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It begun its life as an observation between two friends.

WETAP (Waterloo Empowerment Through the Arts Programme Charitable Trust- a bit of a mouthful) was conceptualised in 2012 after noticing that the primary education systems focus shifted to focus on a child's development in reading writing and arithmetic (the 3 R's), its emphasis left little time for the arts.

This was the story across multiple local primary schools. Children who showed great creative potential weren't able to explore these talents. From tight school budgets and over-stretched teachers, to material hardship or being unaware of the potential others saw, we saw untapped ability slip away.

WETAP works with primary schools to provide arts programmes for kids aged 5 to 11 alongside their standard curriculum. Our aim is to expose children to the arts during their most impressionable years, contributing to their holistic development and allowing the child to build a positive, lifelong foundation rooted in creativity.

The arts give us a unique means of communication and connection. It's our mission to empower the coming generations to grab hold of ngā toi and make them their own.


All of WETAP's activity is grounded in tō mātou kaupapa - our guiding principles. These three goals are behind everything we do and are woven into with the way we operate.

We want children to explore and grow their creativity. Our world benefits greatly from diverse, innovative thinkers, and while there are many ways to foster this, we believe the arts offer a wonderful environment to cultivate creative minds. Research has proven that creativity in the arts works alongside education! 

We recognise not all children thrive in sports or academia. Success comes in all forms and learning to express oneself with or without words is a valuable lifelong tool. Through the arts children can gain a sense of belonging and self-belief, interacting on a whole new level.

We aim to make the arts accessible by bringing our programmes to kids, to their school making the extra-curricular process more obtainable. Our main engine powering this goal is our scholarship fund, which waives tuition fees for selected nominated children with a priority given to cases of hardship.


An organisation like this doesn't run itself, but instead with the work of its dedicated Trustees. These people are passionate about the arts, putting their time voluntarily into helping guide WETAP to best benefit the kids of the Hutt.

Mandy Evett

Founding Trustee
Office manager
Primary school Trustee for over 6 years

Graeme Sullivan

Champion guitarist
Primary school principal for over 20 years

Karen McMillan

Deputy Principal
Primary school teacher for over 20 years

David Atkin

Financial Manager
Primary school Trustee and Chair for over 8 years

Not all kids have the same access to the arts, meaning that hidden potential in many may go unrealised.

With our Scholarship Fund, WETAP offers free tuition for nominated children with priority given to those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the arts.There are a range of programmes available for application by scholarship, and applications (considered termly) are open now!