Editor, Author at Christian Kiwisaver Scheme
Love comes down from Heaven

Love comes down from Heaven

It is a pleasure to send you Christmas greetings on behalf of the Board of Anglican Financial Care, as we approach this holy season, and await the longed-for birth of Christ. In our celebrations we give thanks that God is continually reaching out to us, longing to be born in us, longing for us to be in God’s company and drawn into the divine life of God. This is why Christmas is a special time. It means tasting something of heaven on earth as Love comes to surround us and indwell us.

Christmas tells us that all human life is profoundly sacred, so much so that God comes to us in human form to speak to us on our level and in our language. In this festival God is telling us and showing us that human beings in their fragility and humility can be full of God; very holy, very precious. In the message of the birth of Christ about which the angels sing and shepherds rush to adore, we see that all life is held in God and surrounded by God, and that God can reach out to us at any time and in any place, especially to the places engulfed in the darkness of suffering and pain.

Given the events of the last year and the moral issues currently being debated in our Parliament at present, this message is needed in our world more than ever. That someone could be so filled with hate that it was possible to destroy so many lives in the Mosque shootings last March is unfathomable. Every Christmas we celebrate God becoming fully human, thus making our humanity holy. If we are to take this message to heart, and open our own hearts to the indwelling of God, then we need to embrace those who appear to be ‘other’, to overcome our fear of those who are different, learn to move beyond tolerance of others to being in relationship, and to celebrate our common humanity.

For when the heavens are opened on that first Christmas night, what is disclosed? God. God revealed in the flesh; God, full of grace and truth. We see the fragility and vulnerability of human existence in the new-born baby. When we look toward that holy Child, we see only Love; Love that is offered freely, that is not manipulative, controlling, fearful, or violent. It is Love that is simply present, that we can choose to receive and to adore, or not. It is Love that has come to win us over, to draw us to God. It is the same Love that moves the stars and stirs our hearts. It is a Love that invites our total allegiance. This Love also helps us see our humanity from a fresh angle; it is fragile, dependent, but more holy than we could ever have imagined. It tells us that our own very being comes from the heart of God and is the result of the creative outpouring of Love who looks upon all that has been made and pronounced it to be very good.

“Come, Holy One, come, my Redeemer; come Lord Jesus, and be born in me, live in me, grown in me, until my life is transformed by your life and I seek only to know your love and make your love known. Amen.”*

May you and yours have a holy and blessed Christmas and a happy New Year.

Dean Lawrence Kimberley
Chairperson

 

 

*Christopher L. Webber Ed., Advent with Evelyn Underhill, Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg-New York, 2006.

Investment returns to 30 September 2019

Investment returns to 30 September 2019

The quarter had another positive performance with both shares and bonds (fixed interest securities) performing strongly in the quarter. Longer term returns are also positive with growth assets (with their higher weighting toward shares) outperforming the more conservative income assets (and their weighting toward bonds). The positive returns continued despite the many uncertainties in the quarter e.g. ongoing US and China trade tensions, talk of US presidential impeachment, Hong Kong riots, Brexit developments and the attack on Saudi oil production.

No doubt some of this uncertainty weighed on investor minds and led to a softening in the growth outlook. Central Banks (Government owned banks but independent) indicated further easing (i.e. lower interest rates), trying to offset the reduced growth outlook.

Despite the many uncertainties the funds continue to achieve good gains. Whilst investor sentiment could affect short term returns we continue to invest (cautiously) focussing on long term performance.

Investment returns at 30 September 2019, before fees and tax:

Fund 3 months 1 Year (p.a.) 3 years (p.a.) 5 years (p.a.)
Growth Fund 3.9% 11.0% 12.0% 10.7%
Balanced Fund 3.0% 8.8% 9.0% 8.5%
Income Fund 1.3% 5.7% 3.9% 4.5%
Climate change

Climate change

In early 2019 we heard Greta Thunberg – a Swedish teenager – who made headlines protesting outside the Swedish Parliament about climate change.  She was calling for immediate action to combat it.  Her comments and actions touched a nerve among young people globally and set off a tidal wave around the world of young people speaking out and protesting about climate change.

Thunberg has continued to feature in international news regarding climate change.  In late September 2019, she spoke at the United Nations Action Summit aimed at tackling climate change.  She talked poignantly about how previous generations have ruined her childhood with their responses to climate change.  Thunberg even went as far as to say that humans are facing extinction on earth.  Here, in New Zealand, secondary school students have taken to the streets in several cities and towns in support of global action for more action against climate change.

Yet, while Greta Thunberg has international name recognition, many people may not have heard about her mother’s actions.  Her mother, Malena Ernman, is an opera singer, who has also been politically active regarding climate change.  Ernman was offered an opportunity to sing here in New Zealand.  However, she turned down that great opportunity because of environmental concerns.  Her actions have created a new buzz word – Flyskam – which means flight shame.  There is a growing movement globally to not fly because of its negative environmental effects.

As an indication of the sentiment about climate change, in July 2019 a Stuff survey of 15,000 readers found that New Zealanders aged between 10 and 19 rated climate change as more important than any other issue.  Those young people in their 20s were also very concerned about climate change.  But the level of concern with climate change decreased markedly with increasing age.

Attitudes are changing in New Zealand toward ethical investing, particularly among younger people.  In recent national news, there have been examples of companies acting ethically.  One such example is Wellington-based company Little Yellow Bird.  Little Yellow Bird supplies over 200 organisations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the USA with their uniform needs.  They act ethically and sustainably throughout the entire manufacturing chain.  In addition to ensuring that their employees are paid fairly, their customers are provided with complete transparency on the company’s manufacturing process.  The company is not just concerned with being a fair and transparent company; it also demonstrates a concern for the environment with respect to the plants they use.  The company measures the amount of water used in the manufacturing process; it, also, does not use any plastic to pack their finished product – the uniforms.

If you would like to check for yourself how Christian KiwiSaver Scheme investments mitigate the impact of climate change or to see – as ethical investors – what we do invest in, visit other pages on our website  or call us on (0508) 738 473

100,000 seedlings planted at Hapua

100,000 seedlings planted at Hapua

Your KiwiSaver scheme has an interest in the Hapua Forest. 100,000 seedlings were planted this winter in the forest in the Hawkes Bay. This is the second of three plantings. Last year 62,500 seedlings were planted. Radiata pine is a versatile wood that’s easy to slice, mould, plane, glue, stain and paint. It is the world’s most widely planted softwood plantation tree and grows really well in New Zealand.

The 2019 planting happened over five days in winter and involved a crew of 36 on-site each day. The seedlings were around 30 cm tall at the time of planting. Depending on the terrain there were 750 to 950 planted on each hectare, and 117 hectares were planted. These seedlings will take up to 25 years to mature into trees for harvest.

The seedlings were provided by a family business that’s been around for decades. Growing their seedlings sustainably has been a focus for Murrays Nurseries Woodville since the nursery started. The business takes pride in investing heavily in research and development in a number of key areas to increase productivity while remaining environmentally conscious. Part of their research is into the reduction in the use of fungicides and fertilisers.

Because trees can store carbon, radiata pine plantations are useful ‘carbon sinks’. About 50% of the dry matter in the wood is carbon – largely cellulose (about 65%) and lignin (about 30%). Depending on growth rate and wood density, a hectare of pine trees locks up 4–7 tonnes of elemental carbon per year, which is equivalent to 15–26 tonnes of carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere. A 1,000-hectare forest can absorb 15,000–26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

When burnt as fuel in a car engine, petrol releases 2.62 kilograms of carbon dioxide per litre. On this basis, a typical car produces 1 tonne of carbon dioxide for every 5,555 km driven or 3 tonnes for an average year’s driving (16,666 km). This is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that 33–60 pine trees absorb in one year.

Read more about Hapua Forest in our February 2019 article.

The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand https://teara.govt.nz/en/radiata-pine/page-1

Teaching your children about money

Teaching your children about money

As parents, you understand how important literacy is for children. You sit for hours reading to your children. This can be the beginning of a life-long love of reading.

Learning how to think about money and manage it wisely is an equally important life skill.

It is important to patiently help your children learn many ways to control money. Most children will learn by doing.

Having your children help while you shop for groceries can help them learn the value of money versus the costs of items. Letting them use a calculator to add up the total spend as you work your way around the supermarket can keep them occupied and learning at the same time. For older children, you can set a meal budget and have them work out which items they could buy to make the meal which would remain in the budget.

In the end, you hope that your children will grow into financially responsible adults. The rewards are life-altering: living within their means, free from the anxieties of debt, and secure in their future.

Joining your children up to KiwiSaver is the perfect way to start them on their savings journey. As a Christian KiwiSaver Scheme member both you and your children can log-in and see their money grow over time. With time on their side, starting the savings habit young will return dividends in the future.

Members of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme are not charged any fees while they are under age 18.

Some tweaks to our website

Some tweaks to our website

Earlier this month we tweaked the website. We believe the changes will make it easier for visitors to the website to find information and to navigate around. In a nutshell, we split up a large amount of information that had been under one menu heading into two separate pages.

  • Ethical Investing” now contains the investment-related information, i.e. our ethical approach and investment style, what being a member of Christian KiwiSaver Scheme can offer you, your investment choices, investment returns and fees.
  • KiwiSaver” now contains information mainly about KiwiSaver, how to join, contributions, withdrawals, your options at 65, children and Christian employers.
  • All forms, documents, guides and reports can be found under “Documents”.

We welcome suggestions from you on how we can improve your experience on our website. Phone us on 0508 738 473 or email at info@christiankiwisaver.nz