More than a decade ago some Wanaka folk perceived the need for the community to have a place as a “base of operations” for the town’s not for profit social support agencies. In 2007 the St Columba’s community began to perceive a long overdue need to upgrade church facilities. Through the  generosity of some of its earlier parishioners the church had been blessed with quite a large tract of largely underutilized ground in the middle of town. The spirit moved. Church and community leaders got their heads together. Why not a partnership between the church and the community? Why not a community house incorporating facilities the church could share on that vacant space in the centre of  town? It was undoubtedly a proposal the community funding agencies would support. It all seemed like “win/win” for both the town and the community. The concept was developed and at a Special General Meeting of St Columba’s on the 1st April 2009 it was decided to proceed with the proposal. That decision was subsequently endorsed by both the Upper Clutha Parish Vestry and the Diocese. A Trust chaired by Dame Sukhi Turner is now spearheading the project. Architect plans have been drawn up and approved by all stakeholders. All the community funders have been kept “in the frame” as the proposal has progressed. An application for a Resource Consent for our proposal was recently lodged with the Queenstown Lakes District Council. Council has decided the issue should be determined by way of public hearing. Any member of the public has the right to make a written submission to that hearing and need not make an appearance at the meeting in support of that submission. This means that any church member from anywhere in the Diocese, who feels so moved, can make a submission and so support the St Columba’s community in this visionary enterprise.

Submission forms are available from the Diocesan office or email

Reference Code: NYVP
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