The Waikato Women's Fund committee in late 2021.

From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2021 - see full report in PDF.

Like us all, the Waikato Women’s Fund-Te Ira Waahine o Waikato committee had to navigate the choppy waters of the Covid pandemic during 2021, with the stop-go-stop-go year meaning some great plans didn’t quite come to fruition.

The purpose of the volunteer-led Women’s Fund is to enable the region’s women and girls to achieve their dreams and aspirations, by growing a philanthropic investment fund, making grants from its income, and driving activities that showcase feminine mana, drive and beauty.

The Fund’s balance continued to grow, reaching $154,400 by the end of the financial year in June 2021, a marker on its mission to raise $1 million by mid-2024.

Waahine Toa-Reignite, the Women’s Fund annual signature fundraising event, did successfully take place. A sold-out High Tea at the wonderful Zealong Tea Estate near Gordonton was held on Saturday 13 March 2021.

Four inspirational speakers - Amanda Betts, Golriz Ghahraman, Jo Shortland and Rachel Petero - shared their wisdom and empowering stories. Supported by Zealong, Tompkins Wake, Duncan & Ebbett, Hamilton Volvo, Craigs Investment Partners and Haha Wine, the wonderful day raised just under $24,000.

The Women’s Fund’s Annual Planning Day took place in May, but the timeline then charted out was disrupted by the subsequent lockdowns. Most notably the Fund’s Third Birthday event scheduled for mid-August couldn’t happen – which just means the Fourth Birthday will be huge!

The Fund’s grant-making focus for 2021 was ‘Leadership and Wellbeing Resilience’. Following a robust membership nomination and voting process, two grants of $5000 each were made to the Flourish Leadership Development for Ethnic Women programme run by the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust, and Te Hinatore run by Anglican Action.

This year’s grant-making round was notable for the markedly increased involvement of the wider Women’s Fund membership, with more nominations and votes than ever before.

A new larger committee was elected at the Fund’s Annual Membership Meeting at the end of 2021, which also re-elected Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau as its Chair.

The Fund’s committee offers particular thanks to Momentum Waikato, the University of Waikato, Volunteering Waikato, the DV Bryant Trust, all of which provided tangible support in 2021.

The Waikato Women’s Fund is ambitious as it pushes on into 2022, building its resources and capacity to support the women and girls of the region.

The call to action to all Waahine Toa of the Waikato is to support the Waikato Women’s Fund in whatever way you can, let’s share our stories and celebrate our goodness.