Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

This Update has a health theme, with news on our role in the Waikato Graduate Medical School project and two new health-related Funds now in our care, which is on top of the announcement of the Waikato Medical Research Foundation Fund in the last issue.

All food for your thought, and worthy of your support.

University of Waikato: Medical School funding gains Momentum

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Momentum Waikato Chief Executive Kelvyn Eglinton.

Originally published by The University of Waikato.

Funding for a Graduate School of Medicine at The University of Waikato will be supported by community foundation Momentum Waikato if the proposal is implemented after this year’s general election.

Momentum will partner with the University to establish a support fund from philanthropic donors both nationally and internationally, to strengthen the proposal for the school, which the National Party has committed to if they are successful after the October election.

“There is already widespread stakeholder support to deliver a Graduate Medical School at the University,” says University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley.

“Momentum’s support, their networks and the access they will provide to significant philanthropic funding streams can only strengthen our proposal further.”

Read more.

Eye research needs vision

Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer, Scientific Director of the Vision Research Foundation.

Research into eyes and eyesight in Aotearoa-New Zealand needs to be visionary.

Which is why the new Vision Research Foundation (VRF) has been established – to move beyond the safe and incremental, to attract the funding and knowledge needed to make life-changing discoveries, and to unlock the potential medical talent shut out by inequity.

Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer (pictured above) founded the Foundation as a charitable trust in 2022 and is now its Scientific Director.

It was established with the support of a generous philanthropist and has since started to attract direct donations and bequests. Now the VRF has set up a philanthropic investment fund at Momentum Waikato, which is open for public donations from anywhere.

“We are at a time when technology is developing faster than most research ideas,” says Helen.

“The Vision Research Foundation is therefore aimed at using those rapidly developing technological advances to disrupt traditional modes of eye care and research.

“Our philosophy is that by challenging established paradigms we can make transformative discoveries in vision science."

Read more.

‘A tree with many leaves of opportunity’ for Maaori in health

Te Rau Oranga founder Ruth Tan is a doctor at Waikato Hospital.

The determination that others must follow in her footsteps has led a successful young doctor to team up with a senior colleague to create a new philanthropic investment fund dedicated to getting more Maaori into the health sector.

Te Rau Oranga Fund has been established by Waikato Hospital doctors Ruth Tan (Ngaati Hangarau and Ngaati Mutunga) and Stephen Ng, along with their colleagues and families, and placed in the care of Momentum Waikato, where it is now open to public donations.

Ruth and Stephen’s ultimate goal is to improve health outcomes for Maaori in the Waikato, and they believe one of the ways this can be done is by increasing the number of Maaori working in the health system.

Their new Fund will achieve this by providing scholarships, career promotion and mentoring to students, initially at Te Kura Tuarua o Taniwharau-Fraser High School in Hamilton, which Ruth attended, and eventually at other local secondary schools in the Waikato.

“Te Rau Ora has a few meanings, ’ora’ is ‘health and wellness’, ‘rau’ can be ‘many’ or ‘leaf’,” says Ruth.

“The title has been gifted to us by Matua Paora, a long-serving kaiako at Fraser, who says it to mean both ‘health for the many’ and ‘a tree with many leaves of opportunity’.

“You don’t see many Maaori in the workforce here at the Hospital, we are few and far between, and that is a barrier.”

Read more.

Momentum Waikato in London!

Our Waikato in London event was a huge success.

The gathering of Waikato folks last Thursday was hosted by our own Janice Lapwood, in partnership with University of Waikato Alumni & Friends, at The Old Crown Public House on New Oxford Street.

Some 30 people heard about Momentum Waikato's work on the Waikato Regional Theatre, the new Hamilton Gardens and the planned Waikato Medical School, as well as smart giving to the philanthropic investment funds in our care.

Waikato Women's Fund: Riding with Spirit of Coromandel Trust

We are so pleased to support the work of the The Spirit of Coromandel Trust and their ‘Waahine on Wheels’ programme. We were delighted to be able to donate a small grant from the proceeds from the Waahine Toa event held in October 2022.

The ‘Waahine on Wheels’ programme and the Spirit of Coromandel Trust was selected following a nomination process, aiming to support an organisation or an individual in the Hauraki or Thames-Coromandel districts affected by the recent weather events.

Read more.

Social skill is key to event photography success

Mike Walen is a self-taught professional photographer whose business success has been entirely driven by word-of-mouth endorsement.

Now KeyImagery, Mike’s Hamilton-based firm, has become a Momentum Waikato Partner business.

With a knack for the social side of snapping people, Mike really enjoys event photography.  

“Three quarters of what I do is about being able to socialise with people, I’m not scared of approaching them to ask if I can take their photo,” says Mike.

“Nothing I love more than going along and mingling.”

Read more.