HB Foundation welcomes new fund to benefit Wairoa iwi

Hawke’s Bay Foundation is honoured to welcome a new fund from Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Incorporated, which will see funds safeguarded in perpetuity for Wairoa iwi.

Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Inc. is a charity that has represented the interests of tangata-whenua in the Wairoa community for the past 30 years.  Their current registered membership stands at over 8,700 people.

The Charity’s income from an iwi fishing settlement and by leasing out their own crayfish quota has traditionally been invested in term deposits, but an endowment fund with Hawke’s Bay Foundation enables them to diversify and secure their funds, whilst also getting higher returns.

“An endowment fund provides for inter-generational support into the future for our charity by providing a secure, regular and permanent income source,” Nigel How, Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Inc. Chairman, says.

“As our charity intends to be around forever, the endowment fund provides ongoing support for this.  Ensuring responsible, long-term tenure of any charity or organisation is a duty of its Board.”

Nigel says the importance of diversifying their investments has been further highlighted since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The international crayfish market crashed at the time annual leases were made and as a result we took a two-thirds decrease in our CRA3 lease income for the current financial year. This income-hit came at the time our Board was contemplating establishing our endowment fund.  The crayfish price crash illustrated how vulnerable the financial situation of our charity is with our existing income streams. This was part of our broader consideration in establishing our fund.”

The Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Fund has started with just over $100,000 and income generated from the fund will go directly back to the charity for its beneficiaries.

Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Inc. was introduced to Hawke’s Bay Foundation at a Funders Forum held in Wairoa in late 2019.

“The initial presentation was clear and concise, resonating with our charity’s financial security goals.  The second presentation to our charity was tailored to show how an endowment fund could work for us, which was crucial in reaching Board agreement to go ahead.  All information supplied has been very user-friendly,” Nigel says.

“Setting up the fund was very straight forward, and I would absolutely recommend other people in our sector do the same with a community foundation in their area.  The base values of an endowment fund align with those of our own charity, which is Māori worldview based.  Ultimately planning to take care of future generations is an ideal and goal both Hawke’s Bay Foundation and tangata-whenua share.”

Hawke’s Bay Foundation Chair, Giles Pearson, says he and the Board are delighted to be working with Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Inc. and congratulate Nigel for his foresight and considered stewardship of these funds.

“Our aim at Hawke’s Bay Foundation is to provide local charities with sustainable long-term income, through the revenue generated from the investment of funds. It is a privilege to provide this service for Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Inc. and to support them into the future,” Giles says.

The new Fund has captured national attention too, with Community Foundations of New Zealand Executive Officer, Eleanor Cater, saying the fund sets a wonderful precedent for iwi working with their local community foundation.

“With the Community Foundation model, we are all about investing for the future. It’s really encouraging to see Ngāti Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Inc. acknowledging the longer-term picture in terms of an invested endowment fund, with income flowing back to iwi in perpetuity. This partnership and ongoing mahi will contribute to self-sustainability, a surety of funding, for the future,” Eleanor says.

About Hawke’s Bay Foundation 

Established in 2012, Hawke’s Bay Foundation receives donations and bequests and invests them in order to provide a long-term sustainable source of funding for the Hawke’s Bay community. The original donation is never touched – rather it is preserved forever, with the income that is generated used to provide grants to local charities.