LINK Upper Clutha is the community-led development scheme that is working to connect our community as it grows.


A united approach to community development and social and economic enterprise in the Upper Clutha


Build community success through innovative partnerships and coordinated infrastructure


  • bold and creative in our approach, innovative in our thinking,
  • inclusive in our relationships, open-minded and respectful in our differences,
  • appreciative of our diversity


Kathy Dedo, LINK Facilitator

Joanna Perry, LINK Coordinator

Alpine Community Development Group, LINK’s governing trust


The United Nations defines community development as “A process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.” Community wellbeing (economic, social, environmental, and cultural) often evolves from this grassroots action.

The Alpine Community Development Trust won a three-year grant from the Department of Internal Affairs to fund a Community Development Scheme for the Upper Clutha between 2016-2019. Additional support during this time came from a number of local funders including the Callis Trust, Wanaka Rotary, Elsie & Ray Armstrong Trust, QLDC, and a number of business and individual donations. Subsequently LINK obtained funding from Lottery Community, QLDC, and the Callis Trust to fund our activities and events in 2019-20. The Ministry of Social Development’s Community Connection Service funding has further enhanced our ability to support community development in 2021-22.


Supporting the ACDT vision of “Upper Clutha people are able to thrive not just survive,” LINK (alongside Community Networks) provides a one-stop community connection and support centre. How? We provide information and support; connect and collaborate; and build resilient community.


Wanaka is at a crucial point in our development, needing to build a strategic, coordinated community infrastructure to accommodate our high growth rate and future-proof our success as a region. More and more people are flocking here, with growth being both our opportunity and our challenge. Opportunity because more people in the Upper Clutha bring money to fuel the economy, innovative ideas to inspire, and children to be nurtured and grown in our local paradise. Challenge because all those people need places to live, jobs, schools, health care, and ways to enjoy our spectacular environment without destroying its beauty.

Wanaka has many talented, engaged people in the community sector, but as we’ve grown the organisations they create to do good are sometimes uncoordinated, siloed, and replicate effort. Multiple organisations with similar goals often tap the same talent and funding pools.

Community wellbeing can’t happen without an effective infrastructure that supports that growth. We work with leaders across community sectors to build unexpected partnerships and produce innovative solutions that make the most of our strengths.


The Alpine Community Development Trust provides governance for LINK Upper Clutha alongside Community Networks Wanaka. We are the lead tenants at the Wanaka Community Hub.