Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

Momentum Waikato continues to welcome aboard new philanthropic investment funds, one of which we introduce you to below - the Waikato Medical Research Foundation Fund.

Also very happy to be telling the story of Tirohanga in this issue, a great example of how Momentum is uniquely placed to combine legacy management with transformational projects for the community.


Tirohanga: realising a legacy with a place of peace and calm

The Lounge at Tirohanga - Houchen Wellness Space.

The creation of Tirohanga - the Houchen Wellness Space is the story of a family’s legacy to their community being able to flower to its full potential, thanks to a smart partnership between two innovative local organisations.

Tirohanga, located in Glenview on the south-western edge of Kirikiriroa-Hamilton, is a place of peace and calm where people can restore themselves to wellness and get support to rejuvenate.

It has been established and is operated by Wise Group, in partnership with Momentum Waikato, the guardian of the Houchen family’s vision for the site.

Wise Group’s Operations Manager Erana Severne says Tirohanga is a first, delivering wellness services in a way that hasn’t been done before.

“Healing is the cornerstone,” says Erana, “Tirohanga is a healthy and safe environment to find a sense of belonging and connection."

Read more.

Opportunity to back world-leading health research in Waikato

A health research funder on a quest to make a difference for the people of the Waikato, is inviting the public to donate to a new philanthropic investment fund that will help it back more projects.

The Waikato is a centre for world-leading health research, thanks in part to the work of the Waikato Medical Research Foundation (WMRF) since it was established in 1986.

The population of the Waikato is young, growing and diverse, with its own distinct health challenges and inequities, particularly amongst rural, Maaori and Pasifika communities. The Foundation's purpose is to provide seed funding for robust and ethical research into medical and health care that can bridge inequity gaps and improve health outcomes across the board.

Foundation Chair Gillian Spry points to the well-regarded ‘Sugar Babies Study’ by Dr Deborah Harris as a transformational project that received WMRF backing.

“That research changed clinical practice around the world. Newborn babies having low blood sugar, hypoglycemia, can lead them to suffer brain damage or death,” says Gillian.

In the Sugar Babies trial, sugar in the form of dextrose gel was shown to be very effective at reversing hypoglycemia and reducing the number of admissions to neo-natal intensive care for the condition.

Read More.

Te Awamutu College Multi-Sports Turf Appeal

Students at Te Awamutu College are deservedly in for a treat when their new covered Multi-sports Turf field is completed in a few weeks. Schools need great facilities to enhance students educational experiences - but they can't do it alone.

Donations are still being sought for the completion of this sports facility at the College and you can show your support by donating directly and easily to the campaign via Momentum Waikato: go to and choose or reference 'Te Awamutu College Sportsturf Appeal' in the payment option you choose there, or email to find out more about how you can support this project.

Payroll giving + investment fund = win win win

Longveld fabricated 'Ngaa Pou Karohirohi' on Hamilton’s city river jetty, a project led by artist Eugene Kara, Ngaati Korokii Kahukura, in collaboration with local hapuu representatives.

Coupling IRD’s Payroll Giving scheme with a philanthropic investment fund has been a ‘win win win’ for a Waikato engineering firm, its employees and the social service providers they’ve supported.

Longveld started up its fund in 2019 at Momentum Waikato, their local community foundation, and ever since has dollar-for-dollar matched their team’s donations towards it.

Payroll Giving takes the agreed donations out of pay packets in the same manner as income tax or student loan repayments, with the tax on the donation being able to be claimed back at tax return time.

Once a year the team votes on where to grant a portion of the fund’s income, which Managing Director Pam Roa describes as “a fun process”.

“Our payroll giving and funding vote brings together our support team and our trade crew for a common purpose unrelated to work,” says Pam.

“The staff who have donated to the fund submit their ideas for who they want it to support and then we get together to chat about what each nominated organisation does for the Waikato community. Then we vote, and the most popular choice gets our support that year.

“We love that pooling and investing our donations has a bigger longer-term impact. And along the way, we all learn more about what not-for-profit groups are achieving in the Waikato."

Read more.

Coromandel shortlist for Waikato Women's Fund 2022 grant

The Waikato Women’s Fund (WWF) exists to create an endowment or Future Fund, held in perpetuity for the purpose and vision of the WWF. Unless specified by donors, all monies received as donations are treated as part of the Future Fund. These funds are invested by Momentum Waikato on WWF's behalf.

Any returns generated by the Fund enable us to make a small number of grants to worthy organisations and initiatives that enable girls and women in the Waikato to realise their aspirations, creating a ripple effect of change.

The year ending 30 June 2022 was a very challenging year for investment markets. Similarly, the return-on-investment result for the Fund was disappointing, meaning there are no returns available to distribute as grants. We asked for and received feedback from our members, with many supporting a small grant, drawn under exceptional circumstances from the ‘Waahine Toa 2022’ event proceeds.

It was decided this grant (NZ$2,000) would go to an organisation or an individual in the Hauraki or Thames-Coromandel districts affected by the recent weather events, who is actively supporting girls and women in their area to achieve their aspirations.

Following our request for nominations from the membership and consideration by our WWF committee, the following have been shortlisted for membership voting.

See the nominations.

Support for getting smarter with money

The new logo for the Waikato Financial Literacy Fund.

Managing your own finances wisely is a life skill that is becoming ever more important for survival and wellbeing in the modern world, and yet many people don’t know how to make money work for them and often pay a high price for that lack of understanding.

Cambridge philanthropists John and Nicola Kenel see this knowledge gap as a serious issue for the wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and the nation, so last year they set up the ‘Waikato Financial Literacy Fund’ at Momentum Waikato.

You're invited to also support this initiative that aims to tackle this issue by funding financial literacy courses and tools for young people.

Find out more.