What’s Our Mission?
And Who Are We…

OUR VISION

As a community, we can create our future.

It is easy to get caught up in the problems of today without considering where we want to be in the future. By collaboratively working towards a common vision, we can proactively decide what success looks like and how to get there. Our community is only as strong as its voice, we provide an opportunity to shape our district for future generations – our children, grandchildren and beyond.

THE VALUE WE BRING

The following describes the ways in which we bring value:

  1. Enabling and empowering community self-determination is the most valuable thing we can do for our communities. The by-line “describe your vision, determine your future” is an incredibly positive aspirational statement. In an age where many feel overwhelmed, bringing a focus back to the things we can control, consider and affect is incredibly healing.
  2. The independence of Sof is greatly valued by the communities that we work with. Engagement is more open and constructive if there are no perceived pre-determined outcomes.
  3. Because SoF is constantly engaging with our local community, it is sensitive and alert to emerging issues that impact community wellbeing. The Lightfoot Initiative explains “Shaping Our Future has a full view over what is happening in the district. Increasingly, they’re acting to create a cohesive vision by connecting with other organisations.”
  4. The visioning process helps unite divided communities and can repair relationships between the community and other stakeholders because it turns entrenched positions of opposition towards a focus of positively improving outcomes. As a third party working between the Hawea Community and QLDC we can promote constructive dialogue.
  5. Because the output from our processes is led by the community and is for the community, it has longevity and continued relevance – unlike other plans that are produced and forgotten about. Actions such as the 2022 building of the Glenorchy Community native Plant Nursery only happened because of the 2015 visioning process.
  6. Because SoF has a funded exec support role it can help communities achieve things that they didn’t have the ability to achieve alone. We act as a catalyst. We helped the Arrowtown community to draw up their respected community plan and are now providing the resource for them to update it 5 years on.
  7. Because SoF has completed a wide range of workstreams in the past, it is exceptionally well placed to identify commonalities, pose the right questions, and share learnings.
  8. The skillset and life experience of the volunteer SoF Board Members enable the organisation to produce well-informed, robust, and credible submissions to decision-makers on behalf of the community.
  9. The work we undertake will often add to and support (not duplicate) the workstreams of others as we look to collaborate with stakeholders. The workshops we held on Community Wellbeing have allowed us to provide constructive input into and collaborate with QLDC community capability and connecting communities’ workstreams.
  10. Shaping our Future is a lean organisation where every $ received is magnified in value by the contribution of our volunteer board and others in the community that we work with and as a small organisation we can be nimble and rapidly respond to issues in a way that large organisations can’t.

About Us

LET US INTRODUCE OURSELVES…WE ARE YOU.

We are a group of volunteers who promote and facilitate open discussion and debate to better inform decision making across the Queenstown Lakes District.


Vanessa van Uden, Chair

I was voted in as Mayor in 2010 after serving as a Councillor on QLDC.  During my first term, I led the team that developed Shaping our Future, recognising the value of an independent group to liaise with the community and underrepresented.


Barry Bruce, Deputy Chair, Wanaka Community Board Chair

Having lived in Wanaka for nearly 25 years, I am very conscious of the need to future focus and plan ahead, not react to problems after they occur.


John Glover, Kinloch Wilderness Retreat, Glenorchy

Along with my inspirational wife Toni, I’ve run the historic Kinloch Lodge near Glenorchy for the last 20 years while raising three children.


Julie Perry, Treasurer

I joined Shaping our Future in 2017, spurred by an interest in the opportunities and challenges facing our region and the community.

Rachel Rose
Rachel Rose

With a degree in Local Government Politics, I’m a strong believer in the power of the grass roots voice.


Reece Gibson

I am an Engineer who has lived in Queenstown for over 20 years and watched as the Lakes District has grappled with the pressures of its popularity and rapid growth.


Eddie Spearing

I like to research the root of issues or problems and believe from a sound base we can gain true understanding moving forward. I was involved in the earliest stages of Shaping Our Future and since joining the board in 2021 I would like to add to its vision.


Jon Mitchell

I enjoy working with the diverse group of locals on this board towards achieving a sustainable future for our communities, environment, and economy.

Mike Rewi
Mike Rewi

Mike manages Mana Tahuna.

Franco Nobell
Franco Nobell

Franco is a part of The Kiwi Kit Community Trust to empower migrants, build relationships with local organisations, connect with locals, and develop a unity amongst them all.

Shaping Our Future’s Guiding Principles

Encouraging exceptional solutions to current and future issues
Providing support for enterprising people and ensuring our spectacular environments are protected and enhanced for future generations
Monitoring the outcomes and encouraging other parties to proactively bring about the vision
Working collaboratively with others

Why Do We Do It?

We aim to reach out to as many people in the district as possible so we can present a common vision based on diverse discussions.