2022 in Retrospect

E aku iti, e aku rahi, tēnā koutou

As the final newsletter for the year, it’s a time to reflect on 2022 and the WWP.

Work led by our Kaitiaki Advisory Board has reframed our strategic goals and priority areas. Our new vision of “Our mokopuna are thriving” is a much clearer statement of what sustainable development in the Waikato looks like to us. Our mission makes clear our role as careful and active listeners, looking to really understand the root cause of our wellbeing challenges, and applying that to find transcendent breakthrough that have real impact.

The year has seen the WWP move from concept to delivery- with the Rangatahi Opportunity Case for Change being our key achievement. The report represented nearly 2 years’ effort by many people to gain greater insight and identify breakthroughs to meet the youth wellbeing challenge (SDG 4/8/10) we set ourselves in 2020. The experiences gained in the Rangatahi Opportunity are now being applied to our emerging work on hunger and food insecurity in the Waikato (SDG 1/2)- the Waikato Kai Challenge.

Our work on developing a new approach to wellbeing knowledge has also matured significantly and is now called Te Kikokiko o te Whakaaro. We have moved from a focus on dashboards, to one where people have the right information, at the right time – and that we are able to act on it.

Our initiative to celebrate local successes “Lots of Little Fires” continues to develop and we are building an initial catalogue of local wellbeing stories which we aim to launch in early 2023. We have used our voice to advocate for better wellbeing outcomes, especially through our engagements with the New Zealand Productivity Commission, and we have engaged with many local wellbeing organisations to share our wellbeing kaupapa. We continue to strongly support the Waikato Plan and look forward to engaging with the new Waikato Plan Leadership Committee in early 2023.

The Waikato Wellbeing project is more than a single initiative- it’s a movement and a promise made by many, to many. While the core project team is very small, our network of wellbeing collaborators and supporters across the Waikato and Aotearoa is very much larger than that, and we thank everybody for their incredible support, advice, challenge and shared ambition for the Waikato region in 2022.

A huge thanks to the core 2022 team of Joe Wilson, Tania Jones, Amy Van Garderen, Michelle Macaskill and Norm Hill for all their incredible work and passion. A sincere ngaa mihi for our Kaitiaki Advisory Board who have lead and inspired through the year and our network of 25 manu taki who have exemplified leadership in action.

On behalf of everybody at the Waikato wellbeing project, we wish you a mere kirihimete and a restful festive season.

See you in 2023!