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Waikato Bequests Trust

About the Trust

The Waikato Bequests Trust has been established in partnership with Hamilton City Council to provide an avenue for the gifting of art and artefacts to the Waikato Museum. 

Unlike other main centres in New Zealand, Hamilton and the Waikato have not benefited greatly from major donations or private bequests. The foundation trustees David Fowler (chairman) along with Joan Fear, Steve Joynes and Ruth Davey felt there was a need for existing cultural resources to remain in the region enabling them to be made available for the benefit of future generations.

The Waikato Bequests Trust has created a formal arrangement in which bequeathed articles such as art or artefacts will remain the property of the Trust in perpetuity and be placed on loan to the Waikato Museum for secure storing and use in exhibitions. The Trust offers a safe haven for private collections of art and artefacts, owners may be encouraged to gift or bequeath all or part of their collections with the knowledge their gift would be acknowledged and secure and placed with an independent body.

The Trust presents a valuable opportunity for Hamilton to receive, care for and exhibit artistic and historic items for the growth of the Museum's collection and the enjoyment of the public. 



Chairman of the Trust David Fowler with former Hamilton Mayor Bob Simcock signing the Waikato Bequests Trust Agreement and with one of the first gifts, a drawing by Mary McIntyre.

What can be gifted?

Artefacts or art from private collections can be gifted to the Trust.  In addition, the Waikato Bequests Trust will can also receive donations of money. Donations will be held by the Trust and any interest generated will be used for the acquisition of artefacts of artistic and cultural interest for the benefit of the Hamilton community and Waikato region, and to aid the Museum in educating and making visual arts accessible to the community.

The Waikato Bequests Trust is an incorporated Charitable Trust registered with the Charities Commission and, as such, is subject to tax-free status and attracting tax exemption status for all donors.

The first artworks have already been gifted to the Trust by Mary McIntyre and are currently being stored in the Museum Collection.

Latest gift

  Zena Elliot gifts artwork to Waikato Bequests Trust resized   

Prominent Waikato artist Zena Elliot (Ngati Awa, Te Whanau-a-Apanui) has gifted a substantial artwork to The Waikato Bequest Trust. Read more here

How to make a gift

If you would like to find out more about the Waikato Bequests Trust please email David Fowler by clicking here.