The Fund’s Development Workshop at the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion in November 2019 mapped out the context and likely scope of its mission.

From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2020 - see full report in PDF.

Momentum Waikato’s project to empower and support the region’s diverse ethnic and migrant communities progressed from concept to reality over the course of the 2019-2020 year.

At the time of last year’s Annual Report we had established what was then called ‘The Waikato Cultural Inclusion Fund’ with some seed funding and an initial round of donations. This followed scoping discussions that were accelerated into action as a positive response to the Christchurch terrorist attack in March 2019.

Following some follow-up meetings with key people and initial drafting of a Fund Charter, Momentum staffer Mark Servian and Internal Affairs’ Strategic Programmes and Partnership Advisor Jenny Nand took on the project in August 2019, with the goal of consulting the community on the Fund’s mission and then recruiting a standing governance group.

The first significant event on this path was a ‘Development Workshop’ held at the Hamilton Gardens in November 2019.

Attended by 40+ diverse faces and convened by Dr Rachel Simon-Kumar, a Professor of Population Health at the University of Auckland and board member of Hamilton’s Shama Ethnic Women’s Trust, this session successfully defined the parameters of the new Fund’s operating philosophy and the perspectives to which it will be held to account.

Then in early March this year an ‘Establishment Meeting’ at the Claudelands event centre attended by 30-odd people from both ethnic and mainstream communities formulated the steps towards setting up a governance structure for the Fund.

It was agreed there that it would be best to first complete the work on the Charter and draw up criteria for the establishment committee. A working group of keen participants was therefore convened, which then met via Zoom through the main Covid Lockdown, finally completing and securing support for these foundational documents in June.

The Charter lays out the Purposes of the Fund as follows.

• To be a giving circle, enabling philanthropy by Waikato people of any and every background.

• To provide strategic direction and leadership towards a connected intercultural society.

• To support projects and programs focussed on social inclusion, the mutual exchange of ideas and cultural norms, and the development of deep and respectful intercultural relationships.

• To enable the empowerment and social inclusion of ethnic and cultural communities in the Waikato.

• To encourage the Waikato’s majority culture to remove barriers to social inclusion and embrace an intercultural worldview.

• To achieve all of the above via a commitment to research and evidence-based decision-making.

Since the 2019-2020 financial year ended in June, the Fund’s establishment committee has been set up and their first decision was to change its name to the ‘Waikato Intercultural Fund’. Their progress since will be detailed in next year’s Momentum Waikato Annual Report.