Competitions - GovHack | UC Centre for Entrepreneurship


GovHack is an open government and open data hackathon which now attracts over 1000 participants each year across Australia and New Zealand.

GovHack was originally an Australian initiative that was first run as a one-off event in 2009 in Canberra. In 2012 the decision was made to run the event again in Canberra and Sydney and has continued to grow ever since. In 2013 the hackathon had extended to eight cities around Australia, and grew to a further 12 events in 11 cities in 2014. New Zealand locations were added last year, and this year for the first time a GovHack event was run in Christchurch and sponsored by UCE and other local organisations.

What is GovHack?

GovHack aims to bring people from all areas together for a weekend-long hackathon. It is an all-inclusive event and anyone can participate including creatives, coders, business people and story-tellers. Participants use open data to build creative and innovative solutions to problems.

Open data is anonymous data created by our government for us, about us. Open data can include data on pets, housing, history, commerce, occupations, entertainment, our communities, and our country.

Want to be involved in this competition and others? Sign up to be in our Case Competition Group or contact Michelle Panzer.

The Christchurch GovHack


gov hack photo

Christchurch GovHack 2017

Over the weekend of 28th – 30th of July, five entrepreneurially minded programmers from the University of Canterbury, Alistair Mcleay, Alex Miller, Reid Mcleay, Josh Bernasconi and Finbar Maunsell, participated in GovHack.

The team went to GovHack, not with the hope of winning, but in search of an opportunity to apply our programming and entrepreneurial skills to a real world situation. They considered it a great place to make contacts in the development world. Both programming and entrepreneurial skills were useful over the weekend.

On the Friday afternoon, the ‘bounties’ were released. These were the specific categories that the team could enter to try create the best answer to the problem the ‘bounty’ specified. The best project for each bounty would win a cash prize.

It required us to create a solution to increase the public’s contribution to charities since the advent of the non-cash society. The team decided to build a website to help connect charities, donors and philanthropists, which was actually an idea that a few of the team members had almost pursued during the Summer Startup Programme.

Alex Miller as the team’s “desginated computer” inputted ideas for what the end result was to be like and he was able to output those in the form of code. The end result was a wicked website that everyone was super proud of! (You can check it out at

Another part of the project that was crucial for winning was a well designed video. Alistair and Reid took charge on this and quickly created an awesome video. This was great as it relieved a lot of stress in, what is normally, the weaker area for any GovHack team. Check the video out on YouTube! donatr space - YouTube

The team was amazed at how stressless the weekend was. The team agreed it was due to good teamwork and a wise use of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Of course, there weren’t moments without stress, but they were quickly alleviated with humour, fresh air, and a dysfunctional, artificially intelligent chatbot designed by Alistair Mcleay.

Overall, it was a great weekend and one that more students, whether programmers or budding entrepreneurs, should partake in. We’ll definitely be back for more! 

Lastly, Alistair Mcleay, Alex Miller, Reid Mcleay, Josh Bernasconi and Finbar Maunsell were winners of the ‘Spirit of Govhack Award’. The projects will be judged and prizes given out in late August.


Christchurch GovHack 2016 UC student Finn Maunsell receiving Spirit of the Weekend award

Hosted by the Christchruch City Council, the theme of the 2016 Christchurch GovHack was "A Smart and Healthy City".

The event took place on the weekend of the 29th to 31st of July at the Christchurch City Council building on Hereford Street.

This year there were $10,000 worth of local prizes as well as bounties supplied by local organisations. Each bounty included a problem, a set of data, and a prize for coming up with the best solution. This year's bounties were supplied by:

Teams were formed and worked over 46 hours to determine which bounties they would go for, create their solution, and make a three-minute video presentation.

We had nine students from UC take part, they were:

  • Jamie                          
  • Finn                
  • Matthew
  • Hasitha                       
  • Rhys
  • Alex
  • Will                             
  • Logan             
  • Aaron

Team Project Examples

Here are a couple of examples of what some of the teams worked on over the weekend:

Team ROA

Rhys and Alex (UC students) were working with Olivia (UC alumni) to create a SmartCity dashboard of our city. Their dashboard offers real-time monitoring of Christchurch’s environment, which allows us as citizens to see changes in our environment and ensure a safe and healthy city for our future. Watch their video!

Team Euston.Fish

Will and Logan worked on two bounties. The first was an app to alert residents in flood-prone areas when they needed to evacuate from the nearby rising river. Watch their video! Their second was a visualisation of student travel routes throughout UC campus. This can be used to plan for construction, projects and making campus life easier. Watch their video!


Team Alpha Team Euston.Fish

At the end of the 46 hours, teams submitted their videos and a few prizes were awarded. We had two UC students take away notable prizes:

  • Finn Maunswell won person with the best spirit over the weekend; and
  • Will Richardson won best actor.

More Info:

National Awards

From Left: Alex, Rhys, Will, Logan, Aaron, Michelle and Jamie Michelle and Finn (winner of National Spirit of GovHack)

On the 1st of October, the National Awards were held at the Rydges Latimer Square in Christchurch. UC students did very well, taking away a number of awards.

UC Best Data Hack

$500 Westfield Gift Vouchers from UC Business and Law and UC Engineering
Will Richardson and Logal Glasson

Euston.Fish presentation

Most Promosing Student

$5,000 scholarship each for Summer Startup Programme from UCE
Finn Maunsell and Rhys Fitzgerald

Smart City Bounty

From Christchurch City Council
Team Alpha (including UC students Finna Maunsell and Jamie Bowers)

Best Data Hack Involving Environmental Data

From Environment Canterbury
Team Alpha (including UC students Finna Maunsell and Jamie Bowers)

National Spirit of GovHack

$1,000 cash
Finn Maunsell

More Info:

  • Centre for Entrepreneurship
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
  • +64 3 369 3403
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