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 – Programme Leader 
  • Kendall McEwen – Programme Manager
  • Rachel Samuel – Programme Administrator
  • Anne-Marie Bird – Senior Tutor
  • Celeste Cleason – Tutor
  • Mary Smith – Tutor
  • Cindy Xia – Tutor
  • Jane Mahon – Tutor
  • Melody Gumbley – Tutor
  • Rosalie Croxford – Tutor
  • Megan Robinson – Tutor
  • Yuanita King – Tutor
  • Elsie Kane – Tutor
  • Jemaine Sykes – Tutor
  • Genevieve Palmer – Tutor
  • Jordan Carpenter – Tutor

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

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

Sistema Waikato is based at Nawton Primary School, 58 Livingstone Avenue, Nawton, Hamilton. 


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 Kendall McEwen for details: 021 109 4887,  

Follow Sistema Waikato at and on Facebook

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