Women ride high for sustainability


Making moves towards sustainable living is the aim of ‘The Women’s Summit’ in Queenstown next Friday.

Organised by Sustainable Queenstown, formerly Anti-Plastic Population, the summit comprises four-minute speeches from 10 local women, a short Q&A session, intermingling and a silent auction.

The keynote address is by Rotary Club of Queenstown’s new transgender president Monica Mulholland.

Sustainable Queenstown spokesperson Esther Whitehead says: “It’s really about empowering women to stand up for causes that they believe in.”

It’s targeted at women “because the people who are making a difference in our community are mainly women”, she says.

Whitehead says the summit’s been supported by a number of businesses who want to showcase their sustainable practices.

They include host Skyline Queenstown, which annually diverts 35 tonnes of food waste that formerly ended up in the landfill, and Gibbston Valley Winery which boasts that it’s an industry leader in sustainable winegrowing.

“In the next few years, it will be businesses which don’t have a [sustainable] policy that get left behind,” Whitehead says.

“But what most small businesses find is that there are barriers in how to find out what to do – it’s not accessible to people.”

The summit’s a step towards making Queenstown the New Zealand leader in sustainable living, she says.

“I have that as a massive aspiration, but there are so many people that want to do the right thing.”

Summit speakers include eco-home owner Anna Stuart, off-the-grid living exponent Caro Reenebeck, sustainable fashion expert Frederique Gulcher, eco-lodge operator Toni Glover, raw milk producer Brittney Guise, health expert Michelle Moynes and ‘waste geek’ Sophie Mander.

Whitehead hopes the summit will become an annual event.

Tickets for next Friday’s event, starting 7pm, are $45 a head, including a return gondola ride and canapes.

To get tickets, email: sustainable.queenstown@gmail.com