Helping whānau with home ownership

Over the last decade Whai Rawa has helped 312 whānau buy their first home.

David Tikao, Programme Leader – Whai Rawa, says over $1.2 million has been withdrawn by members to assist them into their first home.

“In our current economic climate it’s really tough to get on the property ladder so Whai Rawa helps Ngāi Tahu whānau to achieve their goal of home ownership,” says David.

Vanessa Jones, Whai Rawa member, used her funds to pay for her first home in Dunedin.

Vanessa says that without Whai Rawa she would not have been able to afford the deposit for her first home.

“It was just about the time big deposits were coming in and we wouldn’t have been able to afford our home if it wasn’t for Whai Rawa,” says Vanessa.

“Now that we own our home we feel even more connected to Dunedin. We have been in the house 3 years now and I can imagine us being here for long time,” she says.

Another Whai Rawa member, Ryan Bradley, says he would not be able to buy a home in Auckland without Whai Rawa.

“We used Whai Rawa to buy our first home in Hamilton and its really surprising how quickly you can build up equity. We have owned our home for 3 years and without having the equity it has created we would not be able to buy a home in Auckland given the current market,” says Ryan.

Another Whai Rawa member, Mel Sargent, says she wouldn’t have her home in Greytown if it wasn’t for Whai Rawa.

“Without the contributions of the iwi we would not have been able to put together enough money to buy our home,” says Mel.

Kristen Kohere-Soutar, Chair, Whai Rawa Fund Limited says getting whānau onto the property ladder is essential to ensuring their long-term financial wellbeing.
“The Whai Rawa funds under management have risen to $53-million,” she says.

Whai Rawa is a programme of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and it currently provides an annual matched savings of up to a maximum of $200 per member. In addition, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has contributed annual distributions to most members, most years, regardless of whether they have saved into Whai Rawa or not.