WE ARE PROACTIVE IN OUR BID TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES, WITH A PARTICULAR FOCUS ON HELPING FAMILIES TO BE FINANCIALLY SECURE.
SkyCity Hamilton Community Trust is a valued part of the commitment SkyCity Hamilton has made to the local community since opening in 2002.
Established in accordance with SkyCity Hamilton's casino venue licence, the Trust has distributed a total of $11.5 million to more than 1,832 charitable organisations, both large and small, that have undertaken community assistance and development work in the greater Waikato area since 2003. The Trust has a Board of Trustees who make decisions on grant allocations and set strategic priorities for the Trust.
Over the past two years, the philanthropic communities of Aotearoa have worked together to find different ways for more New Zealanders to experience the benefits of philanthropy. Local and international reviews of philanthropic practices have found that a shift was needed from more traditional forms of giving, to prioritising impactful funding models. These funding models’ value collaborative partnerships and focus on a variety of short and long-term outcomes.
In 2019, the SkyCity Community Trusts' in New Zealand undertook a review which found that they were in a strong position to have a greater impact with their funding. Excited by the collaborative vision of the philanthropy sector and the ability to partner, the Trusts took the bold step to adjust their strategic priorities. Trustees were appointed to deliver an innovative funding framework, which has now been adopted, with the aim to support our communities to realise their potential.
The SkyCity Hamilton Community Trust has reviewed their strategy for this year. More information on the funding priorities can be found here.
to over 1,832 charitable organisations that have undertaken community assistance and development work in the greater Waikato area.
For the year ended 30 June 2023, SkyCity Hamilton Casinos Limited contributed NZ $1,006,072 to the SkyCity Hamilton Community Trust.
For more information please visit our SkyCity Hamilton Community Trust site here.
Kawena began his governance journey in 2013 on the Hamilton City Council’s Youth Advisory Board. Kawena now sits on a number of Trusts and committees including Te Ahurei Rangatahi Trust, Young Workers Resource Centre and Oomaero Marae to name a few. A self-starter who is people & results-focused combined with strong business acumen, Kawena co-founded ‘Taurikura’ a social enterprise committed to supporting organisations to build their cultural sustainability. Kawena is passionate about advancing employment and education outcomes and is the Pathways coordinator at Rototuna High School as well as contracting to numerous organisations. Kawena brings to the Trust experience in strategic iwi and cross agency collaboration, relationship management and programme development and design.
Michelle has over 22 years’ experience in the casino and hospitality industries in New Zealand, and has held various senior managerial roles within SkyCity predominantly in casino operations, but also in hotel operations and project management positions.
She was a Board member of the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce from 2012 - 2013 and was on the Executive Committee of the Hamilton Central Business Association from 2015 – 2016.
Manaaki is a proud Māori woman of Waikato Tainui descent, and a mother of 2 talented and caring young Māori men aged 20 and 13.
She is the wife of 17 years to Jason Nepia who she describes as her ‘soulmate’. Manaaki is passionate about Māori wellbeing and firmly believes in order to achieve positive and equitable outcomes for Māori, we need leadership and need to focus on the outcomes that matter; and we need to remain firmly fixed on the empowerment of Whanau/Hapu/Iwi in the architect and design of their own destinies.
Manaaki has held senior leadership, management and advisory roles within a number of directorates at the Ministry of Health and spent time as the Service Development Manager for the Waikato District Health Board. Manaaki has strong experience in procurement, having also held the Regional Contracts Manager role (Waikato) at the Ministry of Social Development. Manaaki’s current role is the Strategy and Relationship Manager for Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Tainui. Currently completing a Masters in Development, Manaaki has a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Psychology & Māori and a Post Graduate Diploma in Māori and Pacific Development through the University of Waikato.
Amanda is director of The Stakeholder Agency, a company which specialises in helping Waikato organisations build fruitful relationships, proactively collaborate and explore strategic partnerships. With a strong background in public sector management, Amanda is passionate about regional development and community empowerment. Amanda also manages The Waikato Plan, a collective of regional leaders from central and local government, iwi, business and community, who explore avenues to work collectively to respond to local aspirations and regional priorities such as housing, youth and wellbeing. Amanda also chairs Creative Waikato and has an enduring interest in the performing arts, is the mother of two delightful boys and is often found enjoying the Waikato River Trails and Lake Karapiro.
Ken has dedicated his life to community service, serving a wide range of not-for-profit community organisations including St John Ambulance, McKenzie Centre, Te Whakaruruhau Maori Women's Refuge, along with school and tertiary boards. He received a Queens Service Medal, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship, and a Hamilton City Award for his services to the community, and was made a Knight of the Order of St John by the Queen. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a JP. Ken also serves as a director on the boards of several Waikato businesses. He a proud Hamiltonian and passionate about the Waikato. He ascribes to Churchill's words, "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give".
Jason Dawson is of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whātua descent and is currently the Regional Affairs Manager for Araraurangi Air New Zealand based in the Waikato. Jason completed his MBA at the University of Waikato and has extensive experience working in the local government sector, education, investment banking, technology, agriculture and tourism industries. He has been a strong and passionate advocate for Waikato and its people through education, business support, technology, economic development and lifting the profile of the region’s strengths and opportunities.
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