During May, we embarked upon one of our most important tasks yet in our role as your community foundation: reaching out and listening carefully to you, our community.

Waikato Vital Signs is a community check-up that will be published over August and September and will report on the social, environmental, cultural and economic well-being of our communities, joining the dots between statistical information and what matters most to people living in our communities.

It is an honour to be undertaking Waikato Vital Signs for our community, sharing knowledge and compiling important feedback from people like you across the Waikato who both know and love our place. Our task now is to compare and contrast what we’ve heard with the robust statistical data that our university has obtained from a variety of organizational and governmental sources.

It has been humbling to realise the response of such a variety of audiences who came to our engagement sessions in Morrinsville, Ngaruawahia, Hamilton, and Matamata, as well as the four special youth and iwi sessions. We witnessed great generosity from those who attended and were eager to share their wisdom from within their own communities.

There were large turnouts at every session, with Hamilton’s session being attended by over 200 people who chose to share their knowledge and life experiences in order to have a hand in shaping the future of this place we all love.

Momentum Waikato and our six philanthropic partners hope that the final Waikato Vital Signs report will strengthen our collective understanding of and connections within Waikato communities. We want it to inform and support decision-making by identifying and communicating key priorities and aspirations of Waikato communities. And we aim to use it to inform our grantmaking in support of organisations that can address key community needs and opportunities.

Thank you for being part of our very first community report card. We are thrilled the project has been so enthusiastically embraced by so many already, and we know it will provide valuable insights going forward towards creating a better Waikato for everyone, forever.

You can learn more about Waikato Vital Signs here.

Cheryl Reynolds

Chief Executive, Momentum Waikato Community Foundation