Sistema Waikato is a community-based social development programme which uses orchestral music-making as a model for changing lives and creating good citizens. It is based on similar programmes that have been highly successful internationally at enhancing social aspiration and building life skills in young children, their whanau and communities. Sistema Waikato was launched in July 2015 and expands via a new-student intake every year.

The Sistema Waikato team are:

  • Jade Browne – Interim Programme Leader 
  • Kendall McEwen – Programme Manager
  • Rachel Samuel – Programme Administrator
  • Anne-Marie Bird – Senior Tutor
  • Celeste Cleason – Tutor
  • Mary Smith – Tutor
  • Gloria White – Tutor
  • Kevin Ma – Tutor
  • Nathan Bregmen – Tutor 
  • Cindy Xia – Tutor
  • Jane Mahon – Tutor
  • Melody Gumbley – Tutor
  • Felicity Hanlon – Tutor
  • Rosalie Croxford – Tutor

We are very grateful to the following trusts and bodies which are generously funding the programme, including:

  • Trust Waikato
  • WEL Energy Trust
  • Gallagher Charitable Trust
  • Creative New Zealand
  • Lotteries Commission (DIA)
  • D V Bryant
  • Len Reynolds Trust
  • Todd Foundation
  • COGS

Sistema Waikato is based at Nawton Primary School, 58 Livingstone Avenue, Nawton, Hamilton. A second venue at Crawshaw School during 2017 is under consideration.


We are always seeking people interested in either tutoring, assisting or volunteering for this exciting initiative. You do not need to be a musician to apply for any of these roles.

Contact Ann Shaffer for details: 07 838 4611,  

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Find out more about Sistema initiatives in other parts of New Zealand at