Without even a goodbye another KiwiSaver scheme has slipped over the side into oblivion. So here's a belated farewell to the Real Property KiwiSaver Scheme (RPKS), which has joined the likes of Eosaver, IRIS and Asteron in the KiwiSaver graveyard.

As Mary Holm noted in her latest NZ Herald column the demise of a KiwiSaver scheme is not necessarily cause for alarm and, in the case of RPKS should not even be a surprise.

According to my official sources, the RPKS wound up in May with its funds now due to be distributed to the members' scheme of choice or else flung onto the default randomiser.

In its short life the RPKS didn't achieve much, raising only about $400,000 from a limited membership base probably composed of parties related to the Nelson management team. The stated aim of RPKS was to invest up to 90 per cent of funds into direct commercial property holdings, which was the weirdest KiwiSaver proposition ever.

And it was weird not simply because the investment proposition was a concentrated bet in a sector prone to mood swings - some people like that. (Although, to be fair RPKS may have picked up some bargains with the likes of AMP Capital giving stuff away at the moment.)

RPKS's true weirdness lay in its mismatch with how KiwiSaver actually operates. Members can and do move schemes at any time leaving a property-based scheme open to forced selling in the event of a mass exit. If it had ever maxed out its 90 per cent property holding the RPKS would've faced serious 'liquidity issues'.

As it happened, liquidity was not an issue as RPKS' entire funds sat idly in a KiwiBank account awaiting instructions. It does appear, though, that the RPKS directors did have some real property deals in mind as this 2008 ad from The Nelson Examiner shows:

"For Sale:

66 Beatty Street. Warehouse. $650,000. No Agents. New long term lease, Sound tenant.

Contact Robin Whalley. 5469535 at Real Property Kiwisaver. or 0277477298."


Since death, the RPKS' internet identity has been assumed by a Nelson website design company that boasts of having "no central bricks and mortar office".

RPKS' place on the KiwiSaver register will also be filled shortly with New Zealand Funds Management due to launch its scheme this month.

Unreal.