At recent Institute of Directors conference, the Minister of Finance, the Honorable Grant Robertson noted the aspiration of the Labour-led Government to define the success of New Zealand, not simply by Gross Domestic Product growth and economic data, but by also including the way in which we address our national social and environmental measures.

The concept of utilising the Living Standards Framework to identify key measures that New Zealand should address and setting targets for how the whole of government should seek to impact positively on social issues is a key step change for New Zealand as a country.

Already we have seen the Prime Minister set Child Poverty reduction targets within Treasury and other departments. Additionally, the Minister stated that to resolve these issues, Business leaders and Government were going to have to partner with the social sector.

Importantly this provides an avenue for Philanthropy and Community Foundations throughout New Zealand to align the needs of their communities with their generous donors and thoughtful gifting, with the government and business focus areas.

Here at Momentum Waikato, and through the evidence based and robust Vital Signs process, we have a clear approach to identifying the regions aspirations and issues for resolution.

And it is through the act of giving that we seek to leverage other investment to make profound change in society for the betterment of the Waikato community and make a better Waikato for everyone; forever.

To do this we are focused on three main objectives:

  • Building a Long-Term Endowment - The Waikato Future Fund such that the fund generates returns that can be granted to change agents within out communities in perpetuity.

  • Secondly, we want to link generous donors to issues and subjects that matter to them and in doing so leverage other donors who have the same interests and leverage greater returns for the donors and the agencies.

  • And thirdly we want to drive and support transformational projects and programmes - our current project being the Waikato Regional Theatre. Future identification of regional transformational projects will form a pipeline of opportunities to leverage partner funding.

We see philanthropy as thoughtful giving – the philosophy being that we seek to make significant investments and grants to change agents who will make disruptive change and positive impact to issues that are important to society and the environment. Key to this is the linking of donor-centric interests to the evidence-based Vital Signs findings.

Momentum Waikato is also keen to explore how innovation can be utilized to impact on social issues. How can creativity and execution of ideas be supported by philanthropy to positively impact change.

To be able to lead this exciting organization, in a time where the communities need to leverage all of our collective wisdom in new and innovative ways is a great opportunity. To build on the work of the previous CEO Cheryl Reynolds and work with the current team to progress the vision of Momentum Waikato is exciting.

We look forward to sharing our journey with you and learning from you as we roll go about making Waikato the most generous region on the planet.

Kelvyn Eglinton

Chief Executive

Momentum Waikato