An Update from your Mt Wellington Licensing Trust

The Mount Wellington Licensing Trust (MWLT) has been investing in your community for more than 50 years and we remain 100% committed to you – the people of Mt Wellington and Panmure. As we approach the end of 2021, a year still severely impacted by the Covid pandemic, we wanted to update you on how the Trust is doing.


The MWLT exists to generate funds that can be invested back into the local Mt Wellington and Panmure community. This has enabled us to support local schools, clubs, and our senior citizens. However, with all our businesses - the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, the Corner Bar, and the Highbrook Conference Centre - involved in hospitality, accommodation and events, the impact of Covid-19 means the funds we can generate to invest back into your community have been hit hard.


The Panmure Hotel and The Corner Bar

Everybody is aware of the extreme impact Covid-19 is having on the hospitality sector, and this has been no different at the Trust. In our last update we explained that we could no longer sustain the losses involved in running two bars at the Panmure Hotel site and had made the hard decision not to re-open the Landmark Bar. The Corner Bar continues to operate, but it has been an incredibly hard year – the pub has been closed for almost four of the last twelve months due to lockdowns. Donna and the team are looking forward to re-opening as soon as possible and to welcoming you back.


Mt Wellington Foundation

In March, we made the decision to partner with The Lion Foundation and to transfer the management of the Mt Wellington Foundation gaming machines to them. This reduces the costs involved with running the machines, while ensuring the funds that they generate remain local – your elected Trustees make up the Grants Committee that works with the Lion Foundation to ensure all funds go to community organisations doing remarkable things in Mt Wellington and Panmure.


The Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre

The Waipuna Hotel continues to operate as a Managed Isolation Facility and is contracted to do so until June 2022. While the media like to highlight the challenges within the Managed Isolation system, we can assure you that our people are doing an incredible job looking after returnees and helping keep New Zealand safe. Their work has seen them build a fantastic reputation for Waipuna with government, and we are incredibly proud of the way our staff are working with the NZ Defence, NZ Police and Ministry of Health people who run the Managed Isolation operation at Waipuna. The hundreds of letters of thanks we have from returnees are a testament to the amazing job our team are doing.


Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting each year is an opportunity for us to share the Trust’s financial performance and answer any questions our community may have. The law requires the AGM to be held two months after our annual accounts are audited. Covid-related workload issues mean our auditors, Audit New Zealand, have still not audited our March 2020 accounts. This means we have been unable to hold our AGM. Please be assured that it will happen as soon as the audit is completed.


Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunches

One of the highlights of the year for all of us at the Trust is the Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunches. These see over five hundred of our local elders join us for a free Christmas lunch each December and is a fantastic occasion.


Unfortunately, with ongoing uncertainty around Alert Levels and restrictions on gatherings, we have had to make the tough decision to cancel this year’s Senior Citizens’ Lunches. Our #1 priority must be to keep people as safe as we can, so we feel this is the right thing to do. Instead, we hope to be able to put these lunches on in the middle of 2022.


In the meantime, we are pleased to say we will be donating $40,000 to charities helping people who are doing it tough in our community this Christmas.


Thanks to our Staff

We want to acknowledge the tremendous contribution our staff have made through these Covid times. Many of them have had to adapt to new ways of working and have done so while keeping up the quality of service they are known for, for which we thank them all.


The Trust is proud that we have been able to maintain over one hundred jobs across our venues and we also now pay a minimum rate above the

Living Wage of $22.75 / hr. The wider economic impacts of our success are also important – the income our people earn is spent in the local

community and our suppliers are able to retain staff because of the business we do with them.


2022 and Beyond

We remain committed to you, our local community for the long term. It seems that 2022 will be the year we must all adjust to living with Covid. How this looks is still unknown, however what we do know is that this will be a challenging time for our businesses here at MWLT. Hospitality will remain difficult and, with border restrictions and indoor gathering limits likely to remain in place for some time, it will be a particularly challenging transition for the Waipuna Hotel.


Moving forward, our focus at the Mt Wellington Licensing Trust remains simple – to ensure we can continue to invest in our communities, helping them to flourish. Your MWLT Trustees and staff are committed to making sure this happens, regardless of what challenges Covid continues to bring.


If you have any queries, please feel free to email us at We thank you for your understanding and support and look forward to welcoming you back to our venues in due course.


We wish you a safe and happy Christmas. And remember, please do support local whenever you can.


Nerissa Henry                                                                                             Brent Robinson
President                                                                                                     Chief Executive
Mt Wellington Licensing Trust                                                                      Mt Wellington Licensing Trust