About The Wānaka Community Workshop

Firstly, if you want to contact us we check our email regularly at email@wcw.org.nz.

If you are looking for how to become a Member (anybody can join, we have all types :-), details on our History or our FAQ’s see links below:

The Trust

The WCW is a registered Trust setup by Ben and Gwilym. The current trustees are Ben, Gwilym and Alan.

Founding Principles

  • To provide a place, support and resources for marginalised, disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community to learn ‘shoulder to shoulder’. 
  • To engage youth, elderly and vulnerable groups in the community, both the urban and rural areas of the Upper Clutha District, to promote identity, sociability, companionship and mental health. 
  • To share, disseminate, and preserve skills, abilities and interests, as identified by the community themselves, that are relevant to the resilience of the community. 
  • To reduce waste through reuse, repair, and re-purposing and provide resources, education and a place for the Community to develop and implement their own ways to seek these goals. 
  • To build self-esteem for marginalised and vulnerable groups through education and skills mastery. 
  • To carry out or support research on members’ education and social needs as applicable to Community Workshops. 
  • None of the objects set out above shall be limited by reference to any other objects and none of them shall be subsidiary to the other.

If you are interested in supporting us please find details at the below link:

The People

Gwilym + Ben

Ben Acland Founder and Trustee
Big talker with a massive concern about waste in our community and for our future generations.

Gwilym Griffith-Jones Founder and Trustee
Founder of Cactus Clothing, entrepreneur, creator, as good with a sewing machine as he is with an electric drill, computer, or table saw.

Alan Richardson

Alan Richardson Trustee – A corporate career with his last role as a client manager for NZTE. Now retired but busier than ever with Rotary and other roles.

Ian Maxwell

Wo(Men)Shed On Site Lead
Ian worked in Auckland City Council, with his wife Gillian they retired from Auckland to Wanaka and become and integral part of the community. Gillian is a member of the MenShed group, proving that this is a progressive group.


Supervisor – Founding Member
Allan was the first person to turn up to help (before the opening day) and has been here almost every day since. Allan is often at the workshop facilitating events with our partners Mint Trust and Kahu Youth.

Sue James

Sue James – Fabricate Founder & On Site Lead
Sue came along with Claire O’Connell kick started the fabricate room at the Wanaka Community Workshop.

Sue has her own business in Central Oil making tailored oilskin jackets. A passionate seamstress and pattern maker who is looking to pass on her skills and knowledge. Sue is on site most days.

Simplicity is complexity resolved

Constantin Brancusi