Queenstown Lakes District Culltural Development Plan 20190222 800 0x64x1599x1002 q85


“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”

May 20 2019 by Jay Cassells

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

This, we think, is new and different and very positive. A newly formed charitable trust called the Three Lakes Cultural Trust is developing the district’s first Cultural Master Plan.
Anyone who lives or visits here knows the issues caused by unplanned growth and these are increasingly being voiced by the community. The Three Lakes Cultural Trust is concerned with those issues which affect the cultural well-being of all the district’s communities, the provision of cultural resources for them, and very essentially, the diversification of our economy. The big new idea is to have a well-considered and executed district wide plan. It is to help and better enable our communities and any organisations and individuals involved or interested in arts and culture. To do this, we must first gather facts and opinions to establish what we have and what we need and the trust has commissioned the highly regarded AEA Consulting to do this work.

This is different. The trust and AEA’s work is independent although it is supported by Council. It is not funded by Council or ratepayers. The Trust is philanthropically funded by residents who are serious about long-term planning in our district. This project is not to compete with any of the very valuable cultural activities or organisations presently at work, but to assist and enable them and to help ensure provision (including funding), is made for arts and culture in the district’s future. The definition of culture is very wide – think LUMA, Michael Hill Violin Competition, Jazz Festival and Festival of Colour. From theatre shows to dance groups, art exhibitions to workshops – we need to know everything this community values or needs. Your views and those of the district’s communities are very much sought.

There are two immediate ways we ask you, please, to be in this: complete the short online survey (research.net/r/qldculturesurvey – we understand survey fatigue, but it’s short and important!), and come to one of the Community Voice Meetings.
These will take place each evening, Monday 27th May through until Thursday 30th May from 6.30pm – 8pm in Queenstown (QRC), Glenorchy (Camp Glenorchy), Wanaka (Lake Wanaka Centre) and Arrowtown (Athenaeum Hall).


In these ways, you can help inform AEA, the Trust and the plan and discuss and augment the results of the survey. Over the following weeks AEA will conduct various other community consultations and conversations, then collate this into a fact-based “indicative”, (it will present options), cultural plan (expected in Spring this year).

Looking after the resident communities and providing a different and better experience for visitors is clearly an idea whose time has come - and not a moment too soon. The need to diversify the economy is crucial. We aim to bring together all of these conversations which community groups have been having - some going back a long way. At its heart, this is about long term planning, specifically for the cultural and economic well-being of the district’s communities.

A vibrant cultural life is the foundation of a community’s economic and social wellbeing.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If you have any questions please contact

Jay Cassells 

- Jay Cassells
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