Thursday, 11th June, 2020

Wanaka Women in Business Series looks to ignite local business community

2020 has been an unusual, and in many cases, tough year for business – especially in the Wanaka / Upper Clutha region where tourism is a significant driver of the local economy. So when it was announced that New Zealand was moving to ‘Level-2’, with ‘Level-1’ on the immediate horizon, Ignite Wanaka decided it was time to rally the business community by relaunching the Wanaka Women in Business event series.

The Wanaka Women in Business Series is now being supported by Aspiring Law and will take the form of educational and networking opportunities for women in business that are designed to help them reconnect with their peers, provide inspiration, and build their knowledge and skill base – whether they are business owners, managers or employees.

The first event is a Mid-Winter Lunch where Aspiring Law director Janice Hughes will be the guest speaker. Janice will speak on the relevant topic of ‘Thriving out of an Economic Meltdown’. Having experienced a significant financial shock before (Janice and Mike Toepfer started Aspiring Law during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008), Janice believes that while there are most certainly challenges ahead, there is also a way through them.

Janice explained why she got in behind the series:

“We started Aspiring Law in the midst of the GFC and we not only survived, but thrived, with the support of the Wanaka community and by building a strong network of partners. So, when we were approached by Ignite Wanaka, we were more than happy to get behind the events that we know will help to rebuild positivity and develop creative solutions to the business challenges we're all facing, now and in the future.”

Following on from the Mid-Winter lunch will be a series of Coffee Mornings where people can hear local business women share their career journeys, the highs and lows, and the pathways that led them to where they are today.

Sitting alongside the Coffee Mornings, the team at Ignite Wanaka and Aspiring Law have developed a series of five ‘hands-on’ workshops that cover everything from developing new growth strategies through to financial planning and building resilience. With a deep talent pool in Wanaka, all of the speakers are local women who are at the top of their game and leaders in their fields of expertise.     

Ignite Wanaka, Executive Officer, Naomi Lindsay said:

"We're delighted to be bringing back our Wanaka Women in Business events for 2020 with a new partner on board. We already had grand plans for these events pre-COVID, with a great line-up of Coffee Morning speakers, a new Mid-Winter lunch and our Business Workshops, delivered by women, for women.

"Aspiring Law has been a long-standing partner of Ignite Wanaka and is the perfect fit to help Ignite deliver this series for our businesses. Our theme for the remainder of the year reflects the experiences and challenges we've all had as women in business, either over the last three months during lockdown, or during other times of crisis. Coming together as women in business offers a powerful opportunity to learn from each other and we're really looking forward to connecting in person with everyone at the first event."

The Mid-Winter Lunch is taking place on Friday June 26 at 12pm and will be held at the Edgewater Resort. Tickets for the lunch are $40 for Ignite Wanaka members and $50 for non-members. The events are open to anyone, whether you are a female business owner, manager or team member.

To book for the lunch and for a full list of the various events, topics, speakers and dates please visit the Events page of the Ignite Wanaka site here. More Coffee Morning dates and speakers to be confirmed for September - November.


For more information on the events, images, or to arrange a chat with Naomi or Janice about the Ignite Wanaka Women in Business Series please contact: 

Naomi Lindsay – 021 942 502 /
Janice Hughes – 03 443 0911 /

Picture caption: Aspiring Law Director Janice Hughes

Event Information:

Workshops – Attendees are also invited to stay on for lunch afterwards at Edgewater. Special menu to be provided and details announced soon.

July 3 – Julie Aitken, Commercial Lawyer at Aspiring Law: Reassess or Reinvent? Practical workshop to help businesses trying figure it all out at Level 1. 10am to 12noon, at Edgewater Resort

August 7 – Taylor Rapley, Up-and-Coming Psychologist and International Skier: Redefine stress and learn how to use it to optimise creativity and personal purpose, 10am to 12noon at Edgewater Resort

September 4 – Giselle MacLachlan, Owner and Director of Help2Grow: Leadership for boards and teams – tools, tips and trends, 10am to 12noon at Edgewater Resort

October 16 – Rachel Prendergast, Associate Partner at Findex: Financial advice for women in business – now is the time to take control!, 10am to 12noon at Edgewater Resort.

November 13 – Stephanie Holloway, Body Language and Communication Coach and founder of Elemental Potential: A compelling argument to recognise the gender differences in body language and communication between men and women, 11am-12noon at Edgewater Resort.

Coffee Mornings

July 15 – Nina Powell, Female Empowerment Guru, 10-11am at Edgewater Resort.

August 13 – Vicky Hill, Central Lakes Physio and Pilates - low-level adventurer, high-level cat lover, 10-11am at Edgewater Resort.