Voluntary Work

voluntary work

Why and how we invest our free time into the community

Problem: The rampant collection of monetary wealth doesn’t always correlate with happiness. What’s often missing in our busy lives is time. More specifically, time spent doing things we feel good about, and that make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Mission: To allow our moral compasses to swing north and to volunteer our free time to projects that are consistent with our beliefs, values and principles.


Arrowtown School Coding Club
Teaching Years 5 and 6 the basics of computer science and engineering as well as introducing the kids to the Scratch programming language and Edison robots. We give them challenges each term to work towards and indirectly teach the benefits of collaboration and creative problem solving etc.

Vaughn volunteers for a couple of hours every Friday during term time.

Lake HayesPredator Free
LHPF is a group of passionate locals volunteering their time to help eradicate invasive predators in the Lake Hayes area in order to protect and support our native wildlife.

Utility contributes by sponsoring the cost of new traps and regularly helping to clear them.

Arrowtown Choppers
The high country behind Arrowtown is seriously affected by wilding conifer seeds carried by prevailing winds from a large commercial forestry block – the new trees are self-sown and very much unwanted. If left unchecked, tens of thousands of hectares will succumb to wilding conifers, which have the potential to obliterate native grasslands, shrublands and even native beech forest.

Utility contributes by regularly getting stuck in with axes and saws to bring down new wilding pines, as well as helping fund raise for the native planting regeneration effort.

Fostering our Future – IPWEA
When Vaughn was elected Chair of the Otago Southland branch of the IPWEA, what suddenly dawned on him in that room of 40 professionals, was that 38 of them were men (all over 50 years old) and only two were women. He realised the industry was staring down the barrel of an approaching skills shortage problem and that something must be done about it.
Over the next couple of years, Vaughn talked to anyone and everyone who would listen about the skills shortage, and kept pushing the need to proactively invest in young people and to formalise pathways into the profession.
He instigated a degree apprenticeship in Infrastructure Asset Management, the first degree of this type in NZ, and navigated through government agencies to initiate micro-credentials as a formal route of online learning designed to appeal to younger students and professionals.

Arrowtown School Athletics Club
This club for the local primary school runs each Friday over the warmer months. It gives young kids a chance to practise fun skills that keep them physically active and to get a taste of competitive athletics.

Walter and his wife Fi helped establish the club and are enthusiastic sporting role models for the kids.

Arrowtown Scout Group
Vaughn was an integral part in growing the Arrowtown Scout Group and its leadership to become the largest group in the south island. He champions outdoor adventures, survival skills and task-based scenarios that push the Scouts into using their initiative. The kids love it and there’s a long waiting list to join the group.

Walter and Vaughn are both active in the Scouts movement as leaders.

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