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About Us


Members of the CDCT, Connect Cromwell and the Cromwell Steering group


The Greenway Festival - 2019

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The Connect Cromwell Journey ...  Our Story

Connect Cromwell has been created by a group of local people (see below). Its aim is to help local people achieve community goals that will benefit everyone. Connect Cromwell nurtures leaders and aims to empower the community to help itself, long term.  We work within the community to create and achieve locally owned goals for the town. It does this in part by helping to inform the community and plans to use more surveys and other means to gather the community’s ideas and views.

Connect Cromwell is independent and neutral. It was created by the Cromwell and District Community Trust as a sub-committee to work out how to provide the Trust with better information about community’s needs and opinions. Connect now operates through the guidance of an independent Steering Group, with the Trust acting as operational 'fund-holder' for Connect Cromwell.  

Funding is sourced from the department of Internal Affairs through their Community-Led Development Programme and Cromwell is fortunate to have Dunedin-based Rachael Thomas as DIA advisor.  The road to getting set up and established in Cromwell has been long and bumpy in parts as new ways of engaging the community, organising and planning the group and it's activities had to be found.

The five guiding principals of CLD helped light the way:

We continue to look at what others are doing around New Zealand and to try and nurture initiatives in Cromwell that will benefit many people and will be sustainable long-term.  

The Connect Cromwell Team

Image by Vladislav Klapin



Welcome to our team

Rosanna Ottaway

Rosanna Ottaway moved to Central Otago three years ago from the Manawatu region in the North Island.  Rosanna  and her husband Kelly recently built a house in Cromwell. They have three adult children who are engaged in tertiary study around the country.

Rosanna’s background is in adult education and she recently finished working for Central Otago Reap teaching and co-ordinating the Community Learning Hub in Alexandra.


Connect Cromwell is run by a volunteer Steering Group (below) which is ALWAYS KEEN to recruit new members!





Jessie Sutherland 

Jessie was born in Cromwell, left to study and travel and now lives in the town with a young family because of the landscape, family, friends and opportunity for a great lifestyle. She has a Bachelor of Architecture and has worked with some of the best urban design firms in NZ and overseas.


She is now director of an architectural design firm with an interest in sustainability, heritage and urban design.  She is currently working alongside Jasmax (Christchurch) in the design of the new Cromwell Memorial Hall.  Jessie is driven by the belief that the spaces and places we live in add to our quality of life and our pride in our town. She welcomes the chance to help Cromwell to lift its expectations and fulfil its potential to be a vibrant, quality town.



Wally Sanford 

Wally’s not a farmer and wouldn’t live in a city. He prefers a lake over a sea and a mountain over a coastline – so the Cromwell district is his ideal place to live. He has a Bachelor of Surveying and works on residential and rural subdivisions, topographical surveys, construction set-out and project management.


He believes the development of the town and district must become community-led by first getting people to express their opinions and then providing them with a forum that makes sure they are heard. He’s glad to be involved with Connect Cromwell because it wants to get people involved with the decision-making that makes the town tick.

Daniel Scheibmair

Daniel Scheibmair recently moved to Cromwell with his wife and two children.  His family are actively getting involved in and learning more about the local community, and ensure the community spirit that enticed his family to the area remains, as the town continues to grow.  


He works as a Structural Engineer and has a passion for timber used in construction, and also has or continues to hold various roles and responsibilities in not-for-profit organisations as well as on wider construction related industry committees and groups.


Just as he encourages and supports innovation in his professional career, he's keen to support Connect Cromwell in achieving its vision and help shape the future of Cromwell in a positive way embracing inevitable growth without loosing the community's identity.


Werner Murray

Is a Deputy Chair of the current Cromwell Community Board and an experienced town planner. He has a genuine passion for ensuring community's voice is heard in decision making processes. Werner is involved in many aspects of our dynamic community - including various trusts, societies, school activities and sports clubs with his young boys.  He and wife Caroline also operate Scott Base vineyard and tasting rooms overlooking the town.

Hilary Jenkins

Hilary has returned to Cromwell, from Dunedin, after having lived and worked here in the early 1980’s. She works at the Central Campus (Bannockburn Rd) for Otago Polytechnic as a Student Advisor, different from her former role as a lecturer in business and tourism at the Dunedin Campus. Her other part time role is as a host at Domaine Thomson Cellar Door, where Hilary enjoys meeting new people and telling them about the vineyard and the Cromwell district.


Her desire to work in and give back to the community, fits in well with the direction of Connect Cromwell and the implementation of local projects such as Winning Ideas. Being involved in future projects involving greenways and recreational spaces and working with the great team at Connect Cromwell is something Hilary is looking forward to.

Many others have helped found the organisation and continue to be involved and follow our progress in some way. We thank them for their ongoing support.

Connect Cromwell is supported by the Cromwell and Districts Community Trust as a backbone structure that manages funds from a Department of Internal Affairs community grant.


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