Neil Richardson - Chair / Kelvyn Eglinton - Chief Executive

From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2022 - see full report in PDF.

Last year we publicly challenged our peers in leadership positions – if the immediate and effective outcomes needed by our communities are to be achieved, we all have to pro-actively reach out across the barriers created by central agency structures, local government boundaries, sector silos and agency politics.

That call to action was a direct response to the events of the 2021-2022 year, as the disruptions of the pandemic continued to impact communities, supply chains and the very underpinnings of our democracy.

The ‘new normal’ was, however, an opportunity to think and act differently as the months unfolded.

The most unsettling aspect of this ‘post-Covid world’ has been the way talk of ‘a division in New Zealand society’ risks becoming self-fulfilling. Underlying disagreements on science, society and the state, usually set aside for the sake of a peaceful and civil life together, suddenly became visceral disputes.

The growing sense of inequity, exacerbated by Covid, is undermining trust in each other and in our key institutions. The not-for-profit sector has an increasingly important role to play in this new, disrupted world.

Momentum Waikato is putting up its hand, working with others of like mind to innovate, to gain the trust of those we work with and serve, and to build back better in a way that strengthens  and connects together our communities.

Even with the lockdowns and interruptions, Momentum Waikato achieved another successful year working to create ‘A Better Waikato For Everyone Forever’, through our key objectives of growing a regional endowment fund and driving transformation change.

The Waikato Regional Theatre project moved forward with the signing of the construction contract by the Waikato Regional Property Trust and Foster Construction in July 2021, the sod turning with the Prime Minister in the following November, and the establishment of its operating company in May 2022. Over that year we sourced five of the remaining eight million dollars needed for the build.

In December 2021 we became the umbrella organisation for Driving Change, hosting the employment and administration services for this national network of agencies dedicated to providing access to driver licensing as a matter of social equity.

Both the Waikato Women’s Fund and the Waikato Intercultural Fund continued to develop strategies and/or deliver events - to all the volunteers on these committees, we offer our sincere thanks.

The redevelopment, in partnership with Wise Group, of the Houchen Retreat in Glenview into a ‘wellbeing village’ really began in earnest in early 2022, as funding from Trust Waikato and our own investment meant physical works could commence. Now called ‘Tirohanga’, the campus will include key Wise Group social and wellness services, including Pepe and Mamas respite care and the ‘Here To Help U’ call centre. We thank and applaud Wise Group for their ongoing efforts there.

A number of new public-facing funds were placed in our care, for All Good Ventures, Waikato-Hauraki conservation, the McKenzie Centre, the Hamilton Civic Choir, and the Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation.

We worked with Craigs Investment Partners to facilitate their Christmas support for community groups, and continued our own Greatest Needs Appeal, this time alongside Golden Homes, to support front-line groups sustaining communities impacted by the lockdowns.

At the 2021 Waikato Business Awards held in March 2022, organised by the Waikato Chamber of Commerce, we were honoured to win the ‘Not For Profit’ and ‘Community Contribution’ Awards, which was fantastic recognition for the efforts of our board, our team and all those who have established or donated to a fund or the various activities we support.

As an aside, while delivering the above outcomes, all our staff and trustees contracted Covid at least once. However, like the other inspiring organisations around us, we kept smiling and believing in our work and our community. Together we made a great positive difference for the Waikato in a period of unprecedented disruption and change.

During the past year, the Momentum Waikato Board welcomed new trustee Maxine Moana-Tuwhangai, who brings a wealth of governance experience as a director in both the business realm and Te Ao Maaori.

We farewelled Ken Stephens, who we thank for the significant contribution of his financial expertise over six years.

To our voluntary Board, we send our sincere thanks for your commitment and governance expertise.

The Momentum Waikato staff team in July 2022: L-R Mark Servian, Michelle Bond, Steve Gow, Janice Lapwood, Kelvyn Eglinton, Tim Macindoe and Rhianon Lewis.

To the Momentum Waikato staff team, we thank you very much for your perseverance. Your belief in what we do and how we do it is instrumental to our success.

And finally, to the score of donors who have contributed to appeals, who have established funds, who have backed our projects, who wanted to ensure generosity was key to addressing the impacts of Covid and our long-term community problems – we send our collective thanks and goodwill and look forward to continuing to work with you.