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Excerpt from: The Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System Should Be Investing For The Long Term by Rep. Tina Wildberger

“…Kehau Filimoeatu, retired from the Maui Police Department, gave her perspective as a beneficiary of the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System. The ERS provides retirement and other benefits to 135,000 Hawaii public employees, has $18 billion in assets under management and invests in over 800 companies, including Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.

“Reminding the audience that the money that the ERS manages comes from the wages of teachers, firefighters and police officers, Filimoeatu talked about managing pension fund investments from an ahupuaa perspective: Improper diversion of water upstream affects all of us downstream, and if the ahupuaa is not cared for, it will not sustain future generations.

“To look at investment through the lens of the ahupuaa system makes sense. In olelo Hawaii, wai means water and waiwai means wealth. Even in the western world, water is used as a metaphor for finance with terms like “cash flow,” “liquidity,” “trickle-down,” “channeling investment.” We even use water metaphors when we’re talking about a lack of investment, when capital “dries up.”

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