Whakatipu Community Hub Trust appoints Hamish Wilton as interim chair

Jun 01, 2023

Image (LinkedIn): Hamish Wilton

Hamish Wilton steps into big shoes as the interim chair of the Whakatipu Community Hub following the resignation of founding chair John MacDonald.

MacDonald established the Trust four years ago in response to the need for a dedicated, secure, permanent and affordable home for community service organisations where co-working and collaboration could create efficiencies in a welcoming environment.

The Trust is working towards delivering the vision with a site and community land secured, stakeholders and potential tenants included in discussions, design work underway and early funding in place.

Declining health is the reason for MacDonald’s retirement which is effective immediately. The Trust met yesterday afternoon for its AGM and accepted MacDonald’s resignation before voting Wilton as interim chair.

Wilton is a current trustee and brings legal and development experience to the group. As Chief Executive of commercial property investment and management company, Mackersy Property, Hamish’s industry connections and asset management experience were considered to be well suited to lead the trust during this phase of the development.

“I’m happy to steer the trust and allow time to find a new chair. It’s a complex project and we need to keep moving forward. John has built a strong organisation which is ready to move into the post land-securement phase of its strategy. The Community Hub model is well proven and we are modelling this organisation and building on the Tauranga Kollective and The Lofts in Christchurch.”

Image (Supplied): John MacDonald

MacDonald did not expect to have to give up his role at this point but says his Parkinsonism-related Multiple System Atrophy – P (MSA-P) is moving quickly, offering him little choice.

“I will continue as a trustee and I have full confidence in my friends and colleagues to see the project through to fruition. Of course this vision and project is much larger than one person and there are many people working to make it happen trustees, stakeholders, our wonderfully supportive patrons and community leaders” says MacDonald.

Architect David Wingate, who delivered Tauranga’s Kollective, well understands a health challenge – he’s a kidney transplant survivor - and agrees that the project is in good heart and a strong position.

“There is so much good will around this project. Everyone I talk to speaks highly of it and wants to see it happen. John has created something very special and the Trust is committed to ensuring its physical delivery.”
The hub’s Trustees too have only the highest accolades for MacDonald’s work and are committed to seeing the project through.

“We thank John wholeheartedly for his service and for ensuring the creation of a robust organisation to deliver the project,” says trustee Ron Mackersy. “John has inspired people to put their efforts, time and money into this project.”

The Whakatipu Community Hub is envisaged as a cluster of buildings that will provide suitable, specifically designed spaces for groups in an environment that encourages sharing of resources. There will also be meeting and seminar rooms and welcoming public spaces. It is to be delivered through a partnership between central government, private donors, community trusts, local government and the social services sector to provide badly needed community facilities.

Whakatipu Charitable Hub Trust trustees are: Hamish Wilton (Chair), John MacDonald, Darren Rewi, Ron Mackersy, Raymond Key, Alexa Forbes, Heath Copland, and Jennifer Belmont. Trust patrons Diana and Dick Hubbard funded set up costs for the project and continue to support its development. Professional service providers are Moore Markhams Otago Limited, Mackersy Property and Duncan Cotterill.

Main image (Supplied/WCH website): Whakatipu Community Hub 

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