Delays expected for building consent applications: Following a significant surge in consents lodged at the end of April, applicants should expect some delays to current building consents waiting to be processed. More information is available Building Services - QLDC

About the project

'Manawa' is te reo Māori for 'heart'. It's QLDC's vision that there is a cultural and civic heart for the wider district located in central Tāhuna Queenstown. Located on Stanley Street in the Queenstown CBD, the goals of Project Manawa are to deliver a range of cultural and community facilities such as a community and arts spaces, a new dedicated library, a performance and visual arts centre, a town square, and commercial buildings, as well as the Council's new administration building.

The Stanley Street site has long been a topic of conversation in our community.  In 2017 it was identified in the Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan as the preferred location of a community heart with new Council offices and a variety of cultural facilities to benefit the whole district. 

Following that, in June 2019, Councillors approved a proposal to enter into a Partnering Agreement with Ngāi Tahu Property to agree a development plan for the Stanley Street site.

During 2020-21 the Three Lakes Cultural Trust, with Council’s assistance, secured a lease of premises in Frankton to develop a community arts and culture hub (with a ten-year horizon).   Known as Te Atamira, the facilities will provide a significantly improved space for a wide range of groups, including the existing tenants of the Queenstown Arts Centre and Queenstown Performing Arts Trust buildings, whose leases end in mid-to-late May 2022.   The Te Atamira facility will be hosting its first exhibition in May 2022.  

Partnership with Kāi Tahu

In June 2019, the Councillors approved a proposal to enter into a Partnering Agreement with Ngāi Tahu Property. The aim of this partnership is to agree a development plan for the Stanley Street site to deliver an integrated development of community assets and commercial buildings - what we now know as Manawa. This agreement enables us to work together and develop the site to the benefit of the district's communities and further enhance the district's position as Aotearoa New Zealand's premier domestic and international visitor destination. 

Partnership Purpose | Hoaketanga

To act together, mā te mahi ngātahi, and establish a thriving community heart precinct,
whakapuāwai hapori kāenga, on the Stanley Street site in central Queenstown, Tāhuna

What's the latest?

On 26 April 2022, we'll be starting formal consultation on the future status of the Stanley Street Queenstown Arts Centre (QAC) Building. 

The proposal is to remove the QAC building from the Schedule of Assets which forms part of the QLDC Significance and Engagement Policy 2021.  This will enable  QLDC  to remove or re-purpose the building(s) away from the site, which is a step towards to supporting the longer-term use of the land for Project Manawa.  

You can read the proposal in full and make a submission over on our Let's Talk website. 


The partnership is currently working through concepts and the foundations of a successful development and will be  engaging further with the community later in 2022 once draft Foundation Documents have been presented to Council and endorsed.  

It is currently expected that these draft documents will be presented to the meeting of Full Council in June 2022.  

Project Connect - a combined office

Project Connect is the name for the planned single office space for Queenstown-Wakatipu which will enable all Queenstown-based staff to be housed under one roof rather than the four town centre locations. Project Connect will form part of the Project Manawa development and will:

  • streamline services for the community;
  • improve efficiencies between QLDC departments who are currently based across Queenstown;
  • align with QLDC's aim to ensure the town centre remains vibrant and authentic; 
  • keep local people in the town centre by maintaining the presence of civic and community buildings;
  • indirectly support a range of other centrally-operated businesses and professionals.