about us

The mission of Connect Cromwell is to support the emergence and growth of community-led development in the Cromwell district, to promote a connected, healthy and inclusive community .

The vision of Connect Cromwell is a community that has the vision and takes action to influence the development of its urban and rural districts.

   Our values


Collaborative  |  IndependenT  |  Inclusive  I  Neutral  |  KinD  |  Hard-working  |  Empowering


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:


Build from strengths ~ Grow from shared local visions ~ Work with diverse people and sectors ~ Grow collaborative local leadership ~ Learn by doing

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 DIA funding will cease in 2023 and we are constantly looking at ways of continuing the work beyond that deadline.









Tania Partridge  Community Facilitator

A flurry of summer activity ushered Connect Cromwell community facilitator Tania Partridge into her new role.

With only weeks to pull it all together she lead the co-hosting of a very successful community Christmas Carols event with Cromwell & Districts Promotion Group. Tania will also guide the development of an edible garden in the Mall, help with the Cromwell Crop Swap, new Community Plan and Operation Cromwell Harvest - a project aimed at welcoming and retaining horticulture workers.

“It’s an exciting time to be starting with this community-led development group as the new projects are being launched, as well as continuing others that have been ongoing,” she said.

Tania has wide experience in events and promotions, most recently with Central Otago Wine. 

“I see this as a great opportunity to connect with the many different groups and projects that are happening in Cromwell and bring them together, as well as providing support for the smaller groups that need it.”       





Jill Herron - Media & Communications


Jill runs the facebook page, website and media activities. She advises on communications, working directly with project groups. Jill started out as a branch office reporter for the Otago Daily Times when the Clyde Dam construction was the biggest news in town.  She has been involved in writing, journalism and media liaison ever since as well as running a safari company in Botswana for four years and extensive overseas travel.  


Jill holds a Bachelors Degree in Geography, Journalism Diploma, NZC Creative Writing. She has an interest in photography, has written five books and was media liaison for the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow for 14 years.

Growing up in Queenstown, she has seen the effects rapid growth and over-tourism can have on communities. She is determined that Cromwell, with its unique history and environment, retains its renowned community spirit and remains a great place to live, work and play for all.



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



Jessie Sutherland - Architect

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. 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 - Cadastral Surveyor

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.


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.


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