Ruby’s mother joined her up to Whai Rawa as soon as the scheme was available, which has given her a great start towards her future. With a growing passion for classical studies, Ruby may put her Whai Rawa savings towards her education. She aims to attend Otago University and complete a PhD.
“There are many benefits that come with being a Whai Rawa member like having a way for whānau to save for education or a deposit on their first home. Whai Rawa is teaching the vital lesson of the value of money and the importance of saving to whānau.”
Ruby Laugesen (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kuri)
Ruby, 17, is in her last year of school at Riccarton High. She has been selected for two leadership roles this year, Tuakana Kaiārahi and Mana Toroa. Ruby will guide senior Māori students though a leadership programme – Mana Toroa, which is aimed at providing cultural competency, leadership skills and practical ways to implement mana as individuals and within their school. Ruby is also representative of the Māori student body at Riccarton and sits on the bicultural committee who organise events promoting biculturalism within the school.
As her Mum joined her and her sisters up when Whai Rawa started, they are already seeing the benefits of saving long term. She comments that “there are many benefits that come with being a Whai Rawa member like having a secure way for whānau to save for education or a deposit on their first home. Whai Rawa also provides financial security and knowledge that you are safely saving money and with Ngāi Tahu providing matched savings and distributions, tamariki can see how quickly their savings can grow.”
Ruby has long term plans to buy her first whare, which she hope Whai Rawa will help her with, also.