A project which will see the development of wellbeing targets for the Waikato was launched last week, with WEL Networks a key player in the cause.
Finance Minister Hon Grant Robertson was in Hamilton to launch the Waikato Wellbeing Project, which will see Waikato develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) based on targets set by the United Nations.
WEL Networks is one company which already aligns its strategy to the SDGs and Chairman, Rob Campbell says the project is a priority for the organisation.
“A business can only prosper in the long term by being an integral part of its community. Like a tree in a forest we have no real value or meaning on our own. An initiative like the Waikato Wellbeing project, which aims to bring together the many living things in our forest which is Waikato, is an opportunity and a responsibility for businesses of all types.”
The United Nations SDGs are a blueprint that help governments, businesses and organisations achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address challenges affecting all communities worldwide, including poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.
Waikato community leaders will come together for a three-month goal-setting process which involves collaboration between iwi, government, business and community residents. The end result will be 17 measurable wellbeing goals for the region to achieve by 2030.
Waikato Plan Leadership Committee co-chair Bev Gatenby says the purpose of the goal setting project is to leverage support from all sectors and all parts of the region to work together over the next 10 years toward a more environmentally sustainable, prosperous and inclusive region.
"Our focus is to identify the goals that will lead to stronger communities, those that help us navigate change and take advantage of opportunities."
Once Waikato SDGs are set, it is expected councils, iwi, businesses and community organisations will use them to inform decision making and catalyse collective action toward shared goals.
The collaborative goal-setting phase of the Waikato Wellbeing project will conclude in October 2019 with a summit where Waikato’s SDG targets will be confirmed and officially launched.
Following the confirmation of the goals, a detailed action plan and reporting framework will be developed which will integrate the targets and measures with regional and national reporting.
The Waikato Wellbeing Project is led by the Waikato Plan Leadership Committee, WEL Energy Trust and Waikato Regional Council. It is supported by Waikato Tainui, Trust Waikato, Hamilton City Council, D.V. Bryant Trust, The University of Waikato and Momentum Waikato.