Whānau Stories

Here are some stories from whānau about what they’re achieving or planning to achieve with the help of Whai Rawa. Contact us to share your story.

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Tumarangai Sciascia
Tumarangai Sciascia

“There are definite barriers [to whānau making use of Whai Rawa]; access is a big one. For example, smartphones, the internet - some whanau don’t have access to that, and It’s a problem many are facing in New Zealand, but Whai Rawa is possibly the most simple and customer-friendly saving scheme available - it’s free and it is only Read more...

Riana Bennett
Riana Bennett

Ryan, 4, and Maia, 1, are both registered members of the iwi and Whai Rawa, and the Bennetts are just one whānau of many. More than 70 per cent of Read more...

Toya Woodgate
Toya Woodgate

Although “stressed out” by the purchase, with support from Callum, her whānau and the Whai Rawa team, Toya was able to use her account balance as part of the settlement Read more...

Carn Parata
Carn Parata

Sonya and Carn were determined to give their pepe the best start in life. “We just had some goals; we wrote them up on a whiteboard and, about five months ago “I didn’t know if we were actually going to get there, but just seeing it on the board as a reminder was what kept me chasing things up. We’re Read more...

Michel Manning
Michel Manning

Michel says the primary reason for withdrawing was to be able to support their tamariki in their educational endeavours. Milly, 17, is a national-competing gymnast and has represented the country Read more...

Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson

Jessica has been a member of Whai Rawa almost since it started and her recently completed study was the first time she had really considered making use of the account. “I Read more...

Maegan Cameron
Maegan Cameron

Maegan Cameron is a Whai Rawa member who used her funds to help her pay off her student loan Read more...

Vanessa Jones
Vanessa Jones

Vanessa Jones is a Whai Rawa member who used her funds to help her buy her first home in Dunedin Read more...

Tony Tinworth
Tony Tinworth

We asked Tony why he was a Whai Rawa saver and he replied "Whai Rawa seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. I had just started a State Sector Read more...

Ben Black
Ben Black

Ben Black (Kāti Huirapa) recently withdrew his Whai Rawa savings to purchase his first home. There may not be anything unusual about that, but Ben, 23 is one of the Read more...

Maurice Manawatu (Māori Tours Kaikōura)
Maurice Manawatu (Māori Tours Kaikōura)

Maurice (Ngāti Kurī) and wife Heather balance lots of values in running their successful business and interesting life. Offering land-based eco-cultural tourism in and around the Kaikōura Read more...

Myra Dick
Myra Dick

In the early 1990s, Myra was appointed the first manager of Whakatu Māori Women’s Welfare League (later Whakatu Te Korowai Manaakitanga Trust) with a focus on helping young M Read more...

Stacey Morrison
Stacey Morrison

Radio host, TV presenter, mother, Whai Rawa member. When Classic Hits breakfast presenter Stacey Morrison meets other Ngāi Tahu she checks if they belong to Whai Rawa, the Ngāi Read more...

Virginia Innes-Jones
Virginia Innes-Jones

For life coach Virginia Innes-Jones (Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Kāti Huirapa) and her business and life partner Darin Dance (Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāi Read more...

Grant Ryan
Grant Ryan

Grant is particularly proud of his iwi for the development of the innovative Whai Rawa programme, which he has joined, and for the work the iwi does with the wider community Read more...

Olivia Kitson
Olivia Kitson

As a result of her experience on Aoraki Bound, Olivia Kitson is determined to continue learning about Kāi Tahu history and culture, and to keep learning te reo. Although Olivia Read more...

Miere Manurere Paraone
Miere Manurere Paraone

Before Miere’s parents had even received her birth certificate, her Whai Rawa pūtea was starting to grow. Her parents say, “we want her to have the best opportunities in Read more...

Fern Whitau
Fern Whitau

Fern Whitau has whānau living overseas. Being able to withdraw funds from Whai Rawa, has made it easy for me visit them every year Read more...

Donna Kerrison
Donna Kerrison

My entire whānau are regular savers and this builds strong habits and accumulates funds so that we will have more opportunities in the future whether it’s to buy a Read more...

Keri Whaitiri
Keri Whaitiri

Keri is an enthusiastic member of Whai Rawa, enrolling herself and son Haawi back when it started. “It’s amazing how quickly your pūtea accumulates over the years, and I Read more...

Bernadette McKinley
Bernadette McKinley

In the final year of her degree Bernie was struggling to meet all her study related costs, and had exhausted her student loan options, so was very grateful to be able Read more...

Michael Allan
Michael Allan

Last year Michael was accepted onto the He Toki ki te Rika trades training programme and he is enjoying learning new skills as part of a group. “I’ve met some Read more...

Pritchard whānau
Pritchard whānau

When CloseUp wanted to do a story last year about the benefits of the Ngāi Tahu Settlement and Whai Rawa, the Pritchard whānau generously agreed to talk about their Read more...

Josiah & Javier Rika
Josiah & Javier Rika

Wife to Josiah (Ngāti Hateatea, Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki) and mother to Javier, Felicity Hernandez-Rika spoke with us about what Whai Rawa means to their whānau. We hope Read more...

Tana and Delane Luke
Tana and Delane Luke

“Whai Rawa was the start of regular savings for me. My mum and dad got me the forms and I filled them in – hopefully it will pay for my university fees Read more...

Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell

Whai Rawa member Josh Mitchell (Ngāi Tuahuriri,  Ngāti Irakehu, Ngāti Wheke, Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, Ngāti Waewae)) was selected for a cadetship in late 2012.  He's Read more...

Ryan Bennett
Ryan Bennett

The best time to get on the pathway to financial wellbeing is when you are born.  That’s why Riana Bennett (Ngāti Mahaki) enrolled her tamaiti Ryan with Whai Rawa Read more...

Josh Munro
Josh Munro

“As well as the first home owner grant that we can get here in Australia, the bank was also able to factor in my Whai Rawa savings when we were going Read more...

Jessie Rochford-Barber
Jessie Rochford-Barber

Because Jessie is not an Australian citizen, she was ineligible for financial assistance during her study and says that Whai Rawa made it possible for her to pursue her dream of Read more...

Tarere Thatcher
Tarere Thatcher

"Having a Whai Rawa account helped me immensely during my final years of study. The money I had been saving came in handy for study essentials and relieved a lot of Read more...

Hariata Sanders
Hariata Sanders

Whai Rawa isn't just wonderful in the way that they allow you to put away a small sum of money each week/month/year dependent on what YOU can afford Read more...

Mark Scott
Mark Scott

“Whai Rawa is a building block for the future of iwi sustainability and for us, it’s one of multiple strands aimed at providing the best we can for our children Read more...

Alexander & Anabelle Batchelor
Alexander & Anabelle Batchelor

“Whai Rawa is a building block for the future of iwi sustainability and for us, it’s one of multiple strands aimed at providing the best we can for our children Read more...

Lex Dillon
Lex Dillon

“My wife, Robyn and I have always felt it was up to us to take care of ourselves in retirement and when Whai Rawa started we were very keen to participate Read more...

Ariana Silver
Ariana Silver

“As parents, we are really trying to promote the importance of having a solid education as a basis to set up your future.  Whai Rawa plays a role in this and Read more...

Ondine Grace
Ondine Grace

Ondine is living proof that it’s not impossible in Aotearoa for young people to buy a whare and gain the financial stability that comes with it. Whānau do it Read more...

Lucie Maraea Russell & Monique Ataahua Russell
Lucie Maraea Russell & Monique Ataahua Russell

As a chef Jason knows about the importance of preparation. "We know that making tiny sacrifices now should mean big benefits for the girls when they are older, helping them to Read more...

Dion and Elly Williams
Dion and Elly Williams

Owning a home provides a sense or feeling of soundness and completeness. “We can now make a whānau home that is our place – for us. Renting has many benefits in Read more...

Tahua Pihema
Tahua Pihema

With a bright future ahead and given her love of science and maths, Tahua is considering studying radiography at Otago University once she has finished school. Her second choice, she says Read more...

Storm Uru
Storm Uru

Storm is at Oxford University completing an MBA and is using his Whai Rawa funds to help pay for it. It’s the latest chapter in his academic career and he Read more...

Meredith Ryan
Meredith Ryan

Meredith recognises that being able to own her own home is a responsibility but believes it's worth it for the security of having somewhere stable to live. “I can finally Read more...