Spirit of the Wakatipu Awards


This one’s for the altruists, the philanthropists, the volunteers and community heroes who make a positive difference to life in our town.

Today, the Wakatipu Community Foundation officially launches its Spirit of the Wakatipu Awards.

Trustee Simon Green says: “This is a way for us to recognise and showcase the philanthropy that happens in the Wakatipu – it’s about people who give of themselves for the community, their time, their skill, their money.”

The foundation has partnered with Queenstown’s council for the annual awards – and the values of the council’s Vision Beyond 2050 are central to the judging criteria.

Sponsored by Wayfare, many other local businesses and Mountain Scene, the awards culminate in a gala ceremony in September.

There are 10 categories and nominations are now open.

Get your nominations in

September 14 will be a night when those who work behind the scenes in the community take centre stage.

Wakatipu Community Foundation’s (WCF) Spirit of the Wakatipu Awards will be presented during a gala dinner and show at Queenstown Memorial Centre.

Generation Give – a youth philanthropy project run by Wakatipu High School, Youth Philanthropy New Zealand and WCF – will also showcase the charities and organisations the 20 pupils have chosen to benefit from their work.

And The Kate Moetaua Foundation Endowment Fund – set up in memory of Queens-town’s much-loved drama school owner and teacher – will make its first grants on the night.

The awards are in partnership with Queenstown’s council.

Mayor Jim Boult says the foundation is doing a “fantastic job” bringing the awards to life.

“They will recognise those in our community who work long and hard, often behind the scenes, to drive our district in the direction that was voiced in the Vision Beyond 2050 work.

“Volunteers commit to this district their time, energy, skills and passion. They are the spirit of this place and the awards will be a fantastic evening of hospitality and entertainment where they are rightly rewarded.

“I’m enormously grateful to Simon [Green] and the foundation for bringing us together in this way.”

There are 10 categories: education, health and wellbeing, sport and recreation, resilience, senior citizens, arts and culture, environment and sustainability, spirit of the community, corporate citizenship, youth impact, rising star, and social impact innovator.

Anyone can nominate individuals, companies, groups, non-profits or other organisations.

Trustee Green says: “A lot of the people who do all this stuff are often the last ones who’ll put themselves forward. So we’ve made it very open.”

Nominations close July 31.

The awards and foundation are about “community building”.

“Philanthropy is a wonderful underscore for society as a whole.”