Ngāi Tahu is a Māori iwi (tribe) of the southern region of New Zealand. The iwi has over 55,000 registered tribal members (as of February 2016) making it the fourth largest in the country. Whai Rawa is a fund based savings programme set up by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu – the elected tribal council.
Ngāi Tahu describe themselves as a resilient, entrepreneurial people who made their home in Te Waipounamu (the South Island of New Zealand) over 800 years ago. Their ancestors were long distance seafarers, riding the ocean currents and navigating by stars on voyaging waka (canoes) from Hawaiki Nui. They populated the islands of the South Pacific eventually making their way to Aotearoa and Te Waipounamu.
The Whai Rawa fund was established in 2006 to improve the wellbeing of Ngāi Tahu people by:
- providing a vehicle for distributions to tribal members;
- encouraging savings for home ownership, education and retirement;
- being a ‘best of class’ savings vehicle; and
- growing financial capability.
We have had the pleasure of working with Whai Rawa on the application of Australian legal requirements in offering its fund to tribal members based in Australia (of which there are approximately 5,000) and are listed as the Australia address for service with ASIC.
This has included considering cross border regulation of managed investment schemes and the interplay between New Zealand and Australian jurisdictions in areas such as the Corporations Act, financial services law and privacy laws.
We will watch with interest and look forward to seeing Whai Rawa grow for the benefit of all its members.