“It’s not my vision for Wānaka that’s important, it’s ‘What does Wānaka want for Wānaka?’”– Tim Barke, CEO at Lake Wānaka Tourism

Tim Barke knows how important it is to respect the community’s wishes when making decisions that affect everyone. This insight has served him well. In this week’s episode of Travel Beyond, the CEO at Lake Wānaka Tourism shares how the passionate participation from locals shaped the district’s destination management plan and ultimately led to the ambitious goal of reaching carbon zero by 2030. Additionally, he highlights some of the climate-related innovations already taking place in the area, demonstrating the impact of community engagement on sustainable tourism development.

We also hear from Darren Rewi of Tāke Tuia and Mike Rewi of Mana Tāhuna Charitable Trust, who offer a distinctly Māori perspective on caring for the environment and striving to be role models for future generations. They share their efforts to lead the way in sustainability and create a better world for generations to come.

You’ll learn:

  • Why two neighbouring tourism organizations collaborated on a common objective rather than competing with each other.
  • How the community surprised leadership during the engagement process and how that feedback led to setting the goal to reach carbon zero by 2030.
  • How the destination management plan provides a platform for locals to focus their actions towards regeneration.
  • How Māori leaders are leading by example to make the world better for future generations.
  • What Waitangi Day celebrations in Aotearoa New Zealand signify for the Māori community.
  • About various exciting innovations and community initiatives supporting decarbonization in Queenstown Lakes.


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Show notes

  • Lake Wānaka Tourism – One of the regional tourism organizations driving the carbon zero by 2030 goal.
  • Mana Tāhuna Charitable Trust – Māori trust working to support the well-being of whānau (family) and Te Taiao (the environment that contains and surrounds us).
  • Southern Lakes Sanctuary – Protecting the natural taonga (treasure) of the Southern Lakes.
  • Tāke Tuia – Cultural competency training and consultancy with Darren Rewi.
  • Three Lakes Cultural Trust – An independent entity to strengthen arts and culture in the community, aiding residents’ well-being and the district’s economic vitality and resilience. 
  • Wai Wanaka – Water action initiative that empowers communities to understand their water, their environment, and their impact.
  • Wao – A collective dedicated to a regenerative future. See our previous podcast episode about Monique Kelly and Wao.
  • Wilding Pines – An organization that aims to control the spread of harmful wilding pines and protect the landscapes for the future.



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