We wanted to provide you all with an update on what is happening with markets at the moment and we have a series of FAQs of the most relevant up to date information below.

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 –

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 –

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.

Market Fluctuation FAQs
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 – 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 –

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

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.

Whai Rawa Fund Limited is the issuer of the Whai Rawa Unit Trust. A copy of the Product Disclosure Statement is available at

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.