Read on to find out about the passionate people and organisations behind Love Wānaka.

Ash Bickley
A long term and passionate member of the Wānaka community, Ash is using her skills and knowledge to focus on the protection and regeneration of Wānaka’s exceptional natural environment through the support of community-led initiatives. With a professional and academic background that is grounded in tikaka Māori principles, social development and change leadership, Ash is a passionate advocate for deep connection and the power of collaboration to implement meaningful change.
Fi McPhee
We’re so fortunate that Fi calls Wānaka home and brings such a depth of knowledge and passion with her. With over 20 years working across fundraising, organisational culture and strategic planning, Fi’s expertise in the non-profit space is unparalleled. Fi is an FIA Fellow, a FINZ Fellow and is a member of the FINZ Ethics Committee.
Katie Hart
Katie has over two decades of industry experience, with key roles in the strategic development and growth of many high-profile charities, including The Fred Hollows Foundation and Amnesty International. Katie currently works for Orange Sky New Zealand, and is helping to build a sustainable future right here in Wānaka as a trustee and key supporter of WAI.

Behind the Scenes

Love Wānaka is the first project to come to life from the newly adopted Destination Management Plan for the Southern-Lakes region: Travel to a Thriving Future.

It is led by Destination Southern Lakes (DSL), a partnership organisation formed in 2023 by Lake Wānaka Tourism and Destination Queenstown to action our region’s regenerative tourism plan.

The DSL Board consists of executives from partnership organisations as well as independent industry leaders. The role of this board is to drive forward the destination management plan and ensure the projects and activities stemming from this plan are implemented in a way that supports a more regenerative tourism ecosystem across the Southern-Lakes region.

Love Wānaka and Love Queenstown (our joint initiative over the hill) are delivered in partnership with the Wakatipu Community Foundation – a donor driven charitable trust that supports localised philanthropy in our region. The Foundation was integral to the development of Love Wānaka and Love Queenstown, and continues to support in an advisory, audit and compliance capacity.

Our independent distribution committee is tasked with setting the overall distribution strategy, reviewing grant applications, and allocating funds to the organisations and initiatives who are best-placed to provide impact, where it’s needed most. This committee consists of local experts in both the grant-making and sustainability / environmental space.

The 2024 Committee includes: Calum Macleod, Fiona McPhee, Julie Perry, Megan Williams and David Butt, and is supported by the Wakatipu Community Foundation.

Woman public speaking at a community event.