What We Do


Our purpose is to enhance the lives of people in and around Wānaka and Queenstown through fostering new arts and culture initiatives. We work with our communities and council in the areas of infrastructure, connectivity and growth within the creative sector:

  • Enhancing community and social wellbeing in the district 
  • Increasing economic diversity by promoting and encouraging the growth of the creative industries 
  • Advocacy for the creative community, engaging in formal QLDC planning processes.
  • Facilitation of partnerships between key stakeholders for the development, funding and delivery of key programmes and infrastructure 
  • Raising and distribution of funds for cultural programmes and infrastructure

With the Cultural Masterplan as their guiding star, our trustees set out the priorities each year in our Annual Plan.


Innovative • Inclusive • Respectful
• Collaborative • Visionary


By achieving its objectives, the Trust expects its activities to increase social wellbeing by:

  • Increasing the vitality and distinctiveness of civic spaces by animating them with public arts and arts programming.
  • Increasing community pride and social cohesion, plus attraction to visitors, through the full and effective storytelling of the Three Lakes District, expressing its distinct identity more proactively.
  • Offering amenity value to residents by providing the infrastructure and support to encourage a wider and deeper range of cultural activities – both amateur and professional, plus ensuring that geographic and social equity plays a part in access to artistic activities.


Addressing gaps in cultural provision, including but not limited to the following:

    • The public appreciation of tangible and intangible Māori cultural heritage in general and contemporary Kāi Tahu culture in particular.
    • Performance spaces suitable for dance, unamplified music and drama.
    • Non profit gallery space.
    • Rehearsal spaces, studio and live/work spaces.
    • Maker spaces (work spaces for artists, artisans and designers).
    • Access to equipment such as 3D printing.
    • Introducing internship programmes addressing gaps in art and culture delivery.


The Three Lakes Cultural Trust commissioned London and New York-based global consultancy firm AEA Consulting to produce the district’s first independent Cultural Masterplan, released February 2020.

Community Voice meetings were held in Queenstown, Glenorchy, Wānaka and Arrowtown in May 2019. These fact-finding sessions were integral in the development of the Masterplan, which details the current state of the region’s arts sector and provides recommendations to support and encourage creativity in our communities.

The Cultural Masterplan provides a baseline and key recommendations to inform the Trust’s leadership and advocacy activities. It also informs a longer-term funding strategy focusing on initiatives that build the collective muscle of the district’s arts and culture community and addresses any gaps in existing funding channels for arts and culture.

Although independent of Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), the Three Lakes Cultural Trust and Cultural Masterplan have the full support of QLDC, which intends to align with the recommendations of the plan.

Draft Cultural Masterplan 2020 Documents:

  • Strategic Summary 2020 click here
  • Draft Cultural Plan (February 2013 2020)  click here
  • Appendix 1: The Rationale and Modus Operandi click here
  • Appendix 2: Queenstown Lakes District Cultural Asset Inventory click here
  • Appendix 3: Consultee List click here
  • Appendix 4: Public Survey Results Analysis click here
  • Appendix 5: Data Sources click here
  • District Cultural Facilities Assessment Report May 2019 click here

Partners & Supporters

+64 27 235 8445

PO Box 261, Queenstown 9348

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