Celebrating ten years of Whai Rawa

In the last decade Whai Rawa funds under management have risen to $52-million with nearly 2000 whānau who have been helped into new homes, tertiary education or retirement.

David Tikao, Whai Rawa Programme Leader, says much of the success has come from member buy-in.

“We have nearly 22,000 members and to date we have helped 312 whānau into their first homes, assisted 257 whānau to access tertiary education and helped 1381 whānau towards more comfortable retirement. That is a great success,” he says.

“In 2015, Whai Rawa gave out $3.5 million in direct distributions. That is a great return for our Ngāi Tahu whānau members,” he says.

Kristen Kohere-Soutar (Ngāi Tahu), Chair, Whai Rawa Fund Limited, says Whai Rawa is unique because it is the only licensed iwi savings scheme.

“Over the past ten years Whai Rawa has helped to create better futures for Ngāi Tahu whānau through greater wealth and wellbeing. It is managed by the iwi and for the iwi,” she says.

Whai Rawa came about when Tahu Potiki, then Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, worked with Diana Crossan and others to form the fund. Since then, it has gone from strength-to-strength.

“Whai Rawa focuses on three phases of life: tertiary education, buying your first home and retirement. We have focused on these areas because evidence shows us that whānau who have greater access to these three elements have the ability to live a better quality life,” says Kristen.

“But not only does Whai Rawa help its members to access funding, we are also working to ensure they become more financially competent.”

“Our goal for the next 18 months is to grow Ngāi Tahu Whai Rawa culture. I want Ngāi Tahu members to be confident in their saving and to not think of it as a foreign concept,” she says.

To celebrate the success of Whai Rawa, we will be launching a series of videos so keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter for more information. And for more information on Whai Rawa check their webpage: http://www.whairawa.com/