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Following the establishment of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Waikato Provincial District) in 1945 and its incorporation in 1954, the organisation has long been a strong advocate for regional rural interests as a provincial district of Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc. 


The objects were to protect, foster and advance the interests of all farmers and farming generally and to do all things necessary for, or incidental or ancillary to, the protection, fostering or advancement of the interests of farmers and farming. 

Under the presidencies of Ralph Woolerton (1954-64) and Max Hewitt (1964-69) a forward-thinking provincial executive saw the need to obtain strategic long-term assets. The first purpose-built Waikato HQ at 21/71 London St, sold in 1964, is still standing at the corner of London and Barton Streets, in central Hamilton. The second, the six-level tower block extant at 169 London Street, was opened in October 1968.  Five life insurance policies taken out with Colonial Mutual Life were the principal security for borrowing the funds necessary.

By 1984/85 Federated Farmers was busy solving farmers' problems. This was a time of high interest rates and economic policies that were not entirely supportive of farming. Maintenance of the building asset became a secondary consideration.

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Restructuring of Federated Farmers nationally during the 1990s contributed to a major organisational change at the provincial level. In July 1999, members of FFNZ (Waikato Region) Inc. voted to separate the executive/advocacy roles and asset protection/property management functions into two organisations. A new incorporated society was formed (now Waikato Federated Farmers Inc.) to become the advocacy voice for farmers.

The existing organisation changed its constitution and name to become the Waikato Federated Farmers Charitable Society and took over the building and significant debt. These changes allowed for a new business focus by a dedicated group of Trustees.  Effective management and strong leadership enabled debt to be paid down once significant repairs and maintenance were carried out on the building. The success of this property-focused approach eventually resulted in an income stream that allowed modest charitable distributions to begin.

In 2017, a strategic review to ensure compliance with the Charities Act led to the formation of the current charitable entity, the Waikato Farmers Trust.

Waikato Farmers Trust aspires to uphold the objectives of its founding members, to protect, foster and advance the interests of farming in the Waikato region while supporting research, education and the well-being of rural communities.

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For further reading, a 52-page booklet is now available to purchase for $10 incl postage

"A Short History"

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