Te Waka: Waikato's economic development agency

Kia ora and welcome to Te Waka: Anga whakamua Waikato
Waikato's regional economic development agency

We were born on 1 July 2018 and were tasked with making a difference for people in the Waikato region. We make that difference through action and impact-focused economic development.

On 30 August 2018 we announced our official name, Te Waka: Anga whakamua Waikato (Waikato moving forward). 

We strongly acknowledge all the work and research that enabled the birth of Te Waka, Waikato's regional economic development agency. There's been a lot of hard work invested by many good people and organisations and we’re proud to pick up the baton and become the front door of the region.

He aha te mea nui o te ao...he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. 

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.

Why do we need Te Waka?

Many different parties have already done a lot of work to help move the Waikato region to the next level of economic prosperity. They paved the way for the formation of Te Waka: an organisation designed to put our region more firmly on the radar of central government and provide a vehicle for taking the many voices, with one message, to the rest of the world. Waikato people believe our region is a mighty one. We’ve used the resources, skills and innovation at hand to create a relatively prosperous economy although we acknowledge we are not at the same level as other regions for growth and employment. 

It’s therefore time to take the next steps to create even greater economic outcomes for our communities.

Waikato people are at the heart of everything we do. The economic development goals we set and outcomes we achieve are all about making a difference for them. We’ll make a difference by working alongside the strong, existing business growth networks that already operate successfully within the region. Plus, we’ll enable some new, major projects to lift the region’s economic performance – again, with the singular focus of creating prosperity benefits for our people.

The formation of Te Waka means we can help solve complex regional problems and tackle the big hurdles that might prove too high for individual organisations to overcome on their own. It’s an obvious front door to the region –this has been lacking in the past and will no doubt have contributed to the Waikato not attracting its share of economic development funding.

Innovation that is good for the world - 20 to 27 May 2019

New Zealand’s technology and innovation sectors are growing rapidly, and Techweek fosters that growth by providing the national ecosystem with a week-long opportunity for connection and cross-pollination, using an independent platform to amplify New Zealand’s unique and inspiring innovation stories to the world.

Last year Techweek Waikato included 21 events held across the region (Thames, Paeroa, Raglan, Gordonton and Hamilton), with over 68 speakers, 31 exhibitors and more than 1340 attendees. 

For 2019 CultivateIT in partnership with Te Waka is planning an even bigger showcase of our regions strength in technology innovation with a focus on developing capabilities of the Waikato innovation ecosystem and Waikato business, and inspiring the wider community and next generation.

Find out more including how you can be involved

It’s time to take the next steps towards even greater economic outcomes for the Waikato

How will it work?

  • Waikato's regional economic development agency, Te Waka, is a limited liability company and is owned by the Waikato Regional Economic Development Trust. This means we are able to be nimble, act independently and move with pace. We’ll have a skills-based board of directors, none of whom will be elected representatives.
  • Te Waka was born from the economic development ambitions of our region’s councils and businesses.  However, it is not a Council Controlled Organisation.
  • Te Waka's offices are based at Waikato Innovation Park, allowing the team to build on the existing community approach of this highly successful economic development initiative. We will also be out among the Waikato’s business community on a regular basis, connecting with businesses and business leadership groups right across the region.

Te Waka Board of Directors

Dallas Fisher (Chairperson)
Kiri Goulter (Deputy Chairperson)
Chris Joblin
Kim Hill
Les Roa

Advisory Board Members
Blair Bowcott
Rob Williams 
Tame Pokaia - Kaumatua