Scheme aims to sign up 100,000 Maori
A KiwiSaver scheme aimed at getting more Maori saving is being launched in Wellington and Auckland this week.
Wholesale fund manager Taupo Moana Group, which manages about $250 million for iwi, hapu and Maori trusts, is launching the scheme along with a non-KiwiSaver retail scheme under the name Iwi Investor.
It will target businesses and community groups with links to Maori and Pacific Islanders, as well as other ethnic groups, the scheme's manager, Tina Wilson, said.
Entities such as kohanga reo and fisheries companies will be encouraged to give Iwi Investor preferential access to potential members, with the added lure of financial literacy courses for savers.
The scheme was originally going to trade as IwiSaver and had registered that name with the Inland Revenue Department.
It was dropped after Tainui began using the phrase.
"We need Tainui on board," Wilson said.
The scheme has a goal of signing up 100,000 Maori, who traditionally had a low rate of sign-up, Wilson said. "There has been $4.4 billion paid into KiwiSaver from the Government and Maori are less than 1 per cent of the take-up of that," she said. "Our big push is to get as many people into KiwiSaver while they have the $1000 start-ups ... to try and get more [money] into individual accounts."
One option is that iwi and hapu could pay members' KiwiSaver contributions in lieu of dividends from Treaty settlement assets.
"A lot of the Maori money that has been in the market has been from Treaty settlements, but they tend to be more social service-oriented," Wilson said. "This is a whole different view around personal investment self-determination."
The infant scheme had a soft launch on December 7 and has so far signed up 50 members with scant publicity. It will shortly release its first set of financial statements. Auckland-based fund managers Mint Asset Management and Tyndall Investment Management are managing the investments.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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