Why I based my company on these three Māori principles

When I first thought of building a company to make 1 million Kiwis financially secure, I decided to base it on certain principles so that they could form the bedrock which would help us make difficult decisions in the future.

These founding principles would let everyone — clients, shareholders and future employees know exactly what we stand for.

The first of them is pūataatato be transparent.

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National Capital and I would be a 100% transparent in our dealings with our clients. When someone got advice from National Capital, we would let them know how we got to that advice, if and how we got paid for the advice and what work we would do for the fees we earn.

Our policies on ethics, dealing with customers, etc will all be online.

The reason for doing so is trust. There is no currency more important for an advisory company than trust. If our client's trust us, not only would it make our job easier — but we would be able to achieve better outcomes for the clients' themselves as they would follow our advice and stick to it more readily.

And there is no better way in my mind to build that trust than transparency.

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The second principle is Tikangathe correct way. For us, it simply means doing the right thing. If we had to distill down the values of National Capital into one word — this would be it.

'The correct way' for something, may not be exactly the same in the minds of different individuals, but deep inside I think we all know whether something we do is ethical or not. Nevertheless, by having our policies in plain English, we could make it easier for both our clients and employees to understand what the correct way means for National Capital.

Doing the right thing by our clients, employees and the community we are based in can only mean happier clients, happier employees, and a happier community. If we can achieve that, job well done!

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“Where are the customers’ yachts?”

The phrase “Where are the customers’ yachts?” refers to a story about a visitor to New York who admired the yachts of the bankers and brokers. Naively, he asked where all the customers’ yachts were. Of course, none of the customers could afford yachts, even though they dutifully followed the advice of their bankers and brokers.

National Capital doesn’t want to be part of the above narrative. Rather it wants to make everyday Kiwi’s — it’s clients — prosperous, not just it’s owners and shareholders.

And that is the basis of National Capital’s last principle. Taurikuraprosperity.

Rather than fret on how to make the company successful, our aim is to spend time working on how to make our clients successful — of course, knowing full well, that one follows the other.

And it is the same for all our principles. However altruistic they may sound, ultimately they are building blocks for a successful company. If we build a company which does the right thing, is trusted by its clients and helps them achieve prosperity — National Capital will be successful!

However, it doesn’t stop there.

My strong belief is that a business is not just a commercial enterprise, but an integral part of the community that it is based in. It thus has the same duties as each one of us to make a positive contribution to its community.

National Capital’s ultimate goal is to help the community it lives in become prosperous — a goal I hope the company carries on working towards well after we’re all gone.

Kia hora te taurikura ki runga i tō whānau — Let prosperity be spread over your family.

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