A New Plymouth-based iwi group has appointed the NZX-owned SuperLife to run an investment service as part of a broader, novel ‘financial wellbeing’ program.
The just-launched Ka Uruora offering will use SuperLife to back its KiwiSaver and WhānauSaver products offered to members of the Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa and Te Kāhui o Taranaki iwis.
According to the Ka Uruora website, the dual savings program was “designed by iwi to support whānau members to manage their financial future”.
Under the WhānauSaver option, members could receive an annual iwi co-contribution of up to $200 for investing in the SuperLife portfolios that cover five risk profiles.
The WhānauSaver service also has more flexible withdrawal conditions than KiwiSaver, including early access for unexpected emergencies, tertiary education and retirement at age 55.
However, like KiwiSaver, WhānauSaver also allows withdrawals for first home purchase, death, serious illness or significant financial hardship. Fees include an annual fee of $12 and “fund charges of 0.46% – 0.53% per year”, the Ka Uruora site says.
In addition to the two SuperLife-run investment products, the Taranaki iwi service also extends to a ‘shared home ownership’ option, to provide approved members with top-up capital to purchase a house.
Ka Uruora says it will “share the purchase cost and ownership of housing offered until whānau can afford to take full ownership – much like your parents or wider whānau might help with the deposit on your first home”.
The shared home purchase service is co-funded by the TSB Community Trust, Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Tumu Kāinga.
“Ka Uruora is currently working with iwi to plan what affordable healthy housing will be offered to whānau under the programme,” the website says. “Announcements will be made to members in due course, once plans are further developed.”
Furthermore, the iwi group has built a financial education service with the Commission of Financial Capability and Te Puni Kōkiri, to guide a limited number of members (30 in the first batch) on the path to home ownership.
The Sorted Kainga Ora offer “comprises eight 2-hour workshops and one-on-one support on key financial areas such as budgeting, managing spending and saving to prepare and support whānau buy a house”.
Due to officially launch today, the Ka Uruora program follows on from a number of other iwi-based financial programs such as the recently-restructured IwiInvestor and the Whai Rawa fund (currently the only Māori licensed managed investment scheme).
Several Māori-based financial ventures have popped up in the last couple of years including a new culturally-themed fund offered by JMI Wealth and the $100 million pan-iwi investment venture formed with the help of the NZ Superannuation Fund in 2017.
SuperLife has also broadened its cultural outlook over the last year, winning a couple of mandates from Pacific Island pension funds. The Ka Uruora SuperLife offer features the first dual Te Reo/English product disclosure statement (PDS).