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The Wanaka community and those visiting the lake know that the lake holds many values that are important to all of us – for example, just looking at the lake supports our wellbeing.

We know the lake is a direct driver of Wanaka’s economy and vital to its environmental image, however to date there has been little opportunity for local people to become directly involved in the management of the lake and therefore actively influence its future.


The Touchstone Project represents a practical opportunity for the Lakes community to become engaged in actively helping their lake. Numerous members of the Wanaka community, both rural and urban have raised concerns about the lakes present and future water quality and ecology.


By establishing a community project focused on what we 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.

Touchstones core aim is to establish a community cooperative environmental project. To start to tell stories with a primary focus on enabling local people to affect local change - by doing. The crucial aim for this project is to support and incentivise community action.


One missing factor is a linkage venture like Touchstone that can pull support from people doing environmental projects together. Projects that add to our values, that work for the good of the lake and that address the community needs within the Lakes catchment.  We aim to provide a communication portal and help in the prioritisation paths for key projects of interest to the lake community. While we acknowledge there needs to be a plan for the lake catchment as currently it lacks a management plan or strategy, we don’t want to sit by and not help positive projects develop. 


Support for Touchstone is actively required, both from local community and wider afield. At this point in time, whilst seed funding streams are in place and othes being pursued, the best practical assistance is financial until such time as practical and time contributions become defined. Ruby Events are supporting Touchstone financially via a start up called eVentGift. Curious Minds and The Sargood Bequest are our major funders. To become a financial supporter and receive more info contact us.

We expect challenges with funding and environmental projects are costly. However, by combining innovative funding streams, calling on favours, and providing a positive experience we feel we can build momentum, interest and action which will hopefully attract further external investment in the project.

Touchstone Lake Wanaka / Sargood Bequest
Touchstone Lake Wanaka / Sargood Bequest
Touchstone Lake Wanaka / Aspiring Environmental
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