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The History Behind Our Trust

Trust History

In 1994, the South Waikato District Council received shares from Power Co, the majority of which were sold in 1998 for $21.6 million and invested according to Council’s Investment Policy. Earnings from this fund (the South Waikato Investment Fund) were used to subsidise general rates and support community and economic development projects.

Consultation with the community in 2013-14 showed overwhelming support for Council to establish an independent organisation to safeguard the money in case of amalgamation, and to use it for economic and community development.

Subsequently Council resolved to move $20 million to the South Waikato Investment Fund (SWIF)Trust, which was established in December 2014. The Trust was tasked with managing the investment fund, and approving funding for economic development proposals.

A second organisation, the South Waikato Development (DRIVE) Trust was also established to undertake initiatives that would create jobs and economic wealth for the district.

The two trusts were to work together, with DRIVE to work with businesses to identify opportunities and then apply to SWIF to fund those initiatives.

Following a review of the two trusts in 2016, trustees of both organizations agreed that the functions of each could be delivered by one body. Consequently the DRIVE Trust was dissolved in September 2016, and SWIFT reconstituted as both guardian of the investment fund and promoter of economic growth.

Our Trustees 

Current Trustees

Stephen Veitch - Appointed 2019, inc Chairperson 2023

Frank Aerts - Appointed 2017

Michael Crawford - Appointed 2022

Kate Searancke - Appointed 2022

James Whetu - Appointed 2022

John Bartley - Appointed 2023

Past Trustees

Bruce Sherman (2018 - 2023 inc Chair 2020-2023)

Dean Gittings (2018 - 2023)

John Cronin (2017 - 2023)

Hayden Dillon (2017 - 2023)

Debbie Gisby (2017 - 2022)

Richard Heslop (2019 - 2022)

Amanda Hema (2020 - 2021)

Phillip White (2017 - 2020, inc Chair 2019)

David Graham (2017 - 2019)

Ian Elliott (Chair 2017 - 2018)

Damon Jakeman (2017 - 2018)

Vanessa Eparaima (2017)

Paul Olsen (2017)

Henry van Dyk (2017)

Gray Baldwin (2017)

SWIFT 2014 - 2016

John Cronin (Chair)

Ian Elliot

David Graham

Phillip White

Hayden Dillon


Ian Elliot (Chair)

John Cronin

Gray Baldwin

Henry van Dyk

Paul Olsen

Vanessa Eparaima

Debbie Gisby