Te Hono ki Rarotonga is the name of the wharenui which graces the front cover of the December 2014 edition of Nati Link. Constructed in 1934, it has over the past 80 years played host to numerous whanau gatherings and significant hui held at Pakirikiri marae in Tokomaru Bay. It has also welcomed thousands of manuhiri from around the world, and provided compassion and support to those grieving the loss of loved ones.
Recently Te Hono ki Rarotonga set the scene for the launch of a collective Iwi Insurance programme which was primarily created to help Iwi kainga protect and maintain our most precious taonga – our marae – for future generations.Nati Insure was officially presented to the Iwi at the 2014 Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Hui a Tau held at Pakirikiri marae on the 29th of November. Pakirikiri is representative of many of our marae on the Coast, where insurance and electricity bills figure highly in their annual operating costs.
Establishing a co-ordinated approach
“The process of establishing Nati Insure has been a long time in the making,” says Allan Jensen, Chief Financial Officer for TRONPnui. “But the end result has been ultimately fulfilling.” Allan (Te Whanau a Tuwhakairiora)has been at the helm of developing this kaupapa over the past 24 months, which was motivated by repeated appeals from marae for the Runanganui to help reduce insurance costs by co-ordinating a collective approach to marae insurance.
One of the most significant factors which brought about this call for assistance, was the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquake of 2011. This event had a significant impact on the affordability of insurance across the nation, and marae (especially those based in rural, coastal areas) were among those severely affected by the huge hike in premium levels.Alleviation from this financial pressure (which also discouraged many marae committees from renewing their insurance policies) became a popular talking point amongst Iwi kainga charged with the responsibility of looking after our marae.
Below: Allan Jensen ( TRONPnui CFO) delivering Nati Insure official launch presentation at 2014 TRONPNui Hui a Tau.
A stock take of marae insurance issues
To address these concerns, towards the end of 2012 the board of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou formed a Marae Insurance sub-committee (Ani Pahuru-Huriwai, Lilian Tangaere-Baldwin, Fiona Te Momo and Marijke Warmenhoven). Among the group’s first decisions was to request a stock take be undertaken to identify how many of our Ngati Porou marae were insured and what were their level of premiums.
Approximately half of the marae were found to have no insurance at all, due to the exorbitant costs of acquiring or maintaining insurance payments. Those who were insured reported that although their premiums were excessive and unaffordable, they were necessary to ensure their marae were covered in the event of a disaster. A survey of participants attending the Marae and Fire Safety Expo at Rauru marae in March 2013 supported this data, and marae representatives at the hui endorsed the growing call for a collective insurance programme to help all marae access affordable policies.
Above: Rauru marae in Ruatoria hosted the Marae and Firesafety Expo last year. Read more about this hui.
Other Iwi insurance models
The process to set up a collective marae insurance scheme involved firstly investigating what other Iwi around the country were doing in this space. Visits were made to Tainui, Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa and Ngai Tahu to look at their marae insurance models, and identify which elements from their experiences could be replicated for our scheme. The next step was to engage with a range of recommended national Insurance brokers to find out what services and benefits they could provide to Ngati Porou. After an extensive tendering process, Aon New Zealand was awarded the contract in late September 2014.
A collaborative partnership.
Aon New Zealand has negotiated Marae Insurance schemes with several other Iwi, and under the umbrella of Nati Insure will provide competitive pricing and policy coverage for Ngati Porou marae, as well as Ngati Porou businesses and Iwi members. In addition to providing collective insurance to marae, Nati Insure domestic and business policies will also be available to Iwi members and businesses (including the TRONPnui Group). A percentage of the commissions from these insurance packages will be channelled into the Marae Collective Insurance scheme, which effectively will help reduce even further the premiums paid by the marae who join up.
For more information about both schemes visit the Nati Insure section on this site.