Nau Mai, Haere Mai.

With the summer break it has been a while since we sent you an Update, although things never really slowed down around here so we have lots to report...

Accelerating into 2021

Kelvyn Eglinton, Momentum Waikato Chief Executive

Kia ora tatou everyone.

Momentum Waikato’s agility is what enables us to pursue and achieve our twin strategic objectives of leading Transformational Projects for our communities and building a Regional Endowment Fund of $300 million by 2045.

Acceleration has been a feature of our recent efforts towards those goals, as we press ahead on our existing projects, continue to respond to the challenges of Covid and engage with a growing number of organisations.

Our headline news for the New Year is that the Waikato Regional Theatre really is finally close to reality. Just prior to Christmas the Waikato Regional Property Trust (which will own and operate the theatre) reached an agreed settlement in the Environment Court on the appeal related to Heritage NZ’s issued authorities. The resulting variation to the original resource consent was then received in early January.

This means the theatre project has now cleared all its regulatory hurdles, so the Property Trust is now finalising contracts and building schedules with the construction firm. Site work will start in a couple of months or so, with an announcement on the exact date due soon.

Read more.

Welcome to Tim Macindoe

A well-known local face has joined our crew. Tim Macindoe is our new part-time ‘Generosity Ambassador’, bringing aboard his years of experience representing our community in the capital.

“I am delighted to have joined the Momentum Waikato team and have appreciated the warm welcome I’ve received from my new colleagues,” says Tim.

Read more.

Experienced director is new Chair of Waikato Women’s Fund

The Waikato Women’s Fund-Te Ira Waahine o Waikato has a new chairperson – Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau CMInstD was unanimously elected last week at its committee’s first meeting for 2021.

A founding member of the giving circle, Rachel has more than 15 years of governance experience across the not-for-profit, public and private sectors, including work in economic and SME business development, international cross-cultural and diversity relations and mental health.

Rachel, a Tongan New Zealander, Ngati Awa, says she is honoured to be stepping up to this key leadership role with the Fund, which has an ambitious target of raising $3 million by 2030 to support women and girls in the Waikato.

“The Waikato Women’s Fund has done some incredible mahi since its establishment three years ago, but we are only just getting started,” says Rachel.

Read more at the Waikato Women's Fund site.

Waahine Toa re-ignite!

We have some news that is going to make your temperatures soar.

You may (or may not) have heard a whisper partnership with Tompkins Wake, 'Waahine Toa: Re-ignite' is back and our signature fundraising event is going to be an event in the calendar you won't want to miss.

So, save the date - Saturday 13 March, 1-5pm - get your your best hat and glad-rags on , your wallets out and book your friends for a fine High Tea experience at Zealong Tea Estate.

Read more and tickets link at the Waikato Women's Fund site.

Real change through ‘Vital Impact Investment’

Momentum Waikato has now diversified how it funds the change needed to create truly inclusive prosperity in our communities and real progress in rescuing our environment.

Central to our new thinking is a move to an ‘impact investment’ model – as in investment that seeks both a financial AND a social or environmental return. To us, it makes sense to use our own capital to directly drive our mission, rather than only growing the endowment in a separate silo.

We’re calling this our ‘Vital Impact Investment’ program.

Find out more.

Making a difference one pay packet at a time

Leading Waikato engineering firm Longveld Ltd were the first company to partner with Momentum Waikato to provide their staff with payroll giving and the automatic charity tax credit it provides.

A year into its operation, the Longveld Fund has now made its first annual grant – $1800 of its income has been donated to the mental health service Centre 401-Te Whare Whaa Rau Ma Tahi.

The company matches the funds contributed by its staff to multiply their collective impact. Momentum Waikato invests this capital, and the resulting income is then available for disbursement according to the donors’ wishes.

Managing Director Pam Roa says those Longveld team members committed to payroll giving decided that, since it was their first grant and they wanted to promote the scheme internally, they would ask all of the staff which sector should receive it.

Read more.

Waikato Rugby kicks-off grassroots fund

The future of grassroots amateur rugby across the Waikato is significantly more secure thanks to the creation of the new ‘Friends of Waikato Rugby Fund’ by Momentum Waikato and the Waikato Rugby Union.

The signing of the Fund’s Deed of Gift this week is a key outcome of the WRU’s efforts over the last five years to reinforce funding for community-level rugby by diversifying its income streams. It was made possible by a significant foundational gift from a generous group of directors and other rugby supporters.

Waikato Rugby Union Acting Chief Executive Officer Carl Moon is excited by the potential of the Fund.

“The new Friends of Waikato Rugby Fund gives local rugby supporters the opportunity to donate smartly and directly towards the community level of our game,” says Mr Moon.

“Grassroots rugby is the heartbeat of many of our region’s communities, schools and clubs. Ultimately, we see rugby as an avenue for greater community unity and wellbeing, so that will be the focus of the Fund’s future distributions.”

Read more.

Waikato Vital Signs now on our blog

Since mid-January we have been publishing the feature stories from last year's Waikato Vital Signs report in the blog feed at our website, one or two each week, with more to come. Each looks at the challenges and solutions of an issue common across different sectors of our communities, have a read!