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Our Story

Hamilton Multicultural Services (HMS) Trust was established as a Charitable Trust in February 1999. The Trust was formed out of concern regarding the gaps in services for people from different cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The strategic focus of the Trust was to improve access for refugees and migrants to aid successful settlement and to increase the awareness of receiving communities.

The first service offered by the Trust was the provision of an Interpreting Service and in May of 2000 the Interpreting Service opened and operated from an office in Knox Street. The service still operates today under the name Decypher, and also provides translation of written documents.

The Trust moved in October of 2004 to the Multicultural Centre in Boundary Road (the former Marist Rugby Club rooms). In October 2006 the Multicultural Centre was renamed the Waikato Migrant Resource Centre, and in December 2017 it became Settlement Centre Waikato.

Since then, HMS Trust has grown and offers a wide range of services to support successful settlement. The Trust is made up of a diverse team, with over 15 different ethnicities and more than 20 different languages are spoken in-house. 

HMS Trust is the proud winner of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce 'For Purpose Award' 2022.  

In 2023 the HMS Trust Board agreed to proceed with the redevelopment of the Settlement Centre Waikato. This long-term goal will be realised later this year and the redeveloped Centre will be New Zealand's first Ethnic Community Hub.

A society that values and celebrates the diversity of all people

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Paving the way for successful settlement

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Our Goals

Relationship building

  •  To connect, support, and advocate for the refugee and migrant communities

  • To maintain and establish stakeholder relationships

  • To foster participation of newcomers in the community


To enable refugees and migrants to be engaged members of the community.

Capacity building

To strengthen the organization, grow existing projects while developing new ones.

Our Values 

We create a safe environment.
We show empathy and respect to all.
Quality Service
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We are professional.
We put people first.
We do what we say.
We are honest and accountable.
All people matter.
We are connected and have a sense of belonging.

Strategic Priorities

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Brand and Communications

Success Statement
We are widely considered as a trusted enabler of successful settlement

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Success Statement
We intentionally seek new opportunities within our core work

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Engagement and Responsiveness

Success Statement
What we do responds to immediate individual need, is for the greater good, and supports community participation and integration

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Leadership and Talent

Success Statement
We work to our strengths, are flexible and adjust to 
changing needs


Read our quarterly newsletter, 
Empowering Communities

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