Waikato Regional Theatre update

 The foyer of the Waikato Regional Theatre will feature Ralph Hotere's mural from the Founders Theatre.

The foyer of the Waikato Regional Theatre will feature Ralph Hotere's mural from the Founders Theatre.

The Waikato Regional Theatre is a step closer with the delivery in mid-August of Charcoal Blue’s Preliminary Design Report (available on request from Momentum Waikato).

“To arrive at a point where we are confident the project can deliver a multi-purpose 1300-seat performing arts theatre is a great milestone” says Julian Elder, Chair of the Waikato Regional Theatre Governance Panel.

The weighty new document addresses the public’s response to March’s Concept Design Report and starts to fill out and resolve some of the specific details of the new landmark.

Julian says the Panel were very encouraged by the amount of feedback on the concept design received from the public and stakeholders.

"The team have diligently taken on board the received commentary and built it into the development of the proposed design.”

A particular request was that the closed-down Founders Theatre be celebrated in the new theatre. One way this will be realised is through Ralph Hotere’s Founders mural being given pride of place in the new theatre’s main foyer (see picture). 

“Bringing together the history of Founders with the history and cultural aspects of this site will provide a continuing story for the region,” says Julian.

The appointment process for the members of the Waikato Regional Property Trust, which will own and maintain the theatre, is well advanced, with an announcement due in the next few weeks.

The building of the Waikato Regional Theatre will start in mid-2019, with the opening due in mid-2021. Julian and his team are looking forward to it.

“The design and location are exciting and we believe the theatre will be a key part of transforming the central city and providing a regional venue for arts we can all be proud of.”

A fund gathered by Waikato women, for Waikato women


Momentum Waikato is playing a vital role in a new ‘nest egg’ being created by Waikato women, for Waikato women.

The Waikato Women's Fund, being launched in late July, will enable local women to align their giving with the needs and aspirations of women and girls across the region.

It is the second such resource to be established, the first being Auckland’s Women Fund, who are working alongside us on this new initiative.

Establishment group Chair Michelle Howie says its unique proposition is what got her involved.

“I care about the future of the Waikato and what it will be like here for my nieces and the other wee girls in my life when they grow up.

“There are of course many great causes to support, but the Waikato Women’s Fund will allow us all to focus our giving towards improving outcomes for women and girls in our own region. That’s a great idea, so I decided I wanted to help bring it to life.”

Momentum Waikato is managing donations to the Waikato Women’s Fund and is excited to be supporting the new initiative.

“Everyone benefits when everyone has the opportunity to succeed and thrive,” says CEO Kelvyn Eglinton.

“The Waikato is a place of innovation, and if that is to continue, we need everyone with great ideas and real determination to be ‘in the room’, regardless of their gender, colour or creed.

“One of Momentum Waikato’s strategic goals is to achieve ‘maximum impact’ and removing the barriers that prevent girls and women from unlocking their potential will certainly achieve that.”    

Research shows more and more women are generating and controlling their own wealth, and that it is women who are at the forefront of baby boomer wealth transfer. Yet it is women and girls who are most affected and held back by the social and economic issues impacting our region and country.

Few traditional funders are consciously trying to close this loop or track whether their grants are really benefitting and enabling women and girls. The Waikato Women's Fund will connect women's giving capacity with a funding model that targets women and girls. 

Anyone will be able to donate any amount to the Waikato’s Women Fund, and all donors will be able to be involved in deciding how the funds are distributed.

If you’re interested in supporting the Waikato Women’s Fund, please contact our Development Director Janice Lapwood on 07 834 0404.


Momentum applauds councils’ support for new theatre

The first week of June 2018 will go down as a milestone in the history of Momentum, with our first transformative project clearing one of its biggest funding hurdles. 

In decisions made in their respective 10-Year Plan processes, the Hamilton City Council committed $25 million and the Waikato Regional Council $5 million to the building of the Waikato Regional Theatre.  The HCC also committed to a $1.1 million annual operating grant, however the WRC decided against ongoing support for the new facility at this stage.

The total proposed capital budget is $73 million, to which Trust Waikato had already put forward $15 million and private donors had pledged $5 million, meaning the councils’ combined contribution of $30 million takes the committed funds to $50 million to date. Momentum Waikato intends to raise the balance of $23 million from public and private funding bodies, corporate sponsorship and individual donors.

Discussions with central government are underway and our initial forays to business sponsors and donors have begun. Grassroots fundraising campaigns are being developed so that the wider regional community also have the opportunity to contribute to this transformative project.

The Waikato Regional Theatre will define and transform the Waikato’s cultural identity and life for decades to come and be a catalyst for the economic development of local creative industries. It will provide a pathway to arts careers for young people from across the region, and bring the world’s best entertainment, for every taste, within easy reach of the heartland.

The next phase of the project is the ‘preliminary design’, due in September, followed by the ‘detailed design and documentation’ phase in February, and then the call for tenders in March. The planned opening date is June 2021.

We’re at a critical point, where every dollar in the kitty is being used to move the planning and consenting process along, so as a supporter of Momentum Waikato, now would be a useful time for you to donate towards the Waikato Regional Theatre effort. If you want to know more, get in touch with our team on 07 834 0404.

WRT_View 02_View in foyer small.jpg

John Mortimer, a life well lived

 Bunny and John Mortimer.

Bunny and John Mortimer.

As many of you will be aware, John Mortimer, one of our foundational donors, passed away late last month at the age of 94.

John was a true philanthropist and deeply passionate about nature and conservation. With his wife Bunny, he gifted the Taitua Arboretum to the city of Hamilton in 1997, so their life’s work could be enjoyed by the public for generations to come.

The two dendrologists worked with trees for decades, co-authoring books, being heavily involved in New Zealand’s Farm Forestry Association and taking on local and national leadership roles in preserving the environment.

In the early 1970s the Taitua site was still 22 hectares of family farm. John and Bunny spent years collecting seeds and cuttings from across New Zealand, China, America and Australia, nurturing and then planting an amazing range of rare and exotic trees and shrubs. Hamilton’s wooded wonderland now gets 60,000 visitors a year.

The city council maintains the park well, but John and Bunny wanted to ensure it could continue to be developed and maintained forever. They chose Momentum Waikato to set a perpetual fund, from which Taitua Arboretum receives 100% distribution year after year. Their bequest will continue to grow, thanks to careful investment from Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr, our investment partners.

Other charities receiving direct gifts from the Mortimers through Momentum are the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, the New Zealand Native Forest Restoration Trust, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Tane’s Tree Trust and the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

John Mortimer was a noble community spirit that believed in the power of giving. Thanks from all of us, John, you will be missed and never forgotten.