Neil Richardson - Chair / Kelvyn Eglinton - Chief Executive

From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2021 - see full report in PDF.

The year 2021 was a watershed for Momentum Waikato.

As an organisation, we asked ourselves ever sharper and harder questions on how we can achieve our vision of ’A Better Waikato For Everyone, Forever’.

We live in a world that, for all its goodness, is increasingly unequal, unstable, and unsustainable. Central and local governments in New Zealand are struggling to meet their traditional responsibilities to their citizens, especially those most in need, while having to address a new range of emerging responsibilities, such as our community response to climate change.

The answers to the housing crisis, climate change, social inequality and realising our Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities have been known for some time. However, it seems that neither the market nor the government of any colour have sufficient mandate, capacity or the will and drive to move the legislative, budgetary and policy settings in the direction that will realise those answers.

But philanthropy can deliver solutions in that critical gap between the state and the market, if enabled by a community leadership agency that is focussed on strategic outcomes and acts nimbly in moving to achieve them. 

The Momentum regional endowment fund built by the generosity of the people of this region is an elegant and appropriate solution when matched with development, partnerships and delivery models that are agile, credible and effective.

To the end of the 2021 financial year we had grown the endowment portfolio to $33.8m, up from $30.5m in 2020. We have grown our donor database and established 15 funds and bequests, with more in the pipeline, and distributed to 66 causes from 491 individual donors.

We welcomed Tim Macindoe aboard as our ‘Ambassador’ in February 2021, to help accelerate the growth in the number of funds and bequests committed to the regional endowment in our care.

Whilst we are proud of these results, the success of Momentum Waikato is not measured in the short term. Endowment funds are by their very nature a long-term undertaking, designed to deliver in perpetuity.

The organisational diagrams below lay out our strategic goals and explain how we are achieving them. The ‘How We Work’ graphics over the page outline the project processes that both deliver real change in themselves and drive our ever-expanding perpetual cycle of growing community capacity.

Momentum Waikato is well placed to work with others to support and fund the new community innovations, to validate what is effective and then build the compelling case for government, corporates and philanthropists to invest, as we are independent and comfortable with the challenge of diverse and complex partnerships.

Our switch to an ‘Impact Investment’ financing model moves us away from traditional one-dimensional grant-making funded by siloed stock-market income – instead we are moving to use our capital itself to leverage the power of the market to create positive change.

For Momentum, impact investing means the investment of capital to generate a measurable social and/or environmental impact, as well as providing a monetary return. Quite a step from just recycling the principal to a risk-adjusted market rate return.

Momentum Waikato is now utilising an Impact Investment methodology as we set out to deliver housing and integrated wellness centres throughout our region. We appointed Steve Gow as our Projects Director in March 2021 to lead these initiatives and assist our partners in delivering homes where people can raise families, be secure and have a sense of place.

The Houchen Wellbeing Village in Glenview which was gifted to us by the Houchen Charitable Trust is being transformed into a wellness hub in partnership with Wise Group.  A co-design process identified several key services and wellness opportunities that can be delivered from the re-developed centre.  The connection of philanthropic gifting, investment and commercial partnering to deliver programmes, including Mama and Pepe respite, will be an exemplar model for developing service centres relevant to local communities across the region.

Our ‘Connect and Convene’ ethos also means we are able to join together like-minded agencies and people with relevant resources and expertise to add leverage to projects, as witnessed in our role assisting the development at Kimihia Lakes and the development of new Funds supporting activities as diverse as conservation, community rugby and social enterprise.

What’s critical is how we provide new models of delivery, that create positive community outcomes in our top three priority focus areas - reliable home tenure, wellness and connectivity in the community, and development pathways for young people.

It starts now, with you and me, and with the great spirit of generosity that defines the mighty Waikato.

That is our 100-year game plan, join us as we strive to make it all a reality.