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New chairman for Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust

New chairman for Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust

The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust (QLCHT) has appointed well-known financial advisor and author Martin Hawes as its new chairman.

Long-time Queenstown local Hawes replaces Stephen Brent as chair after Brent stepped down from the role at the start of July.

Hawes, who joined the Trust in April 2016, has written 22 books and is currently chair of Summer KiwiSaver’s Summer Investment Committee. He is also a columnist with the Sunday Star-Times and an Authorised Financial Adviser. Hawes is an independent director and sits on several boards in New Zealand.

Hawes pays tribute to Brent, who has been QLCHT chairman since April 2016. Brent, a local lawyer, will remain a trustee till the end of his third and final term in 2018.

“We owe our gratitude to the substantial contribution from Stephen who has led the Trust admirably for the past year. He is a natural leader with a great talent to think outside the box. Significant changes have taken place in this past year with Steve at the helm, and we are fortunate to have such a clever thinker at the Trust table,” Hawes says.

Hawes says he’s delighted to be stepping into the role of chairman: “I look forward to overseeing significant growth as the Trust reaches for new levels. We continue to have a team of six dedicated Trustees, who are all committed to helping the Trust achieve new goals.”

In its 10th year, the Trust has helped 151 households get in to affordable housing throughout the district. Despite this achievement, the Trust faces its biggest hurdle to date - with a record 450 eligible households needing assistance.

“These families are under severe stress by having to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on housing due to high rents and property prices in the Queenstown Lakes District. Trustees are clear on the goal of helping these local families into affordable homes, to ensure that they remain in the district and contribute to the fabric of our community. This has flow-on benefits for everyone, particularly employers,” Hawes adds.


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