Steering Group

Our steering group reports to the Waikato Plan Leadership Committee and oversees the working groups.

How we work

The working groups share updates with steering groups at their meetings. Reference groups include relevant groups already set up, such as the Strategic Partners Forum and Waikato Wellbeing Project Manu Taki groups as appropriate:

  • WPLC (makes decisions, advocates, advises) 

  • Y.T.E Steering Group (recommends / monitors / collaborates)

  • Working groups (make things happen / advises)

  • Reference Groups (sense-check, sharing voice)

Our priorities

  1. Data and insights

  2. Employability skills

  3. Community voices

  4. Youth sector connectedness

  5. Rapid response trials


Membership comprises representatives from relevant agencies and working groups.


​The success of the steering group depends on members who can contribute capacity, leadership, and collaboration.

Membership is fluid, dynamic, and relevant. There are no fixed terms, the only required representation will be leadership from Waikato Plan Leadership Committee. Alternates may be sent in the absence of the nominated representative.

Bevan Smith

Ministry of Education

Max Baxter (Co-Lead)

Ōtorohanga District Council

Michelle howie

Project coordinator

Manujon pemerika

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Michelle Paki

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Marcus Freke

Ministry of Education

Shanara Tuaupiki

Ministry of Social Development

sandy muller

University of Waikato

Deserae Frisk

Waikato Regional Council, Waikato Plan Project Manager

Dujon cullingford

wise group

Joseph wilson

Te Waananga o Aotearoa 

jami dickson

Te Waananga o Aotearoa 

Klaus Reiter


Tony Stevens

Young Workers Resource Centre

Angela Strange

waikato regional council Councillor

Tania Pointen

Seed Waikato

Kaaro Iti-Moeke

Waikato Tainui

Te Uranga Pihama

Waikato Tainui

Mareta Matenga

Hamilton City Council

daynah eriepa

Hamilton city council

adam adkins

Ministry of Social Development

elle freestone

Ōtorohanga Employment Hub


Membership Committee

Meetings and coordination

Each steering group meets as required, and no less than four times a year. Meetings are be scheduled and invites sent with the help of the Waikato Plan Administration Support. The meetings are then chaired by one or both of the workstream co-chairs. All other meetings are scheduled as required.

Members are encouraged to share relevant information widely and freely to increase collaboration and effect positive outcomes.