Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

Greetings and a Happy New Year from the Momentum Waikato team (is February too late to say that?).

Our new CEO Simon Wickham started on 15 January, and here he is below in our new team pic taken soon after by Mark Hamilton. Left-to-right: Janice, Mark, Andrea, Simon and Michelle.

Thanks as ever for reading our tales below, and keep having a great summer!

Securing the future for local disability support funding

The Gemini Trust was set up in 1995 to support the work of CCS Disability Action Waikato, the local branch of New Zealand’s largest disability support and advocacy organisation. CCS Disability Action supports disabled people 0-65 years old, with impairments of any type.

Its Waikato Local Executive Committee recently established the ‘Fund for CCS Disability Action Waikato’ at Momentum Waikato by transferring over its investment portfolio. This has allowed the Gemini Trust to be wound up, while ensuring its mission continues forever.

The work of CCS Disability Action Waikato makes a huge difference in the lives of disabled people and their whaanau across the Waikato, Coromandel and King Country.

A heart-warming example is that of Lexy and her foster parents Maree and Dave in Te Aroha, pictured below.

The kind and generous couple have opened their home to many children in need over the years, mostly on a short-term basis. One day they received a call about a 15-month-old toddler called Lexy, who came to live with them soon after and is now 12.

“She’s a complete social butterfly,” says Maree.

Read more.

‘Gap filling’ grants made to local conservation projects

Volunteer Colin Jackson checks a rat trap on Kakapuku.

A ‘gap-filler’ conservation fund established at Momentum Waikato by a local philanthropic couple has made its first round of grants towards predator control and restoration planting projects across the region.

The Waikato Hauraki Conservation Fund was kickstarted by a significant donation by Dianne and Selwyn June in 2021, and then boosted by a donation from the estate of the late John and Bunny Mortimer, who established the Taitua Arboretum.

The Fund welcomes public donations that will grow the ongoing investment income it uses to support conservation work by voluntary groups and landowners.

As reported last August, the Junes are stalwarts of the Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society, where their experience of funding shortfalls led them to set up this philanthropic fund targeted at “filling gaps” in conservation funding.

Find out which conservation groups received WHCF grants.

School camp legacy backs visionary lake project

The visionary project to create a public outdoor education and recreation park around the new lake filling a former mine at Kimihia in Huntly is in part being enabled by a trust originally established to build a school camp near Raglan.

The Huntly Karioi Trust was established in 1972 to facilitate outdoor education opportunities for the students of Huntly College. It was incorporated the following year, as camping and other outdoor training classes were getting underway at the College.

By 1976 the Trust had raised in excess of $30,000, a significant amount at the time, achieved with the support of the College’s staff, local farmers and the community at large.

Two significant fundraisers had been a raffle for a new car, and the running of a relay from Wellington to Huntly in just under 44 hours by nine students, including Lynda Topp, and teacher Brian Curle, pictured below.

Read more.

Want to start a social enterprise? Apply for AVG support in March!

Do you want to start a business that will reinvest its profits back into people in need?

All Good Ventures exists to help you make that happen. This local charity operates a unique year-long programme targeted at those who have a ‘people-liberating’ social enterprise idea, but lack the resources to get it off the ground.

Successful applicants receive three things: seed funding, business mentoring and extra business support to help them turn their business idea into reality.

Applications are open 1-31 March 2024. For more details visit

Or, if you are willing and able to help All Good Ventures offer this support, please consider donating to the All Good Ventures Fund here at Momentum Waikato - find out more at

Waikato Women’s Fund kicks off 2024 with a new face at the helm

The Waikato Women’s Fund is a community of generous women who work together to create opportunities for females in the Waikato. We support projects that help and empower women and girls to reach their full potential and achieve the best outcomes.

The Women’s Fund is pleased to share that Tracy Hemingway, pictured above, has been appointed as its new Chair, after being on the committee since January 2022.

New committee members and supporters are always welcome, and we look forward to engaging with our Fund membership throughout 2024.

It’s like a tax high-five!

When you give through your local community foundation, your donation becomes a double win – a powerful gesture of community support and a smart financial decision.

Momentum Waikato ensures that your donation goes directly to where it is needed most and you can receive 33% of your donation back through a tax credit when you do your tax return, which you can then also donate!

Top tip – claiming tax credits for your charitable donations is easy via the convenient digital service Supergenerous.

Join us in building a stronger, more vibrant community and make your giving go further.

Find out more at the Community Foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand site.