Momentum Waikato offers a heartfelt thanks to Pam Roa, who is ending her term on our board this month.

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.”

Pam Roa (centre) at the signing of the MSASS Deed of Gift in January 2023.

“Momentum was pretty new then, and we were still working out how it could have the most useful impact.

“Strategic direction had been set by the great work put in by the founding board that came together in 2013, but having a community foundation in the Waikato was without precedence and it felt like every month we were seeing new possibilities emerge that made us move our thinking.

“The trustees were comfortable with quite disparate views around the table, and we spent time debating and trialling ideas until our focus on transformational intergenerational impact emerged.

“In the meantime, Momentum was developing a reputation for getting the right people together to galvanise projects through our work on the Waikato Regional Theatre.

“The regional endowment fund is now growing fast, especially with private trusts putting their funds into Momentum’s care.

“It feels like we went around a roundabout a few times, jumped in and out of a few cul-de-sacs, and now we’ve hit the expressway!”

Pam points to a number of highlights as Momentum has sped up in her years in the role.

“Momentum is about building generosity at all levels of giving, for all time.

“So particularly memorable for me was the creation of the Mortimer Taitua Fund in 2015, as Momentum’s first named fund, set up by Bunny and John Mortimer, who have both since died in their nineties, to support their gift of the Taitua Arboretum to the people of the Waikato.

The Mortimers were hugely respected figures in our community, and they were really brave in leading the field, and we were very grateful for their trust in what Momentum is all about,” says Pam.

Pam Roa makes a point at Kimihia Lake in September 2020.

“Another moment that stands out because of the long-term view in the moment, was standing on a hill overlooking Kimihia lakes at Huntly in 2020.

It was the day we signed up the Karioi Fund, which will support the Kimihia Lakes Community Charitable Trust in restoring the former Huntly East opencast mine back into a recreational lake with a community outdoor education facility, a process that will take decades.

“Personally, most of all I loved being involved in founding the Waikato Women’s Fund - Te Ira Waahine o Waikato, a giving circle of people who donate anything from a few dollars up to tens-of-thousands of dollars, to build a fund that makes annual grants to organisations that help women and girls thrive.

Pam Roa, second from right, at the Launch of the Waikato Women's Fund in July 2018.

The launch of the Women’s Fund in July 2018 was supported by a wonderful cross-section of Waikato folk and epitomised to me what it means to feel the aroha of this region,” says Pam.

Her time on the board may be up, but Pam intends to stay engaged with Momentum.

“I’ll always be an ambassador for Momentum in spreading its vision of making a better Waikato for everyone forever, and I’ll continue to be a regular donor into Momentum through Longveld’s payroll giving fund, and via donations to the Waikato Women’s Fund.

“It’s been eight years of deep learning and I want to thank the Momentum team and my fellow trustees for being my teachers!”

Everyone at Momentum Waikato thanks Pam for her wise and committed service to our community and look forward to seeing what she gets up to next!