Ki te kore nga putake e mākukungia e kore te rākau e tupu
If the roots of the tree are not watered the tree will never grow

Enabling strong, solid, and self-supporting communities underpins everything Wera Aotearoa Charitable Trust (WACT) has strived towards since its inception in 2008.

The vision of Israel and Teresa Hawkins, WACT has evolved from the Wera ecosystem, growing to meet the changing needs of whānau and the communities we live in.

This ecosystem encompasses a range of values-driven organisations, each with its own aspirations and tikanga, but drawing mauri from our core purpose - driving greater outcomes that benefit our communities.

The inception of the Wera ecosystem started with Wera Consultants – a private, for-profit business development consultancy set up in 2005. The business and community needs identified through this kaupapa led to the natural progression of two other private, for-profit companies – Fixe; a computer programming company, and an early childhood centre, Atawhai.

While these organisations have continued to thrive in their own right, Wera kaitiaki never lost sight of the overarching purpose – helping people.

This driving force saw the genesis of WACT; a not-for-profit organisation delivering services that support the financial, social and educational needs and wellbeing of individuals and whānau.

Since then, WACT has grown and evolved, drawing from the knowledge learned throughout the Wera journey, and finding stability in the network of supporting organisations sustaining its kaupapa.

With the support of its ecosystem, WACT now provides housing support, employment training, youth, health and education services, delivering wrap-around care and support for those who need it.

With a proven track record of delivering positive community impacts, WACT is well positioned with a strong foundation to continue addressing the changing needs of whānau, resulting in better outcomes for everyone.


Our Foundation

The core purpose of the Trust is to support the financial, cultural, social and educational wellbeing of individuals, their families and our local communities.

To achieve this, WACT has developed bespoke programmes and services that not only work for our communities, but can be used as a blueprint for people across Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are driven by our vision: 'Communities that are solid, strong and self-supporting',
and currently provide the following community development services:

  • Youth Services for 16-18 year olds in the Tokoroa Region
  • Training courses for Youth in career pathways
  • Youth Worker Training for the Central North Island
  • Tikanga Māori Motivational programmes
  • Hokai Tapuwae Kaupapa Māori Korero
  • Reintegration of offenders Transitional Housing Services - Tiaki Tangata
  • Transitional Housing - Toku Kainga
  • Sustanining Tenancy Services
  • Emergency Housing Support
  • Property Management Services
  • Employment and Training Placement Services

Our Trustees

Our Trust draws on the expertise of a range of people who have worked in whānau and community development at a local, regional and national level. This unique blend of experiences, backgrounds and qualifications helps WACT to develop and deliver innovative services specific to the communities we work in.

Jonathon Hagger - Chairperson

Ngai Takato

Jonathon has a MBA from the University of Waikato.

Jonathon has 16 years' experience working in management, tertiary education and the health care sector. Jonathon is the Chief Executive for Rotorua Community Hospice Trust and has been in this role since October 2019. He has experience in not for profit governance through sitting on boards that awhi whanau and vulnerable peoples.

Jeanna Love - Trustee

Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāi Tūhoe & Ngāti Kahungunu

Jeanna has a BMS and Postgraduate Diploma in Finance

Jeanna is the commercial manager for Poutama Trust managing the trusts finances and investments as well as delivering advice to Māori businesses nationally. For the last 20 years Jeanna and her husband Jim Love ran the NZ Sports Academy using sports as the vehicle to educate rangatahi. She is also a board member of Manaaki Ora Trust, which governs Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust and Tipu Ora Trust. Bay of Plenty committee member for NZ Community Trust, Management committee member of Regional Business Partnership BOP and recently appointed as an observer to Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust.

Norm Carter - Trustee

Ngāti Awa, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Te Arawa

Norm has worked extensively in the public sector for over 50 years. Norm has held senior positions working at the Employment Service, Tertiary Education Commission and Te Puni Kokiri.

Norm is the Chairman of Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua Trust who won the inaugural Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2020 for Maori Excellence in Horticulture, as well as whanau trusts throughout the Eastern Bay of Plenty. He has an entrepreneurial background having owned businesses with his wife including over 20 years with Early Childcare.

Mawera Karetai - Trustee

Kati Mamoe, Waitaha, Rapuwai, Kati Hawea

Mawera has a Doctorate in Psychology and a Masters in Environmental Management.
With over 20 years of governance experience, Mawera's fields of expertise are in the public, private, philanthropic and volunteer sectors. As well as her governance work, Mawera is leading a significant social research project, and lectures in the Commerce department of Otago University.

Mawera's research interest is in social change, climate change impact, and community-led approaches to problem-solving.

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