Neil Richardson, Chair

As Christmas approaches and the beach beckons, I extend seasonal greetings and a huge thank you to everyone associated with Momentum Waikato – our team, our board, our donors, our volunteers, our supporters, our partner enterprises, and all the organisations we work with in the Waikato community.

The three challenging years of Covid led into a very hard 2023, with community needs now being greater than at any time in living memory. And we can expect 2024 to be no easier, with rising unemployment and reducing community resources.

In this world of growing needs and increasing inequality, the role of community-facing for-purpose organisations like Momentum Waikato is more important than ever.

It is times like this that we as a community need to pull together, so we can build back better, and actually realise the potential that exists in every persona nd in our wider community. It is generosity, both in spirit and materially, that will deliver a ‘better Waikato for everyone, forever’.

In this context Momentum Waikato has much to celebrate as we come to the end of our tenth year of operation.

The Waikato Regional Theatre is rising out of the ground, our partnership with Wise Group has developed the Tirohanga Houchens Wellness Space in Glenview, and the dozens of philanthropic investment funds now in our care are making grants to an ever-wider range of community organisations and projects.

In the last year we have committed to supporting the further development of Hamilton Gardens and establishment of the Waikato Medical School. We are also actively scoping out new project opportunities, including building an integrated regional facility for people with neurological conditions.

In the new year we welcome Simon Wickham as our new Chief Executive. I am looking forward to Simon leading our team of Janice, Andrea, Michelle and Mark in delivering more to our community. And I wish our outgoing CE Kelvyn Eglinton the very best in his new endeavors.

To everyone, we hope you have a joyful and restful Christmas and New Year. Reflect positively on what makes us strong as individuals and as a community. And look forward to a fulfilling year in 2024.

Merry Xmas.

Neil Richardson