Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

Big news in this issue, as we welcome Simon aboard and farewell Kelvyn.

While all that's been happening, the mahi continues, check out the other tales below...

Generosity makes change when built on trust and capability

Kelvyn Eglinton, outgoing CEO of Momentum Waikato.

As the Waikato Regional Theatre rises out of the ground, the regional endowment fund approaches $44million while supporting an ever-growing range of causes, and Tirohanga Houchen Wellbeing Space begins delivering services to the community, I have been asked to reflect on which of Momentum Waikato’s achievements I am most proud of from my six years as its CEO.

My sense of satisfaction is not simply about the specific projects. It comes from seeing what is possible when a whole bunch of people are mobilised by the belief that philanthropy done differently can create real positive change for our community.

A governance board that takes risks and challenges the traditional philanthropic behaviour of conservative capital investment.

A team whose personal values align with the opportunity to do things differently, and then use their considerable skill and networks to achieve the challenges set by the board.

The donors and the members of trusts who trust Momentum Waikato. Who have created the thirty-eight specific funds that so far make up the regional endowment, and buy into the smarter way of giving as a way to make long-term change.

All are a part of creating ‘A better Waikato for everyone, forever’.

Read more.

New Chief Executive will keep Momentum moving!

In case you missed yesterday's announcement...

Simon Wickham is the new Chief Executive Officer of Momentum Waikato, bringing an impressive background in commercial and for-purpose leadership to the community foundation dedicated to creating ‘a better Waikato for everyone, forever’.

Neil Richardson, Momentum Waikato’s Chair, is today announcing the appointment of Simon Wickham. He is also thanking outgoing Momentum CEO Kelvyn Eglinton, who is moving on after nearly six years in the role.

"Momentum Waikato has evolved in recent years under Kelvyn Eglinton’s excellent stewardship as CEO and we’re delighted to have someone of Simon’s calibre come onboard for Momentum’s next phase,” says Neil.

Read more.

Waikato Women’s Fund sees strong returns in 2023

We are pleased to have ended the 2023 year with a strong result and return-to market-gains for the Waikato Women’s Fund!

As per our granting policy, the fund distributes 80% of return of investment, which means the Waikato Women’s Fund has $10,000 to distribute for the 2023 financial year.

To all current members! Check your inbox for details on how you can have your say in this year's granting round. Also, if you’re interested in attending the Annual Members Meeting at the end of November, it will include a discussion on granting using 2023 financial year proceeds, election of new committee members, and planning for 2024 activities. Details will be confirmed soon.

We are also looking for more waahine to join our committee for 2024. If you are interested in applying or would like to discuss what is involved, please email us at We’d love to have you on board!

Donella enjoys simple and perpetual charitable giving

Donella Graney signs the deed setting up the R & D Graney Fund.

Donella Graney likes to give back to her community, so being in a position to do so, has made regular donations to a range of local and national charities for some years.

“They all do a good job and are screaming out for money, and with the health-related ones you never know when you will need them yourself,” she explains.

However, Donella was finding that her charitable giving was requiring time and attention, and that she was getting a lot of mail due to the number of groups she was supporting.

“Then a few years ago I listened to a speaker from Momentum Waikato who gave a talk to my women’s group Tuahini,” says Donella.

“I could see that placing money into the care of Momentum simplifies your giving, and that it means your donating can continue forever.

“Some monies then came my way from investments made by my late husband Richard, so I decided to set up my own fund at Momentum, with the income going to the charities I choose.”

Read more.

Thank you, Pam Roa

Momentum Waikato offers a heartfelt thanks to Pam Roa, who is ended her term on our board in August.

Pam, the managing director of leading local engineering firm Longveld, became a Momentum trustee in September 2015, and is stepping down after a full term of eight years.

“I joined the Momentum Waikato board because I love community foundations’ role of enabling communities to come together to solve their own challenges,” says Pam, “and I wanted to contribute to a Waikato-focused organisation that had the potential to strengthen our region and community for generations to come.”

Read more.

Donny story shows philanthropy is evolving

The Waipoa Farm Cadet Training Trust is supported by The Donny Trust Fund.

The story of the Donny Charitable Trust and its fusion with Momentum Waikato is a classic tale of how philanthropy in New Zealand is evolving and consolidating.

The Donnys were brother and sister Francis and Germaine Donny, born at the start of the 20th century after their parents had migrated from Belgium to Hamilton. Over the course of their lives they together farmed around Raglan, Hamilton and Morrinsville, neither getting married or having children.

Hamiltonians will associate the Donny name with Donny Park and Donny Avenue, between the eastern bank of the Waikato River and Chartwell, so named as the Donnys once farmed there. In 1981 they gifted land on Donny Avenue for pensioner housing.

The Donny Trust was established in 1978 with the Donny siblings and Maurice VanHoutte and Barry Paterson as trustees.

Francis and Germaine Donny died within a year or so of each other in the early 1990s, both over 90 years old, at which point their Trust became operational and started making grants to charities.

Eventually, in 2020 it transferred its assets to the regional endowment fund at Momentum Waikato, which is committed to continuing the Donny Trust prescription of charitable giving.

Read more.

Conservation fund fills gaps others don’t reach

The Junes are stalwarts of Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society, above.

A conservationist couple are calling on Waikato people to join them in building a philanthropic investment fund dedicated to filling the funding gaps for volunteer nature groups.

Selwyn and Dianne June established the Waikato Hauraki Conservation Fund at Momentum Waikato with a significant donation in 2021, with the intent of creating a long-term source of funding for conservation work anywhere in the Waikato.

They invite the public to donate and grow the Fund’s ability to support local predator control and other conservation projects by volunteers and landowners.

“Predator control is the main theme for what we want to support,” says Selwyn.

“These are practical activities that protect our unique biodiversity. Funds will be made available for predator and pest control, monitoring biodiversity, restoration planting and weeding, species translocations, hiring expert advice and specialised contractors, volunteer training, group administration and promotion.”

Read more.