From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2023 - see full report in PDF.

The purpose of the Waikato Women’s Fund remains to help women and girls to achieve their aspirations, by growing a philanthropic investment fund and using its income to make grants, while also celebrating and showcasing the power of women, girls and their communities.

The Fund is steered by a diligent voluntary committee of women from all walks of life, who are together guided by its core values as we shape the direction of the Fund.

A change in committee leadership in the 2022-2023 year saw Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau step away and Chantal Baxter taking the helm for a one-year term.

At 30 June 2023, the Women’s Fund had 169 members and a portfolio balance of $223,354, invested as part of the Momentum Waikato regional endowment fund.

The inspirational Te Waka Ruapounamu McLeod speaks at Waahine Toa: RISE in October 2022.

One of our primary ways of growing the Fund is holding a high tea event, which attracts our members and friends from across the region. Waahine Toa: Rise presented by Tompkins Wake, attended by 160 guests, was held on Saturday 15 October 2022 at The Atrium at Wintec.

The audience were entertained by some inspiring speakers, before an auction where fantastic gifts were up for grabs, which raised almost $25,000 towards the Waikato Women’s Fund.

The current granting policy of the Fund is to pay out annual grants of up to 80% of investment return, but the previous financial year had delivered a disappointing return-on-investment, seemingly stymying the grant round planned for late 2022.

However, on consulting our membership, a unanimous resolution decided that $2,000 from the surplus generated by Waahine Toa: Rise event would be diverted into a grant to an organisation or individual actively supporting girls and women in the Hauraki or Thames-Coromandel districts that had been affected by the severe weather events in those areas.

Chosen via our usual grant voting process, we were pleased to support the work of the Spirit of Coromandel Trust and their ‘Waahine on Wheels’ programme.

Throughout 2022 and into 2023, the Fund has worked towards increasing its engagement and relationships with existing and new members. The ‘Coffee & Connect’ series created to enable this was hosted in several locations across the region. We appreciate the amazing support from our partner RecruitNet in delivering these fun gatherings.

In the year ended June 2023 the Women’s Fund received a positive investment result of 6.79%. This fantastic news has allowed the Fund to grant $10,000 to organisations in our community towards the end of 2023.

We received nominations to support four amazing organisations, and again after reaching out to our membership, a decision was made to support all four.

  • He Puaawai at Fraser High School in Hamilton - offering places for pregnant or teenage parents aiming to complete their secondary school NCEA qualifications;

  • Hope Rising Farm in Ngaaruawaahia - supporting vulnerable youth and women to develop life skills and confidence by partnering with horses and donkeys through a series of well-being programmes;

  • Waitomo Waipa Women's Refuge - providing support and advocacy for those experiencing family violence;

  • Shama Ethnic Women's Trust - providing support, advocacy and empowerment programmes for ethnic women, their children and families.

The Waikato Women’s Fund wishes to acknowledge Momentum Waikato and all our sponsors and members for your ongoing support for our mission to empower the region’s women and girls so they can realise their dreams and aspirations. Your commitment has been instrumental in driving our kaupapa.