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‘Major milestone met for Waka Pacific Trust’

New Zealand’s largest free venue-based schools programme facility, Waka Pacific Trust, has achieved its target milestone of hosting more than 100,000 school children a year well ahead of schedule.

Waka Pacific Trust that operates Vector Wero Whitewater Park & Due Drop Events Centre in Manukau, sponsored or subsidised 111,891 children through its facilities last year – more than double the number it was achieving just five years ago and two years ahead of projections.

Trust CEO David Comery says his team are incredibly proud of the reach and experience their operation offers to Auckland’s under-privileged communities especially.

“We’re all about engaging with young people to inspire them to have experiences outside of their normal lives and exposing them to opportunities that have positive, profound impacts on them.

“All our courses and programmes promote engagement with students. Whether that’s through learning, enjoyment or achievement and a big part of what this, and we, are about is doing our bit to combat the truancy plaguing our low decile Auckland schools in particular,” says Comery.

As one of Auckland’s most prominent community facilities, last year the Trust’s school programme hosted more children than any other school programme provider in Auckland.

“Each of those 100,000+ children were either heavily subsidised by us or free of charge depending on their circumstances. In the neediest of cases, we also provide transport to and from the participating school,” says Comery.

Waka Pacific Trust chair, John Bongard, says their expanding school programme has grown at a greater pace than anticipated given the white-water park’s educational appeal of water safety and drowning prevention alongside the arts and cultural experiences offered through Due Drop Events Centre.

“As a not for profit we’re also very proud of the tangible social return on investment we generate. This is our social impact value calculated by Impact Lab – offering a simple data-driven, comparable way to measure positive social change. For every $1 outlaid, the social return on investment generated by Waka Pacific Trust is a significant $3.30.

“Waka Pacific Trust trades its businesses commercially and those profits support our social and schools programme, which we’re delighted to say is one of the best of its kind operating across Aotearoa.”


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