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Overview

We wanted to provide you all with an update on what is happening within Whai Rawa and our business at this difficult time, as well as provide some reassurance about processes and market fluctuations.
Please find a series of FAQs of the most relevant up to date information below.

We recently sent an email to all members:
If you didn’t receive it, you can read it here.

Covid-19 response and ongoing market fluctuations
We wanted to provide you all with an update on what is happening within Whai Rawa and our business at this difficult time, as well as provide some reassurance about processes and market fluctuations.
Whānau, while our Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu office is closed, for the Whai Rawa tīma and others at Te Rūnanga it is very much business as usual. We have business continuity procedures in place which means that the Whai Rawa tīma are all working remotely, away from Te Whare o Te Waipounamu.
Read more here

Whai Rawa FAQs
Is Whai Rawa an essential service?

Essential businesses, and those that support them, will continue to provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand.

This means food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support will continue to be available.

The Government has confirmed that financial services, like Whai Rawa, are essential services that need to continue to operate when New Zealand is at Level 4 and Level 3 in its COVID-19 response.

Refer to the official COVID-19 website for a complete list of essential services here – https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/#Essential-businesses

Can we still get in touch with you during the New Zealand COVID-19 lockdown?

Whānau, while our TRoNT office remains closed under COVID-19 Level 3, for the Whai Rawa tīma and others at Te Rūnanga, it is very much business as usual. We have business continuity procedures in place which means that the Whai Rawa tīma are all working remotely, away from Te Whare o Te Waipounamu.

While this means it may take a little longer for us to respond to your queries, it does not otherwise impact our ability to operate normally. So, if you’ve got any pātai/questions we are available to help you during normal business hours; 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact us via

  • Phone: 0800 WHAI RAWA (0800 942 472) or +64 3 366 4344
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Facebook Messenger: facebook.com/whairawa

As we’re experiencing high levels of calls, we recommend you email us first and we’ll prioritise coming back to you as soon as we can.

Is the Whai Rawa Scheme operating as normal?

Yes, Whai Rawa is operating normally as an essential service (see above). Financial services, such as Whai Rawa are essential services that need to continue to operate when New Zealand is at Level 4 and Level 3 in its COVID-19 response. Your investment is managed by Whai Rawa Fund Limited and there are no changes to this set-up. The Financial Markets Authority is a good source of information if you’d like to know more – the Government charges them with overseeing and regulating the management of  all investment schemes. See here for more – https://www.fma.govt.nz/

Are you still processing withdrawals?

Yes, but we can only accept withdrawal applications via email, and these will be processed as normal, including first home, tertiary and retirement. Please note processing of requests will normally take up to ten working days from receipt of a completed application.

Note – if you are looking to make a withdrawal soon, it’s important you understand how daily unit pricing works and how market fluctuations may impact your balance.

We advise that you check your account balance before proceeding with withdrawals and factor potential fluctuations into your plans. You can check your balance by logging into your online account at www.whairawa.com/login or by contacting us.

IMPORTANT: If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to reset your password.

My balance has been fluctuating regularly, how do I know what funds will be approved at the time my withdrawal is accepted/approved by Whai Rawa?

Whai Rawa is a unitised fund, which means our Investment Manager, Mercer (NZ) Limited values each member’s account units daily. Please be aware that, even in normal circumstances, it can take up to three business days for units to be priced and allocated to member accounts. This means that your balance may fluctuate (down or up) from the time we receive your complete application for review to the time your application is processed.

With recent market fluctuations, we advise that you check your account balance before proceeding with withdrawals and factor potential fluctuation into your plans. You can check your balance by logging into your online account at www.whairawa.com/login or by contacting us.

IMPORTANT: If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to reset your password.

Do I need to plan ahead for any upcoming withdrawal?

Our regular processing time still remains as Business As Usual (BAU). Please allow up to ten working days for processing a completed application. Make sure you check the criteria and all the documents we require at https://whairawa.com/my-account/withdrawals/

As mentioned above, the balance available at the time your withdrawal is processed may be different to your account balance when your withdrawal application is submitted. The maximum amount available to be withdrawn is your account balance at the time your withdrawal payment is made.

Financial Hardship FAQs
I’ve lost my job and I have no money apart from my Whai Rawa account. Can I access it?

Members who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19 and are not eligible for Covid-19 Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) support or international equivalent (or have already exhausted all WINZ support entitlements or international equivalent) can apply for a significant financial hardship withdrawal to meet minimum living expenses. Please visit here to download the form and check if you are eligible.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu also have support available for whānau. Visit their website or Facebook page for more details – https://ngaitahu.iwi.nz/whanau/covid-19/

How do I qualify for a Significant Financial Hardship withdrawal?

See the criteria and full information required to apply for a Significant Financial Hardship withdrawal here – https://whairawa.com/my-account/withdrawals/

Can I access funds from my tamariki or mokopuna accounts that I manage?

No, you can only access your own account funds. You cannot withdraw from tamariki accounts.

Covid-19 Market Activity FAQs
Why has my account balance dropped so much lately?

Movements in the financial markets caused by reactions to the spread of COVID-19 have had a significant impact on many investments. COVID-19 has continued to spread at a rapid pace around the world and has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. This is causing a shock to the global economy, pushing it and most national economies into a recession. Financial markets have responded with falls in investment values, and a flight to the safety of Government bonds.

Mercer, our Investment Manager, advise that market corrections are normal and over longer-term markets tend to recover.

You can read more here – https://www.mercerfinancialservices.co.nz/mercer-magazine/markets—economy/coronavirus-investing.html

Does my balance get affected by market fluctuations?

Yes. It is an uncertain time for investors, with many in both Whai Rawa and other investments seeing a significant drop in their balances.

Gillian (FMA) comments that investments work in timeframes of decades, up to 40 or 50 years. For these long-term goals, a growth or balanced fund is usually the best option. These funds have higher-risk assets in them, such as shares and property. So, when world markets are unpredictable, they will be the ones with balances that move around more. The (significant) upside is, over the longer-term these funds will usually provide higher returns, growing your money more.

If you’d like to revisit your Risk profile at this time you can take our Risk Quiz here – http://purl.co.nz/wr/riskquiz/. This may help you in determining the most appropriate fund for your investments, although we re-iterate information provided about changing funds now.

What else should I worry about?

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has warned New Zealanders to be vigilant of financial scams and cold calls at this time as individuals may try and take advantage of the current market situation and your worries about your investment(s).

These include the following investment offers observed overseas:

  • Goods or industries experiencing strong demand, such as sanitary products or pharmaceutical companies
  • Products supposedly effective against Covid-19, such as vaccines, medications, protective gear or equipment
  • So-called “safe haven” assets, including cryptocurrencies or precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum

Scammers are also using common techniques to trick anxious consumers:

  • Phishing emails, claiming to be from health authorities, banks or insurers, trying to trick people into sending sensitive information, or open attachments with malware
  • Telephone scams, pretending to be from health authorities, claiming that a relative has fallen sick and requesting payments for medical treatment

For more warning signs and ways to stay vigilant, read more here – https://www.fma.govt.nz/investors/scams/covid-19-related-scams/

Useful Links

To keep updated on investments and financial markets Whai Rawa gathers information from a wide range of parties involved in New Zealand and global markets and we recommend you do the same. Here are some useful links:

Current Market Condition FAQs
What is happening with COVID-19 and the markets at the moment?

We have a comment from the Financial Markets Authority – our regulator and Mercer – our Investment Manager.

FMA Comment:

Gillian Boyes the Investor Capability Manager at the Financial Markets Authority or the FMA (our Regulator) advises that “the best preparation for a stormy period of market volatility is to make sure you are already in the right fund for your needs and your long-term plans.” She says that “It’s an unpredictable world we live in: trade wars, real wars, virus outbreaks and natural disasters appear with alarming regularity. And this kind of uncertainty can have an impact on world financial markets, which can then flow through to your … balance. So what’s the right thing to do? It’s a good time to focus on your …. journey – the destination doesn’t change when headlines get scary.”

Put simply this means that investing is a long-term journey and market volatility shouldn’t derail your course. However if you’re uncomfortable with market ups and downs which have an impact on your investment balance then perhaps a high risk Fund isn’t right for you. Whai Rawa has a risk quiz which may help you to better understand how your approach to risk translates to the investment options available to you. Answer 5 quick questions to find out which investment option could be right for you. You can access this quiz through your member login, or go to www.purl.co.nz/wr/riskquiz

Mercer Comment:

Mercer, Whai Rawa’s Investment Manager comment that their “investment experts search the globe to find the most diverse investments and in well-diversified portfolios, some assets are more stable than shares and may achieve a positive return during a volatile period.” They also stress that “market corrections are normal and over longer-term markets tend to recover.”

Their team comment that “Global markets continue to experience historic moves as a result of the COVID-19 virus. As the virus spreads across the world, governments are preparing fiscal countermeasures and central banks are pumping money into the financial system in a “whatever it takes” mind-set. Though these measures may not help the economy in the near term, they will likely add impetus to the rebound when the virus is contained and global economies are able to restart.”

Mercer stresses that “It is at times such as this that the value of a robust portfolio becomes clear.  Diversification is key – amid volatile and uncertain markets, it spreads the risk and return drivers, allowing losses and draw-downs to be at least partially offset elsewhere.”

In summary, Mercer diversifies their investments across the globe to hopefully achieve the least losses. Whai Rawa have a long history with Mercer and we are optimistic about their approach in what is a global market crisis.

What should I consider when switching funds?

Consider your investment strategy in your decision. The length of time you have to invest your pūtea/money, your age, Whai Rawa balance and how risk averse you feel will all contribute to your decision. If you’d like to revisit your risk profile at this time, one of the ways you can do this is by taking our Risk Quiz here –http://purl.co.nz/wr/riskquiz/

How can I stay informed?

Whai Rawa gathers information from a wide range of parties involved in New Zealand and Global markets and we recommend you do the same.

FMA –
https://www.facebook.com/FinancialMarketsAuthority/

https://www.fma.govt.nz/investors/investment-understanding-the-basics/

Mercer –

https://www.facebook.com/MercerKiwiSaver/

https://www.mercerfinancialservices.co.nz/

Commission for Financial Capability –

https://www.facebook.com/cffc.org.nz/

https://sorted.org.nz/

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu –

https://ngaitahu.iwi.nz/whanau/covid-19/

Switching Funds FAQs
Should I switch my Fund to a lower risk option?

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – our regulator – comments that investors [should] consider carefully before switching funds, as they will, on occasion, see major ups and downs in balances. Recognising that some people might need the money immediately for a first home, switching funds during market turbulence forces the sale of investments at lower prices and gives up the prospect of gains when those investments start to recover. Remember if your balance falls, you haven’t actually lost any money – it just means the value of your investments has dropped. But if you change your fund that loss becomes real – your provider has to sell your investments at that new low value, so you end up locking in that loss. Even stopping contributions can be a bad idea because you’ll be missing out on the bargain buying your fund manager will be doing

Consider your investment strategy in your decision. The length of time you have to invest your pūtea/money, your age, Whai Rawa balance and how risk averse you feel will all contribute to your decision. If you’d like to revisit your risk profile at this time, one of the ways you can do this is by taking our Risk Quiz here –http://purl.co.nz/wr/riskquiz/

I’ve just moved my account into a Growth Fund. Should I switch back to Conservative?

As above – the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) recommend exercising caution before switching funds in the wake of COVID-19 impacts on the market. They comment that if your balance falls, then don’t panic. It is supposed to move up and down, but over the long term should keep rising as you keep contributing and prices recover.

Gillian Boyes from the Financial Markets Authority shares hers comments on market volatility in this recent article: https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/fma-stories/comment-by-gillian-boyes-in-nz-herald-on-market-volatility-and-kiwisaver

Again, if you’d like to revisit your Risk profile at this time, one of the ways you can do this is by taking our Risk Quiz here –http://purl.co.nz/wr/riskquiz/

Significant Financial Hardship Withdrawal – Covid-19

Download here – Whai Rawa Significant Financial Hardship Covid-19 Form 2020

Whai Rawa Fund Limited is the issuer of the Whai Rawa Unit Trust. A copy of the Product Disclosure Statement is available at www.whairawa.com/pds.

Past performance should not be relied upon as an indicator of future performance. The information contained on this page is intended for general guidance only and is not personalised to you. It does not take into account your particular financial situation or goals. Before making any investment decision, you should refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or consult an appropriately authorised adviser.