Nick Johnston is a jack of all trades with a can-do attitude and a whole heap of wisdom. Seed Waikato's Committee is stoked to have Nick at our table. His passion for strategic planning and vision-setting, and his empathy are treasured by our whaanau. Want to find out more about what makes Nick tick? We thought we’d let this talented human’s own words speak for themselves.
Tell us a bit about yourself….
I am an artist and musician turned local government bureaucrat, currently the Funding and Partnership Manager at Waikato District Council, the local council covering the area from Raglan and the Hamilton surrounds all the way to the Bombay Hills. Prior to my role at Waikato District Council, I have held strategic advisor roles at the Ministry of Health, Hamilton City Council, Waikato Museum | Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, and Arts Waikato.
I am currently hold several community sector governance roles, including a trustee the Creative Waikato Trust, the Waikato Community Broadcasting Charitable Trust, and the Hamilton Live Music Trust. Previously governance roles include the Independent Broadcasting Community Hamilton and the Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival.
I was born and raised in the Waikato region, and I currently live in Fairfield, Hamilton with my partner Lauren and two dogs, two cats and chickens.
Who inspires you?
Former Hamilton City Councillors Daphne Bell and Philip Yeung are two local leaders that inspired me. I appreciated their compassionate and thoughtful leadership and their commitment to community wellbeing.
Where is your favourite place in the Waikato?
I can’t name one all-time favourite so I’m going to cheat and name several places that are special to me
Paterangi - the community I grew up in, about 20 minutes south of Hamilton.
Tirau – the part of the Waikato region where my family have had roots for over 100 years
Hammond Park in Riverlea – one of my favourite spots along the Waikato River
Fairfield – our home for the last seven years, a diverse and caring community.
What’s the best thing you bring to Seed Waikato?
A passion for strategic planning and vision-setting, and an empathetic approach to supporting staff and volunteers to do great things in our community.
What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Put my name forward as a candidate for Hamilton City Council in 2016 – something that put me frequently out of my comfort zone, whether it be with door knocking or campaign events and debates. I have huge respect for those of all political persuasions who put themselves for public office, and the challenges that come with those high-profile roles.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve working on right now?
There are so many amazing projects and initiatives at Waikato District at the moment – I’d struggle to pick one. But if I’m to choose something outside of my work, it’d have to be taking up oil painting. It has been amazing to find a new creative outlet… the time just disappears when I get in the zone!
What colour crayon would you be?
Black! A bold colour but one that works well most other combinations.
What inspired you to join Seed Waikato? What does Seed Waikato mean to you?
It is an organisation that I wish had existed when I finished studying and entering the workforce! I’ve been inspired seeing what Gemma and the team have achieved, and I look forward to helping to support the organisation’s development.