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What’s Māori for Growth Fund? A Te Reo Kiwisaver guide

JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme has partnered with Māori language experts to publish a guide to KiwiSaver in te reo Māori.

The guide, Tō Aratohu KiwiSaver, is a te reo translation of JUNO’s existing, award-winning Your Guide to KiwiSaver. JUNO commissioned Reo Whairawa Limited’s team of licensed te reo Māori translators to help reach Māori, many of whom struggle to save for retirement.

The guide aims to help Māori korero about and engage with KiwiSaver and its launch coincides with Te Wiki o te reo Māori (9-15 September). The guide features three phrases newly developed to express investment risk in te reo.

“Our guide is one of the first publications to use these new phrases,” begins Mike Taylor, JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme Founder. “Risk is a critical idea for all KiwiSaver members to understand, and these new phrases effectively provide te reo risk concepts, specifically for Māori, for Conservative, Balanced and Growth Funds.”

Brook Grant from Reo Whairawa says the te reo translation focused on using Māori knowledge systems and analogies to make the underlying English terms meaningful for Māori. “For example, when creating terms for the three fund risk types, we used an analogy that understood personality traits. So, Conservative Fund = tahua (‘fund’) tūpato (‘to be cautious or careful’); Balanced Fund = tahua whārite (‘to be balanced or centred’); Growth Fund = manawanui (‘to be tolerant or stout-hearted’).”

Mike says JUNO decided to embark on the te reo Māori translation earlier this year. “We read a Māori Council report on the fears many Māori women have about being able to afford retirement,” he says. “We also reviewed the 2019 Māori Identity and Financial Attitudes Study2 of about 7,000 Māori, undertaken by the University of Auckland. The initial results from the study estimated about half of Māori are not saving for their old age.”

Jenaia Clarke, JUNO Brand & Business Development Manager, was shocked by the initial findings from the National Māori Authority Ngangaru report “Māori Affairs: what the people say”1, in December 2018. Its survey showed concerns that a significant number of Māori women will retire in debt, with little savings and at risk of becoming homeless.

“I’m a Māori woman in finance and what saddened me most was that these women don’t know how to talk about it or what to do next,” Jenaia says. “We know the statistics; women will have lower retirement savings than men because they’ll spend more time raising kids, earn less, will often be a solo parent and live longer in retirement. Māori women will have even fewer means than non-Māori women and we know they are underrepresented in KiwiSaver – as Māori are generally.

“Translating our Guide to KiwiSaver into te reo Māori was just a small step in showing manaakitanga to whānau and communities,” says Jenaia. “When I was growing up, you never talked about money. We still don’t. But if we can help and support Māori to start talking about money and show how starting small and keeping at it to form a savings habit can mean so much in the future, hopefully we will see whānau retiring with better financial outcomes.”

Brook Grant adds that the guide is also a way of ensuring te reo Māori remains relevant and can help safeguard the language’s longevity. “The growth of the Māori economy highlights the importance of wealth and investment as a relevant topic for Māori, and therefore te reo Māori,” he says. “The first step is to ensure there is vocabulary in te reo Māori to enable clear, specific discussions of wealth and investment matters. The next key step is to use the vocabulary and start to normalise it. JUNO’s KiwiSaver guide is a great example to demonstrate the ability of te reo Māori to talk about wealth and investment matters, in a clear and easy to understand manner.”

Tō Aratohu KiwiSaver is available online now at: It will also be used as a classroom resource through JUNO’s qualified teacher/educator and made available through JUNO KiwiSaver’s employer, business and adviser partners. “This is another important step on JUNO’s journey to reach as many Kiwis as possible with our plain language, down-to-earth approach to KiwiSaver investment,” says Mike. “Our 3,000-plus members tell us they really value our commitment to educating Kiwis about their finances and making KiwiSaver accessible, simple to understand and fun to engage with. We’re looking forward to sharing Tō Aratohu KiwiSaver with New Zealanders.”

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