Wao Summit 2023 Program Launch: Collective Climate Action

3 minutes read
Posted 23 August, 2023
Picture1 v5

The summit is a six-day festival of kōrero, workshops, films and tours.

Last night Wao Aotearoa announced an action-packed program for their annual Summit 2023.

The summit, run by non-profit Wao Aotearoa, is a six-day festival of kōrero, workshops, films and tours, dedicated to enabling our community to transition towards a regenerative future.

Not just this community, either; the summit sends its ripples across the country. It’s now in its sixth year and will be held from the 24th-29th October across Queenstown, Wānaka, Arrowtown and Glenorchy.

The week will also feature online a large selection of kōrero, workshops and films available to watch with an online ticket available for those outside the region.


Our world is changing fast. We know that we, too, need to make change. In fact, we’re all fired up; so what do we do next?

This is the question the Wao Summit is back to answer this October in the Southern Lakes.

It’s time to translate our desire to build a resilient future into meaningful action.

Wao co-founder Monique Kelly

According to Wao co-founder Monique Kelly, the 2023 summit will be all about bridging this gap between attitude and action.

“We’ll have a big focus on peer to peer learning, growing grass roots activity, and using the ‘what’s being done’ as a seed to inspire more action,” says Kelly.

This, she explains, will mean plenty of workshops to give people all the tools they need.

Kelly explains that the events will be focussed on four major themes, the first being collaboration and partnership. “How do we learn from each other?

There are a whole bunch of silos going on, but you need a cohesive picture to understand what’s happening in a community,” Kelly says.

Workshops will include topics like Governance for Purpose, Regenerative Tourism and Building Better.

The summit’s second theme is resilience. Adaptation is crucial as our climate changes around us.

“We’ll have kōrero led by those affected by our recent national weather events, as well as discussions on how to have a game plan ready for when we need it,” says Kelly.

Other topics will include food resilience, changing demographics due to climate migration, balancing our energy requirements with the urgent need to reduce emissions, and what a wellbeing economy might look like.


Our third main theme is climate change and biodiversity. “What did we look like before,” says Kelly, “and what could we look like again?”

Among the events will be a close look at the plastics in our waterways with Veronica Rotman and hearing from what’s happening in our communities to reduce emissions.


The summit’s final theme is the circular economy, with workshops for those in the building industry, tourism and for the general public on how to live lightly.

There will also be some pecha kucha-style Tiny Talks from local circular economy heroes and a raft of other meaty topics.

As Kelly says, what we face is an enormous task, but we all have our unique part to play.

As well as events for the whole community, there’ll be workshops designed specifically for the tourism industry, building sector, businesses, governance, youth and the rural sector.

The Sustainable Communities Tours will be back, visiting the nuclei of grassroots action in Wānaka, Queenstown, and this year, Glenorchy.

As with any goal, accountability is key, and the Wao Summit gives us a chance to check in, compare notes and share inspiration. “It’s a look at what’s been done over the year, where we’re at now, and where we’re going,” says Kelly. “It’s key to building and maintaining momentum.”

Early Bird tickets are on sale now and available until 8th September, saving you 15% on your tickets. Let’s come together and turn the talk into the walk. See you at the summit.

When: 24th-29th October Where: Events taking place in Wanaka, Queenstown, Glenorchy and Arrowtown and Online

Tickets: www.wao.co.nz



Related articles

Latest issue

Issue 956 Read Now

Last week’s issue

Issue 955 Read Now


Download or update to the new Queenstown App today



The Lakes Weekly is part of Queenstown Media Group (QMG).

QMG is Queenstown’s leading locally owned and operated media company with print, online and social platforms that engage locals with what they care about — everything local!

The Lakes Weekly delivers stories and news that connects with local so they come away each week better connected to their community. Advertising sits within this curated content environment, and it’s a trusted relationship between readers and the Lakes Weekly. Advertisers benefit from the association with the LWB brand values.

The Lakes Weekly is hand delivered to every business in Queenstown, Arrowtown, Frankton, Five Mile Remarkables Park and Glenda Drive on Tuesday. Copies are available in service stations, libraries and drop boxes throughout the region and every supermarket throughout the Queenstown basin and Wanaka.

Online the issue is available Monday afternoon, on lwb.co.nz and the Qtn App.


Printed copies
each week


Estimated weekly
Read the
Latest issue