Community Groups

There are a range of other community groups involved in looking after our water, environment and community. Many of them have opportunities for volunteering. Check out what they’re doing!

Guardians of Lake Wānaka

The Lake Wānaka Preservation Act was enacted in 1973 to protect the natural state of Lake Wānaka. Guardians were appointed to advise the Minister of Conservation over:

  • Preventing Lake Wānaka from being impounded, controlled or obstructed;
  • Preventing the natural rate of flow from the lake from being varied or controlled;
  • Preserving the lake level and shoreline in their natural states;
  • Maintaining and improving (where possible) the quality of water in the lake.

The Guardians of Lake Wānaka have a direct responsibility to advise the Minister over issues affecting the purposes of the Act, or the recreational use of the lake and to liaise with the Otago Regional Council over matters which may affect the lake. Conversely, the Regional Council is also required to consult the Guardians when considering resource consent applications which may affect the lake.

You can contact the guardians of Lake Wānaka via Kimberley Parlane on

Download the latest report for July 2021 – June 2022 here.

Guardians of Lake Hāwea

The Guardians of Lake Hāwea aim to ensure that Lake Hāwea, its surrounds, its water quality and its biodiversity and ecosystems are maintained, and managed sustainably and safely for the benefit of all.

You can contact the guardians of Lake Hāwea via Alison Brown on

Friends of Bullock Creek

Bullock Creek is an important urban catchment, providing a quiet sanctuary for Wānaka residents and visitors alongside habitat for fish and birds. Working with volunteers, Friends of Bullock Creek have constructed a walkway on land owned by Otago Fish and Game, passing through wetlands featuring significant riparian planting and winding beside Bullock Creek, a nursery for brown and rainbow trout.

Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust

A Wānaka community-based native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin (Upper Clutha region) and uses these plants for localised native habitat restoration. Te Kākano leads the planting workstream for the Wānaka Water Project.

Shaping our Future

Working towards achieving their long term community vision of “Spectacular environments, enterprising people, exceptional solutions” in the Queenstown Lakes District community, Shaping our Future formed the Upper Clutha Freshwater taskforce in 2018. The taskforce was comprised of volunteers from a range of backgrounds and committed to a sustainable and healthy future for freshwater. The taskforce has completed a report reflecting the views of the Upper Clutha community and their future goals for freshwater.

The Wānaka Community Workshop

Wānaka’s first Community Workshop. A place for the community to make, build, wire, sew, turn, weld and share. Shoulder to shoulder for fun, resilience, skills and connection. With a vision to reduce building waste going to landfill, the workshop utilises materials donated by local builders and the community to create things like rodent traps that can be purchased and help fund the workshop.

There are regular sessions. Check out the website or email


The Touchstone Project represents a practical opportunity for the Lakes community to become engaged in actively helping their lake. By establishing a community project focused on what they do in, around and for the lake environment – the Touchstone Project will work to act on local initiatives and support those having a positive impact on the lake.