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 for members of the community to learn ‘shoulder to shoulder’
  • To engage all 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 that are relevant to the resilience of the community.
  • To reduce waste through reuse, repair, and re-purposing.
  • To build self-esteem through education and skills mastery.

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 – 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.

The Little Brewer

John Hart – Coffee Master
John has been brewing coffee on site for a while now from his cozy caravan. Keeping the crew caffeinated along with his regular customers from across Wanaka 6:45am to 2:00pm weekdays.

John has now moved and started a ‘real’ cafe in Three Parks !


Simplicity is complexity resolved

Constantin Brancusi