SWIFT is a community-owned economic development fund dedicated to the prosperity of the South Waikato.


SWIFT was established in 2014 to independently manage funds generated from the sale of PowerCo shares, that were initially advanced to the South Waikato Council. With decades of business expertise across a range of industries, every SWIFT trustee and management brings invaluable knowledge to decisions that will help create jobs and build stronger communities across the South Waikato.




Phone: 027 544 9054
Email: francis.pauwels@swift.org.nz

Francis was CEO of Grow Rotorua for 4 years. During this time the key sectors analysed for investment opportunities included tourism, engineered timber / wood processing, commercial application of geothermal availability, education and agribusiness. He has held senior management roles in both private sector and local government. This included developing new markets and distribution channels for export manufacturing and tourism businesses. His early career was spent building a family owned horticulture business into one that consistently returned above the industry average and led the sector in terms of spray-free management and quality control.



Phone: 021 756 074
Email: amanda.hema@swift.org.nz

A passionate South Waikato resident, Amanda’s love for the district began in 2005 when she moved to Tokoroa to take on the role of Strategic Projects Manager for the South Waikato Economic Development Trust having previously been the Chief Executive of Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. She later moved on to South Waikato District Council and left a decade later having served as the GM for Community Services.

In more recent times Amanda’s business, The Stakeholder Agency, has guided many organisations to initiate collaborations and explore strategic partnerships. She has also held the position of Project Manager for The Waikato Plan, a collective of regional leaders from central and local government, iwi, business and community, who work collectively to respond to regional priorities such as housing and wellbeing. Previous to Amanda joining the SWIFT team as CE, she held the role of Acting CE for the Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency – Te Waka.