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.

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 Establishment Board

Members of Te Waka's Establishment Board:

Dallas Fisher (Chair)
Blair Bowcott
Chris Joblin
Kim Hill
Kiri Goulter
Rob Williams
Les Roa

A permanent board will be appointed in the coming months and we’ll be calling for expressions of interest from anybody who thinks they have the governance skills, knowledge and experience to add to the mahi of Te Waka.