Waikato Wellbeing Project-September 2021 Update

E aku iti, e aku rahi, tēnā koutou

The re-emergence of COVID-19 has once again put a spotlight on our wellbeing – physically, socially, financially and emotionally. So like our communities, we’ve had to adapt to the uncertainty of lockdowns and have been fortunate to be able to utilise digital tools and technology to continue our mahi for the Waikato Wellbeing Project. 

Read on to find out more!

Kaitiaki Advisory Board

Our Kaitiaki Advisory Board met for the first time on 23 August and delved into the WWP, including its operating model and initial priority areas. Their discussions identified the board’s initial areas of interest for the rest of 2021 which is to guide the development of our business plan and in particular:

  •  Continue to develop and refine the WWP’s operating model, including the incorporation of mātauranga and te ao Māori.
  • Confirm and drive our priority SDGs which have the greatest positive wellbeing impacts in the Waikato.
  • Develop the WWP’s organisation structure, including its co-funding model to ensure we have the capacity and capability to implement our priorities.
  •   Carry out environmental scanning and risk/opportunity management, with a focus on alignment and integration with other major wellbeing initiatives in the region.
The board intends to meet every second month in 2021 and 2022.

Our Manu Taki are the beating heart of WWP. They are community, cultural, environmental and business leaders who have volunteered to co-lead our SDG target areas and facilitate an integrated grassroots-led approach to wellbeing.

On 4 August, our Manu Taki and Kaitiaki Advisory Board met to explore what it means to be part of the leadership network for the WWP, and how the project can support them to thrive and succeed. The session identified opportunities for manu taki to grow as a collective and further advance our wellbeing goals, including the need to involve more rangatahi (youth) in the WWP.

The illustration below shows the results of our hui.

Rangatahi Youth Opportunity

We are excited to announce that we have recruited three amazing rangatahi innovators to work with Tania Jones to frame the challenge, design and lead empathy-led interviews and develop the insights for this priority area.  

Our innovators are Kauri Teareura, Rana Arif and Charlotte Mitchell who will be mentored by Kaitiaki Advisory Board member Dujon Cullingford throughout the duration of the project. 

Virtual project kick off

Join us live as we delve into our approach, timelines and how we'll work together towards realising our vision of "All of our young people are engaged, thriving and are learning or earning a livelihood, their mana is enhanced, and they are on a positive pathway to have many life options."

This virtual kick off will be a chance to celebrate the mahi that has already been achieved and to look at our journey ahead.


One of our priority wellbeing challenges is to reduce the housing shortfall in the Waikato to the point where all our people are well housed, especially in the affordable housing space. To help us address this challenge, the WWP will be working alongside the Waikato Regional Housing Initiative (WRHI).
One of the major priorities of the WRHI is to provide everybody with better access to up-to-date information on the performance of the housing system, so that better and more timely decisions can be made to ensure that the right housing products are brought online, where, when and for whom they are needed. 

OAG report

The Office of the Controller and Auditor General (OAG) recently published a review of how the Government is demonstrating its commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal agenda. 

The review looked at what arrangements are in place and how the Government is encouraging stakeholders and the public to engage with efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

New home for WWP

In conjunction with Te Waka and the Waikato Regional Housing Initiative, we are establishing a wellbeing hub to support cross-SDG collaboration and integration. 

Our hub is located in Perry House at 360 Tristram Street in Hamilton, where we’ll be with other important community wellbeing organisations such as the WEL Energy Trust, Brian Perry Charitable Trust, POET and Swim Waikato.

A big thanks to the Waikato Regional Council for housing the WWP this year.

Other activities

  • New Zealand Productivity Commission - Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa are carrying out an inquiry: A fair chance for all: Breaking the disadvantage cycle. Public input has been sought into the Terms of Reference which will guide the inquiry. You can read the commissions background document here and also take a look at the submission which the WWP has made here.
  • The 2021 Aotearoa New Zealand SDG Summit was held in early September and brought together over 500 people representing civil society, government, the business community, tangata whenua and Pasifika to discuss all aspects of sustainable development in Aotearoa New Zealand. The summit was the fourth of the series which started in early 2020 as three online evening events. You can find out more here

Harvey Brookes
Kaiwhakatere - Executive Director
Hinonga Toiora o Waikato | Waikato Wellbeing Project