What role can you play in protecting our special place?

Collaboration & Partnership

Community Catchment Plan

Community Wellbeing


Healthy Ecosystems

Jobs For Nature

Safe Recreation

Social Wellbeing

Take Action

Tourism and Recreation

kids jumping off a jetty, enjoying summer
Photo by: Deanna Gerlach
With summer in full swing, we hope you and your whānau have been out enjoying our lakes and rivers here in the Upper Clutha. After a restorative few weeks away, the WAI team are back at work and looking forward to the year ahead.


The importance of water conservation

tap with water flowing out

Did you know that Queenstown Lakes residents are among the highest users of water in Aotearoa?

Our households use an average of 440 litres of water per day, compared to the national average of 281.8 litres per day, a whopping 56% more water than the average user!

As the hot, dry summer continues in our region, it is more important than ever to think responsibly when it comes to personal water usage.

Water restrictions for Queenstown Lakes District

QLDC water restriction levels explained

We are currently at Water Alert Level 1 with other areas in our district at Alert Level 2. Stay up to date on the changing restrictions and best practices by visiting the QLDC website.


Screenshot of a summary of CCP action # 52

Action 52 of the Community Catchment Plan highlights our goal of expanding engagement on water quality and conservation in our region, with an emphasis on everyday things we can all do to help.


A great place to start

Picture of a lady looking at Lake Hāwea

Our He Mahi Ka Taea E Koe (What You Can Do) page is now live on our website!
Learn practical ways to participate in our collective journey towards healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing for future generations.

screenshot of reels

Keep an eye on our summer socials (Instagram and Facebook) as we continue to pack them full of learning opportunities and initiatives for the entire whānau. WAI Wednesdays are weekly water-related tips for our community in the form of video reels. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @waiwanaka and check them out if you haven’t already!

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Training to support our mahi

JFN crew with certificates

Our Jobs for Nature team have gained many valuable skills, completing a range of qualifications and courses across the various workstreams we undertake.

In the last 6 months, our field team have undergone, or are currently completing:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Tree Felling and Clearing (Non-Production) Level 3
  • Light Utility Vehicle in the Primary Industry (Level 3)
  • 4WD Vehicle Off Road in the Primary Industry (Leve 3)
  • Electric Fishing and Fish Identification
  • New Zealand Certificate in Rural Pest Operations (Level 3)
removing wilding pines
electric fishing for biodiversity monitoring
4WD driving through mud
someone setting a trap


‘Our Place’ returns for the Wānaka A&P Show

OUR PLACE is back! We are excited to announce that Our Place will be back for the 2023 Wānaka A&P Show, set to take place on the 11-12th of March.

Our Place is a group of community-based organisations that have come together to create a space for interactive and fun learning for all ages. We aim to show our community how land, water, fauna, climate and us humans are all connected. The groups involved for this year’s Our Place event include:
WAI Wānaka, Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust, Grow Wānaka, Wānaka Backyard Trapping, Protect Our Winters NZ, Forest and Bird, Kiwi Conservation Club, Mount Aspiring College, Wānaka Community Workshop, Southern Lakes Sanctuary and more!

A huge thank-you goes to The Lion Foundation who are helping to fund our collaborative showcase. We can’t wait to see you there!

Hay there!

Our Place is on the hunt for hay bales to use in our showcase at the Wānaka A&P Show. If you have a few bales that you wouldn’t mind lending, please email: jaylene@waiwanaka.nz.

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