Skills Organisation Melbourne Business School Leadership Scholarship, the SOLGM Distinguished Management Award, and the President’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to SOLGM. 

SOLGM’s annual Gala Dinner event was cancelled due to COVID-19, and so award recipients were announced online this year.