Happiness House

A helping hand

Out-of-town businesses running conferences and events in Queenstown now have a way to meaningfully contribute to the local community. Destination Queenstown, along with its convention bureau, have launched a corporate social responsibility programme called ‘Community Connection’. It introduces 16 established not-for-profits and trusts...

Portrait artist turning heads

One of Australasia’s leading portrait artists, Jane Pestell-Litten, resides in Queenstown. In a sitting with PHILIP CHANDLER, she gives the good oil on what got her into art about 12 years ago, and on her embarrassment at leaving a nude...

Artful shredders

By MATTHEW MCKEW Old snowboards are being given a new lease of life as canvases for artists to get creative with and raise money for charity. For a third year running, NZ Shred has teamed up with the Queenstown Arts Centre...
By TRACEY ROXBURGH An Arrowtown charity's run off its feet right now - but the Wakatipu community's swung in behind to support it. This month a 20-foot storage container, courtesy of AJ Saville Builders, was dropped off on the St John's...
For a guy who was rejected from hospo jobs in Canada because he was told he "wasn't really a people person", Chris Dickson's done alright for himself. He talks to TRACEY ROXBURGH about his plans to support Queenstown Chris Dickson knows all too...

In the Van-guard

By PHILIP CHANDLER Former local mayor Vanessa van Uden's been among more than 100 volunteers responding to Queenstown's biggest humanitarian crisis. She's part of City Hall's emergency operations centre response team, formed after the Covid-19 lockdown started late March. Every Tuesday and...
By PHILIP CHANDLER Thanks to a Queenstowner's initiative, Otago and Southland Covid-19 lockdown heroes have been rewarded with free accommodation, activities, attractions and meals shouted by Southern operators. John Cushen set up Southern Heroes NZ after being moved by the story of...
By TRACEY ROXBURGH In three weeks, a group of community-minded Queenstowners have raised almost $430,000, sought expressions of interest from frontline charities in need, and granted more than $150,000 to help with the immediate need in the Wakatipu. Well-known Kelvin Heights...

Our helping hands

By HUGH COLLINS Local community centres are set to hit the frontline in Queenstown's response to the Covid-19 crisis. Happiness House, Wakatipu's only community drop-in centre, has seen an increase in inquiries in the wake of the outbreak, manager Robyn Francis...
As far as early Christmas presents go, Queenstown's Happiness House got one of the best this year. General manager Robyn Francis says they've recently found out their lease - up in the air ever since their Park Street home was...
It's a happy dilemma to be in; success from Coronet Peak's Happiness Trees Christmas fundraiser means they've had to find a new source of wilding pines this year. The fundraiser, now in its third year, raises money for Queenstown's community-based...
Niki Mason, who last Friday finished five-and-a-half years as coordinator of Queenstown's Happiness House, says she's seen progressively more people struggling over that time. "It's extremely hard out there when most of your money goes on rent," she says. Mason's left...
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