In 1994, the South Waikato District Council received shares from Power Co, the majority of which were sold in 1998 for $21.6 million, and invested according to Council’s Investment Policy. Earnings from this fund (the South Waikato Investment Fund) were used to subsidise general rates and support community and economic development projects.

Consultation with the community in 2013-14 showed overwhelming support for Council to establish an independent organisation to safeguard the money in case of amalgamation, and to use it for economic and community development.

Subsequently Council resolved to move $20 million to the South Waikato Investment Fund (SWIF)Trust, which was established in December 2014. The Trust was tasked with managing the investment fund, and approving funding for economic development proposals.

A second organisation, the South Waikato Development (DRIVE) Trust was also established to undertake initiatives that would create jobs and economic wealth for the district.

The two trusts were to work together, with DRIVE to work with businesses to identify opportunities and then apply to SWIF to fund those initiatives.

Following a review of the two trusts in 2016, trustees of both organizations agreed that the functions of each could be delivered by one body. Consequently the DRIVE Trust was dissolved in September 2016, and SWIFT reconstituted as both guardian of the investment fund and promoter of economic growth.

SWIFT  2017-Current

Ian Elliot (Chair 2017-2018)
John Cronin (2017- 2023)
Debbie Gisby (2017- 2022)
David Graham (2017-2019)
Phillip White (2017-2020, inc Chair 2019)
Hayden Dillon (2017- )
Bruce Sherman (2018-2023 inc Chair 2020)
Richard Heslop (2019- 2022)
Amanda Hema (2020-2021)

Damon Jakeman (2017-18)
Vanessa Eparaima (2017)
Paul Olsen (2017)
Henry van Dyk (2017)
Gray Baldwin (2017)
Frank Aerts (2017- )
Dean Gittings (2018-2023 )
Stephen Veitch (2019- ), inc Chair 2023
Kate Searancke (2022 – )
Michael Crawford (2022 – )
James Whetu (2022 – )

SWIFT  2014-2016

John Cronin (Chair)
Ian Elliot
David Graham
Phillip White
Hayden Dillon

DRIVE 2014-2016

Ian Elliot (Chair)
John Cronin
Gray Baldwin
Henry van Dyk
Paul Olsen
Vanessa Eparaima
Debbie Gisby