What We Do


The Three Lakes Cultural Trust has been established to support and encourage arts and cultural life in the Lakes District in ways that enrich the quality of life of residents and that contributes to the cultural, social and economic vitality and resilience of the District.

The reference to “Three Lakes” aspires to embrace the full geography of the District. View map >

Our purpose is to enhance well-being of the community through arts and culture.

Our vision is that arts and culture are at the heart of the community and economic well-being.


Innovative • Inclusive • Respectful
• Collaborative • Visionary


  • Produce a long-term cultural plan for the entire Lakes District that identifies key cultural programmes and needed infrastructure.
  • Raise and distribute funds in accord with an agreed set of priorities for cultural programmes and infrastructure.
  • Enhance community and social well-being in the district.
  • Increase economic diversity by promoting and encouraging the growth of the creative industries.
  • Facilitate partnerships between key stakeholders for the development, funding and delivery of key programmes and infrastructure.
  • Advocacy role for the trust-this includes engagement in formal QLDC planning processes.

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

  • Increasing the vitality & distinctiveness of civic spaces by animating them with public arts & arts programming.
  • Increasing civic pride and social cohesion, and attraction to visitors, through telling the story of the Three Lakes.
  • District more fully and effectively, and by 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 and by 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 Ngāi 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 District’s first independent Cultural Masterplan

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, which was publically released Friday, February 28th 2020.

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

Community Voice meetings were held in Queenstown, Glenorchy, Wanaka and Arrowtown in May 2019 and 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.

This Masterplan represents the first time that we, as a community, are having open and frank conversations about arts. Research shows that a vibrant arts and cultural identity has a positive influence on economic vitality and diversification, social wellbeing and quality of life. It’s an important, inclusive and cohesive part of our society.



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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