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'Touchstone' - refers to the lake as being an assimilation of all human activity in the surrounding catchment.  Water bodies such as large lakes are often referred to as “touchstones” of the past.

The Touchstone Project is a direct action initiative to support those concerned about the Lake Wanaka water catchment, raise awareness of impacts around the lake, and how you can have a positive influence on the water in the lake.


By working with people who 'do stuff ' - those making tangible differences, and by starting to gather and understand information about what affects our lake we can start to carry out actions that directly improve the lakes values and support everything we like about living near lake Wanaka.  The Lake is our ’Touchstone', as such we need to help manage it.



The People:

Chris Arbuckle (Aspiring Environmental) has held numerous stakeholder and technical workshops including working with the Land and Water Forum, a national collaborative process, and in central government on the national policy statement - 'Freshwater Management'. His background is entirely water focused. He spent his early childhood by the Lake and has returned every year since for holidays. He will help frame and support people who work with Touchstone, help projects and attract contributors.


Early phases of the project will require excellent facilitation skills. These will be provided by Erica Van Reenen (AgFirst). Erica was born in Wanaka, has worked in environmental and rural advice roles and in Government. A key interest she has is encouraging environmental action on farm and in rural environments.


Wanaka resident Eddie Spearing is co-founder of The Ruby Swim, an event which takes place in Lake Wanaka. A design engineer with a background in publishing and media, he is most happy creating and instigating ideas for innovation and change.  As a dedicated lake swimmer, Eddie is keen to be an initiator for addressing the issues affecting Lake Wanaka.

The Touchstone Project

The Logo

A symbol of beneficial outcomes, it applies to any activity or endeavour which requires commitment. However, no quick results should be expected. A span of time is usually involved, symbolising a full cycle. The proverb applies, “as you sow, so shall you reap”, the harvest or deliverance. To those whose labour has a long coming to term the symbol, known as 'Jera ' offers encouragement of success. Just as there is no way to push the river, so too you cannot hasten the harvest. Patience and perseverance are essential for the process for which the consequences of past human action unfold into the future.

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