This sounds laudable:
Building Blocks for the Future
Helping to develop a savings habit is not just about building their knowledge of financial matters, it’s also about empowering them to make better, meaningful choices for their future.
Unique in New Zealand, a savings scheme aimed at building the wealth of people by encouraging and assisting savings for home purchase, education and retirement.
In the six years since it was established, over one third of the group (17,000 people) has signed up.
I often hear criticism that Maori elite don’t distribute the benefits of Treaty settlements.
I tend to hear praise rather than criticism for how Ngai Tahu have managed their settlement. Here’s less edited text an example where praise is due.
Helping your tamariki and mokopuna to develop a savings habit is not just about building their knowledge of financial matters, it’s also about empowering them to make better, meaningful choices for their future.
Unique in New Zealand, Whai Rawa is an iwi-based savings scheme aimed at building the wealth of Ngāi Tahu whānui by encouraging and assisting savings for home purchase, education and retirement. It is also a vehicle for Ngāi Tahu distributions, and in the six years since it was established, over one third of the iwi has signed up.
For Programme Manager, Andrew Scott it’s a very satisfying result.
“One third of the iwi equates to around 17,000 savers. You speak to anyone outside of Ngāi Tahu and they’ll let you know it’s an impressive statistic,” he says, “and we’ve had enquiries from other iwi about the viability of their setting up a similar savings programme.”
He says the fund currently stands at close to $24-million and Whai Rawa has dispersed $1.3 million in over 800 withdrawls since it started (mostly for retirement). “All of our withdrawal stories have been extremely positive – the scheme has already had a positive benefit on a lot of lives. The $1.3 million in withdrawals is testament to that.”
Current success stories aside, for Scott and his team, the focus remains to encourage regular savings and a growing Whai Rawa membership. It’s about getting more whānau to put their good intentions into action Scott says, and he’s delighted that “all the numbers are trending in the right direction.”
“Changing savings habits is often an inter-generational thing, and 65% of the iwi aged under 16 are Whai Rawa members. That shows there is clear evidence that Ngāi Tahu parents care about providing more opportunities for their tamariki and mokopuna,” he says. “It is very much a reflection of the Ngāi Tahu whakataukī: Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – For us and our children after us.”
“All child members (under 16) are currently eligible to receive Matched Savings at a ratio of $4 to $1; and all adult members (except Elective Members over 65), are currently eligible to receive Matched Savings of $1 to $1, up to a maximum of $200 per year.
For full details on Whai Rawa and the benefits it offers your whānau, check out the new Whai Rawa website www.whairawa.com - or call 0800 942 472 for more information.
Sounds like a positive and successful approach.