Nau Mai, Haere Mai.

Creating a positive future for all

Kelvyn Eglinton, Momentum Waikato Chief Executive

Kia ora tatou everyone.

What would ‘A Better Waikato for Everyone, Forever’ actually look like? 

That was a question we asked in our Waikato Vital Signs survey last year, drawing responses from across the region.    

In Hamilton, the dreams were of things like better long distance and city public transport, neighbourhoods safe from crime and traffic, and greater cultural inclusion.

In the Waikato’s towns, locals hope their identity and connection as a community can survive and be strengthened, ideally by their youngsters returning home or not having to leave in the first place.

Across the board, the Waikato Vital Signs submissions characterised a better future as a healthier environment and a sustainably prosperous economy, where the latter supports rather than compromises the former. 

We suggested survey respondents could express their answer to this question as a letter to their great great grandchild, which a number of people took up.

What would you want to tell your yet-to-be-born descendent about your hopes and dreams for the place you call home, at the beginning of the third decade of the millennium?

Here is just one of those heartfelt missives, from a Waipa survey respondent...

Read more.

Momentum Waikato Showcase 2021 - photos and video

The Topp Twins on the couch at the Momentum Waikato Showcase 2021.

The previously annual Momentum Waikato Showcase was delayed six months to March due to Covid, so it was great to get together with our principal supporters for the first time in ages and show them what we've been up to and what's coming next.

The presentations at Claudelands covered the role of bequests in building the regional endowment fund, the Karioi-Kimihia Lakes project, the Houchens Retreat project, the Waikato Intercultural Fund, the Waikato Women's Fund and, last but not least, the Waikato Regional Theatre.

There was some serious star power in the house to support the theatre project - The Topp Twins and Lord of the Rings star John Rhys-Davies (AKA Gimli) entertained the crowd in their own unique ways.

Watch the Showcase video.

See more Showcase photos.

Chair and Chief Executive's Annual Report

The newly published Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2020 is full of great stories, some of which are below. From the front of the booklet, here's the Chair and Chief Executive's Report by Neil Richardson and Kelvyn Eglinton...

Momentum Waikato’s agility is what enables us to pursue and achieve our twin strategic objectives of leading ‘Transformational Projects’ for our communities while building a regional endowment fund of $300 million over the next 30 years.

Being nimble was certainly a feature of the July 2019 to June 2020 year covered by this Annual Report, as Momentum Waikato reacted to the challenges we all faced as a nation.

Acceleration has been the focus of our efforts, as we pressed on with existing projects, responded to the immediate challenges of Covid and interacted with a growing number of organisations as the pandemic prompted them to prioritise their long-term financial security.

Read more.

Download full Annual Report 2020.

Welcome to Steve Gow

Our newest team member is here to make an impact.

Steve Gow is our Director - Impact Projects, focused on affordable housing and wellness projects.

Read more.

Waikato Regional Theatre - clearing the final hurdles

Site work for the Waikato Regional Theatre is due to start in the next few weeks. Ahead of that, our Annual Report 2020 tells the tale of the project over the last eighteen months....

Prime-minister Jacinda Ardern and Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate arrive for the PGF funding announcement in November 2019.

The main challenge the Waikato Regional Theatre project was working through at the time of the last Momentum Waikato Annual Report was securing financial support from central government.

That chapter finally ended in November 2019 when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced to a crowd of keen supporters in Embassy Park that the Provincial Growth Fund was putting $12 million into the construction of the theatre.

With the commitments already made by the Hamilton City Council, Waikato Regional Council and Trust Waikato, that meant we had reached the preliminary target of $69 million of our provisional budget of $74 million, allowing the project to go ‘live’.

This meant the Waikato Regional Property Trust (WRPT), the new entity that will own and oversee the operation of the theatre, was able to get underway with completing the detailed design and the procurement processes for construction.

Read more.

Donny Trust - commitment to the community

Donny Trust Chair Barry Paterson.

From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2020.

The Donny Trust has more than doubled its capital base since 1995, while also making grants totaling around $10m to about 400 organisations. Since 2014 the trustees have been focusing their financial support in three areas – palliative care nurse training, agricultural education and child protection.

With the trustees getting older and capital management and legal compliance becoming more complex, the Donny Trust has decided to transfer its $11m of assets and their administration to Momentum Waikato. This will ensure the continuation of their trust’s mission, including maintaining their established commitments to organisations working in their areas of concern.

This is the single largest ‘trust transfer’ to Momentum Waikato to date and we are very appreciative and thankful for the trust and confidence they have placed in us as an organisation. 

Read more.

Waikato Intercultural Fund - laying the governance groundwork

The Fund’s Development Workshop at the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion in November 2019 mapped out the context and likely scope of its mission.

From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2020.

Momentum Waikato’s project to empower and support the region’s diverse ethnic and migrant communities progressed from concept to reality over the course of the 2019-2020 year.

At the time of last year’s Annual Report we had established what was then called ‘The Waikato Cultural Inclusion Fund’ with some seed funding and an initial round of donations. This followed scoping discussions that were accelerated into action as a positive response to the Christchurch terrorist attack in March 2019.

Following some follow-up meetings with key people and initial drafting of a Fund Charter, Momentum staffer Mark Servian and Internal Affairs’ Strategic Programmes and Partnership Advisor Jenny Nand took on the project in August 2019, with the goal of consulting the community on the Fund’s mission and then recruiting a standing governance group.

Read more.

Houchen Trust - Wellness plan detours to Covid response

Erana Severne from the Wise Group with frozen meals prepared for the Covid relief effort.

From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2020.

The story of the Houchen Retreat over the last year-or-so is a prime example of Momentum Waikato both ‘taking the baton’ for a charitable trust’s mission and stepping up to a community leadership role, all while also being a key chapter in our Covid response.

Situated on a 1.7ha site on the south-west edge of Hamilton in the suburb of Glenview, the Houchen’s Retreat was originally established by the Houchen family in the 1980s to provide a place of rest, study and reflection for visiting Anglican priests and the wider church and local communities. As the years have passed its use by the church has dropped away and in recent times it has mainly been used as spaces-for-hire.

The current generation of family trustees had meanwhile not been getting any younger, so faced with mounting responsibilities and with a desire to see it continue and further develop as a community asset, they decided to transfer the Houchen Trust and its land and assets into the care of Momentum Waikato.

The sign-over took place in October 2019, with Stuart and Peggy Houchen present and secure in the knowledge their family’s intent for the place would continue in perpetuity, with no chance of it being on-sold for redevelopment.

Momentum was clear in this move that we would realise this goal as ‘the landlord’ and asset manager, rather than by directly delivering services ourselves. Almost immediately the ideal partner appeared, with the Wise Group identifying the Houchen campus as the site for their first ‘wellness village’.

Read more.