Media Releases


Record number of nominations for Central Lakes Trust election

10 October 2019

Nominations closed for the Central Lakes Trust elections with a record number of candidates putting their name forward for election to the board.

“25 candidates from across the central lakes region have been nominated to stand for the board,” says Chief Executive, Susan Finlay. “Since the commencement of the trust in 2000, there has never been a larger number of nominees.”

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New Hospital Just What the Doctor Ordered for Central Lakes Region

9 OCTOBER 2019

Central Lakes Trust (CLT), have today confirmed that their joint venture with Southern Cross Hospitals will invest in a much-awaited new surgical hospital located in Queenstown known as Southern Cross Central Lakes Hospital.

The site of the hospital has been confirmed as land adjoining Queenstown Country Club, on Frankton – Ladies Mile Highway.


Dr Nicola Crauford Appointed as Director of Pioneer Energy


Dr Nicola Crauford has been appointed as a Director of Pioneer Energy Limited. She replaces Warren McNabb who retired at the Annual General Meeting after a tenure of six years on the board.

The appointment was announced by Linda Robertson, Chair of Central Lakes Trust, owner of Pioneer Energy.

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Energy company owner supports preservation of key industry heritage

24 September 2019

It seems apt, energy company owner, Central Lakes Trust will support the replica construction of the Bullendale Phoenix Mining Company's hydro electric power plant, which saw the first commercial use of electricity in New Zealand in 1886 in the remote high country north of the former Skippers settlement.


Pioneer Energy announce record divided to Central Lakes Trust

18 September 2019

Pioneer Energy announce today a record dividend to owner and local community funder, Central Lakes Trust.

A total dividend of $10m was announced, which is $1.2m more than anticipated for the financial year end 2019.

"Pioneer Energy has had an outstanding year. The trust’s annual grant budget now at approximately $9m comes from the prudent and diversified investment of the trust’s assets, worth $388m. The dividend and the excellent performance of Pioneer will certainly have a significant impact into our community," Trust Chair, Linda Robertson says.


Funding round bolsters region’s arts and heritage

3 September 2019

Old Cromwell Incorporated’s restoration project of the McNulty House receives $233,747 for the earthquake strengthening and restoration of this Heritage NZ listed building.

“The majority of the house will be set up to display how a family lived in the area in the 1880's and will be open daily to the public.  The rear of the building will be functional storage and meeting space for the society,” says Chair, Helen Scoles, who goes onto to say “the meeting space will be made available to other community groups.”


Nominations are opening

20th August 2019

Nominations are opening for the Central Lakes Trust elections. 

“Every three years, we, as a community get to vote on who will represent us and serve on the Board of Central Lakes Trust,” says Trust Chair, Linda Robertson.

The Board of Central Lakes Trust is comprised of five publicly elected trustees alongside three appointed trustees.  The term of office is three years and the maximum period a trustee can serve is nine years.


Community funds spread in all directions

28th June 2019

Over $1.3 million of community funds were granted in the latest funding round says Trust Chief Executive, Susan Finlay.

“A range of different causes across our district have been supported,” says Susan, “taking total grants for the financial year to $3.5 million of our $9.1 million grants budget,” she says.


New Ambulance Hub to become reality with substantial grant from CLT

17th May 2019

A new state of the art ‘ambulance hub’ is closer to fruition with a $1.65m grant from Central Lakes Trust.

Based on St John’s successful hub and spoke model in Christchurch, the Central Lakes hub will allow better management flexibility of the 19 ambulance and operational vehicles based in seven stations across the region, says Trust Chair, Linda Robertson.

Hopetoun Brown - Tim Stewart, Finn Scholes, Nick Atkinson

Hopetoun Brown - Tim Stewart, Finn Scholes, Nick Atkinson

World Premiere - Central to the Soul chosen for 14th International Doc Edge Festival

An Arts On Tour NZ project, the documentary ‘Central to The Soul’ has been honoured with selection at the 2019 Doc Edge Film Festival. The Festival showcases the best documentaries from New Zealand and the world every year in Auckland and Wellington. Trailer:  

Central to The Soul, directed by Bill Morris, is a snapshot of Central Otago today through the eyes of touring artists and residents.  Filmed throughout 2018, it offers a gentle excursion into the heart of a region that has become a poster child for social, economic and environmental change.  

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Government funding changes set to seriously impact ‘community funds’

4th April 2019

Changes in government funding for both emergency response and key social services, will leave community funders to make up the shortfall advises Central Lakes Trust Chief Executive, Susan Finlay.

“Government funding changes mean it is on the community to raise the significant funds to maintain vital emergency response services and address the growing demand from social service agencies,” she says.

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$300,000 granted through Trust’s new online application system

15th February 2019

Central Lakes Trust launches online applications with over $300,000 granted in the first funding round for the 2019 calendar year.

Grants Manager, Vicci Lawrence says applicants can now easily track the progress of their application and manage their grant.

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Over 7,500 homes remain uninsulated in the district

30th November 2018

Central Lakes Trust to give a further $658,300 towards retrofitting insulation in Central Lakes over the next four years.  

Central Lakes Trust funding assisted the insulation of more than 600 homes through the Smart Energy Solutions subsidises over the past four years.


New Trustee Appointed to Central Lakes Trust

11th December 2018

Central Lakes Trust appoint new trustee, Hetty Van Hale of Wanaka.

The Trust, which was wholly made up of six publicly elected trustees, now, under the governance structure voted in at the November 2016’s referendum, includes three appointed, alongside five publicly elected trustees. 

New trustee and chair enthusiastic about swim school lessons, as initiative approved for another year

21st December 2018

The Sport Otago swim school programme will again be made possible by the support of the Trust and other partners, which sees primary school children throughout the Central Lakes Trust region receive 10 swimming lessons annually, says Sports Central regional coordinator, Bill Godsall.


50 Tertiary scholarships granted at Tuesday’s award ceremony

25th October 2018

Fifty students from 8 secondary schools were presented Central Lakes Trust tertiary education scholarships at an official awards function held in Cromwell on 23 October. The scholarships, which are valued at $2,500 each, aim to assist students who study at a tertiary institution.

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Linda Robertson new Chair for Central Lakes Trust

26th October 2018

Queenstown's Linda Robertson is the new chair of Central Lakes Trust, replacing Mr. Tony Hill, who remains as a trustee.

Ms. Robertson who was appointed to the Trust late last year has extensive governance experience serving on Boards and Audit & Risk Committees, as well as a background in finance and the energy sector working for both local government and the corporate sector.


CT Scanners for CLT Region

5th November 2018

Both Dunstan Hospital and the Lakes District Hospital each receive Central Lakes Trust (CLT) funding to secure the purchase of CT Scanners. The hospitals service the wider Central Lakes region, which spans most of Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes.

Teviot Valley Rest Home Plans

Teviot Valley & Central Otago take lion's share of funding

13th August 2018

Teviot Valley Rest Home have long identified the need to have vehicle access to the rest home doors. Currently transfers are by wheelchair or walking frame 50 metres up-hill to the carpark, or downhill to the front gate.

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Small funding round no indication of community need

17th September 2018

“This funding round has been one of the smaller ones of late but is no means an indication of community need. In fact, our grants team have been working across the sectors assisting preparation of funding applications. Particularly as we enter spring - the Heritage & Environment and Arts & Culture sectors come alive, with more happening in this space, says Chief Executive, Susan Finlay.

Trust seeks third appointed trustee

Trust seeks third appointed Trustee

14th September 2018

Central Lakes Trust (CLT) seeks third appointed trustee, as part of a new governance structure.

The Trust Board, which has been wholly made up of six publicly elected trustees, will now, under the new governance structure voted in November’s 2016 referendum, include three appointed, alongside five publicly elected trustees. 

Arts and domestic abuse take the lion share of this round’s funding

2nd July 2018

“The impacts of the economic and social pressures our community faces as it grows, are starkly obvious in the figures the Wakatipu Abuse Prevention Network presented in their application for funding to deliver their services in our community,” says Chief Executive, Susan Finlay.

Wanaka Search & Rescue

Health and Safety a major driver for funding this round

31st May 2018

Central Lakes Trust have funded over $1.2 million dollars in support of a wide range of community causes this month, from around our region.  Health and safety has proved a major driver in the applications for funding; from playcentres, to search & rescue, and sporting facilities.

Pictured: Melanie Mills, Central Otago Youth Employment Programme Photo credit: Kim Bowden The Central App

Pictured: Melanie Mills, Central Otago Youth Employment Programme Photo credit: Kim Bowden The Central App

Workplace’s sought for Youth Employment Programme work experience

11th June 2018

The Central Otago Youth Employment Programme is seeking prospective businesses to take on students for work experience.  The pilot which has been running just four months, is a new initiative, to develop a coordinated learning pathway targeting students who are disengaged from learning in a typical schooling environment.

CEO Susan Finlay with Bill Godsall of Sport Central

CEO Susan Finlay with Bill Godsall of Sport Central

New approach to foster participation in sports across the region

12th April 2018

The Central Otago Primary Schools Sports Association will receive a grant to support a regional sports coordinator for the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago region.

LUMA Light Festival

LUMA Light Festival

$850,000 goes to community causes

19th March 2018

Over $850,000 has been granted towards charitable projects and programmes throughout the Central Lakes region in this March funding round, says Chairman Tony Hill.  “This sees $7.81 million granted for charitable causes within the Central Lakes area for the financial year end,” he says.

Otago Polytechnic Trades Academy

Otago Polytechnic Trades Academy students to benefit from funds for tools

28th February 2018

The Central campus for the Otago Polytechnic is developing a new Secondary – Tertiary College Trades Academy facility for use by Trades Academy students and those attending Level 3 auto-mechanics and carpentry programmes. While the new building will be funded in entirety by the Polytech Council, Central Lakes Trust is making a contribution for tools and equipment for the facility.

Regional Sport and Recreation Facility Strategy

Club feedback sought on draft Sport & Recreation Facility Strategy through consultative forums

5th March 2018

Consultative forums will be held throughout the Central Otago and Southern Lakes region to gauge clubs, sporting organisations and schools’ feedback on a draft strategy for Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities, says Owen Booth of Sport Otago.

Wanaka does well in Trust funding rounds

19th December 2017

“It was a busy couple of months for Wanaka’s charitable causes, with several applying for support in our November and December funding round,” says Susan Finlay, newly appointed chief executive.

New CEO for Central Lakes Trust - Susan Finlay

New CEO for Central Lakes Trust - Susan Finlay

New CEO appointment for Central Lakes Trust

5th December 2017

Central Lakes Trust announce acting CEO, Susan Finlay, as the new chief executive.

Ms. Finlay who has worked within the Trust for the past 24 months; the most recent as acting CEO, will transition into the role immediately says Central Lakes Trust Chairperson, Mr Tony Hill.

Two new trustees appointed to Central Lakes Trust Board

4th December 2017

Central Lakes Trust (CLT) appoint new trustees, Linda Robertson of Queenstown, and Michael Sidey of Wanaka.

Central Lakes Trust 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Central Lakes Trust 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Trust contributes over $700,000 in latest funding round

9th November 2017

Seventeen applicants, spread throughout the Central Lakes district will receive a mixture of grant support from Central Lakes Trust totalling $717,182 for the month of October. Combined with the 50 tertiary education scholarship recipients, whom each received $2,500, sees the Trust disperse over $820,000 worth of funding.

Wanaka Community House

Wanaka Community House receives pre-Christmas funding boost

7th October 2017

Central Lakes Trust and the Otago Community Trust today announce a $2.1 million funding boost to support the Wanaka Community House project for the Upper Clutha area.