Find your local branch


For more information on Conversion, click here.

About Us

We’ve been looking after the welfare of our Members for over 175 years.

Our Purpose
Our purpose is Members helping Members.

We have a 170-year history of perfecting this purpose!!

What we do

We carry out two types of activities for our Members – helping and financial.


Helping activities look after the welfare of our Members by:

  1. Providing subsidised medical prescriptions
  2. Paying benevolent payments during hardship
  3. Giving education awards
  4. Scheduling helping projects and working bees
  5. Arranging companionship at home
  6. Transporting to appointments
  7. Organising social events and Lodge meetings
  8. Offering Member-only deals to save money
  9. Issuing Member Discount Cards, and
  10. Providing affordable holiday homes.

Helping activities are our core purpose and are a significant reason for members joining a friendly society like Manchester Unity.


Financial activities provide insurance products to our 13,000 members.

All policyholders must be members of Manchester Unity.

We are a proudly New Zealand owned mutual insurer

Funding our helping activities

We fund our helping activities through members’ spend on:

  1. Paying insurance premiums
  2. Booking holiday homes, and
  3. Remitting lodge membership dues.

We do not rely on government funding nor public donations.

Our Financial strength & disclosures
Solvency Margin

Solvency has been calculated in accordance with the Solvency Standard for Life Insurers issued in December 2014 by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010.  At 31 May 2021, the Actual Solvency Capital was $28,615,000 (2020 $25,454,000) and the Minimum Solvency Capital was $13,981,000 (2020 $16,171,000), resulting in a Solvency Margin of $14,634 ,000 (2020 $9,283,000) and a Solvency Ratio of 2.05 (2020 1.57).

Financial Strength Rating

Manchester Unity Friendly Society has been assigned a Financial Strength Rating BB- by Fitch Ratings on 25 April 2021.

Manchester Unity Fitch Ratings’ information is available for download here and here.

The general meaning of the Fitch Ratings’ Insurer financial Strength (IFS) rating opinions is summarised below:

AAAExceptionally Strong
AAVery Strong
BBModerately Weak
CCCVery Weak

The ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

The rating scale above is in summary form. A full description of this rating scale can be obtained here.

Credit ratings issued by Fitch Ratings are solely statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, hold or sell any securities or make any other investment decisions. Accordingly any user of credit ratings issued by  Fitch Ratings should not rely on any such ratings or other opinions issued by Fitch Ratings in making any investment decision. Credit ratings may be changed, withdrawn or suspended at any time.

Financial Statements

Our latest annual financial statements are here

Legislation, regulation and business

Manchester Unity Friendly Society operates under the following legislation, regulation and business context.

Professional Advisors

Deloitte House
PO Box 1990
(04) 472 1677
Bank of New Zealand
Bank of New Zealand
North End Branch
PO Box 1596, Wellington
(04) 472 2560
Chapman Tripp
Level 17, Maritime Tower
10 Customhouse Quay
PO Box 993, Wellington
(04) 499 599
Charlie Cahn Actuary & Consultant
17/25 Tennyson Street
Te Aro
(04) 385 3277
M: 0274 330 795
Insurance Consultants & Managers:
Aon Risk Services

11th Floor BNZ Centre
1 Willis Street
PO Box 2845, Wellington
(04) 472 1699
Investment Managers: JBWere

62 Worcester Boulevard , Christchurch (03) 364 5610
Our Board

Blair Robinson, CHAIRMAN

Blair has been a member of Manchester Unity since 1984 and was previously a Director and Trustee of Manchester Unity Credit Union. He is a Principal in a legal practice in Napier specialising in commercial, trust and property law. Blair was elected to the Board in 2015 and was Appointed Chairman in November 2021.




John has been involved in Manchester Unity Friendly Society since 1984. John is the manager of a large plumbing, drainage and roofing company. John joined the board in October, 2005.






Graham has been a member of Manchester Unity for 41 years and has served at Lodge, District and Society level. He has served through the chairs in several Lodges and at District level. Currently he is a Society Director, Secretary for the Central Fraternal District and Vice Grand of Woodville Lodge.  Graham was elected as Deputy Grand Master in October 2017. Graham works within the community probation service and was appointed to the board in October 2009.




David Haak was appointed as an independent director on the Board in October 2017.  David has nearly 40 years’ insurance experience and has held a variety of executive and governance positions.  David brings a wealth of knowledge regarding Insurance, Investment and Financial Services in New Zealand.





Penelope Peebles was appointed as an independent director on the Board in November 2021.  Penelope has a background in blue chip companies and 22 years’ experience at CEO and board level in Australia and New Zealand. She has expertise in human resources, strategy, finance, remuneration, governance dynamics, digital development, transformation and organisational change.

Our CEO & Management

Sanjiv Jetly, CEO

Sanjiv has a distinguished career of 21 years in financial services, banking and financial regulation with Westpac, Tower and Securities Commission. He has experience in governance and management in education, primary, and not-for-profit sectors, and at a Big-4 accounting firm.  Sanjiv joined Manchester Unity in September 2013.



Our Fraternal Council

Graham Allanson, GRAND MASTER

Graham was introduced to Manchester Unity in 1976 and served in the chairs of the Loyal Howard Lodge in the Nelson District, Manchester Lodge and Woodville Lodge. Graham was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009 and elected to Deputy Grand Master in 2017.

During the last two years on the Fraternal Council several initiatives have been started, particularly around the revitalisation of Lodges. Graham is looking forward to the new challenges ahead and helping to enhance the initiatives already started. Graham enjoys travel and looks forward to meeting as many members as possible during his term in office.

Graham can be contacted as follows. Email or Phone 027 223 6081 or 06 323 7865. 


Neil joined Manchester Unity in Napier in 1976.  He has served twice as Noble Grand, is currently a Napier Lodge Trustee, a Past District Grand Master and is a past Director of Manchester Unity.  Neil will bring a wealth of knowledge to the Fraternal Council given his involvement at all levels of our organisation.

Neil can be contacted as follows. Email or Phone 027 247 8447 or 06 876 6733.



Wendy has been a member of Manchester Unity since 1975 and has been active at both Lodge and District level.

She has served through the Lodge offices several times and continues to act as Trustee of Manchester Lodge.  She is a past District Grand Master of both Wanganui and Central Fraternal Districts.  Wendy has an interest in seeing ritual done well.

Wendy is enjoying furthering her interest in Manchester Unity and meeting members around the country.

Wendy can be contacted as follows. Email or Phone 021 132 6728. 


Eion joined the Loyal City of Christchurch lodge in 1986. He has served a few terms as Noble Grand and District Grand Master, with a proud moment of being Noble Grand in 2017 when Christchurch hosted the Movable Conference.  

Being on his lodges management committee, Eion has represented his lodge, and district, at many society conferences over the years and is looking forward to contributing to the impact that Fraternal Council has in society. 

Eion can be contacted as follows: Email or Phone 03 382 0956.​


Robert joined the Loyal Nelson Lodge in 1967.  He has served as Noble Grand three times.

Currently, he is the Vice President of the Nelson Past Grands Lodge, serving in that role for the third time.  He was District Grand Master of the Nelson District on three occasions.  He has been Lecturer Master / Director of Ceremonies for Nelson Lodge for 28 years.  He has been on the Nelson UFS board for many years.

Robert has been involved with Manchester Unity from the age of 7 as a Junior Member in Nelson, becoming the Superintendent of the Junior Lodge.  His involvement in Hockey and Old Time Dancing goes back a long time. More details in his pen portrait.

Our support to the broader community, friendly societies sector and legislative framework

Since 1842, Manchester Unity has been proudly New Zealand owned, and an integral part of our young country’s progress.  We have looked after the welfare of our members, without relying on any government funding or public donations. 

Additionally, we have contributed extensively to the broader community, to the friendly societies sector, and to the legislative framework for friendly societies.

Our contributions to the broader community

Over the years Manchester Unity has supported a significant number of charities throughout New Zealand with monetary donations. 

Manchester Unity members and lodges raise money through dedicated fund-raising projects and, at the end of the project, give the money in a single lump sum.  Fund-raising projects utilise raffles, event levies, member contributions, and lodge reserve contributions.

All contributions are strictly voluntary, there is no compulsion, and the underlying charitable cause attracts donor members.  Recent charities have included:


Our support to the friendly societies sector in NZ

To better look after the welfare of our members, Manchester Unity understands the importance of continuing to champion other organisations in the friendly society sector.  Such organisations work hard to support the welfare of all members of all the friendly societies in NZ, and provide a common voice for the sector.

Manchester Unity has been an active member of the New Zealand Council of Friendly Societies.

We are also members of the Friendly Societies Mutual Fidelity Guarantee Association.

Our advocacy for the legislative framework for friendly societies

Since its early days, Manchester Unity has sought legislation that empowers the functioning of friendly societies in New Zealand.  We have engaged with the governments of the day for necessary legal reforms.

We continue our advocacy role, and our recent law reform work has included:

11 September 2017

Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Amendment Bill 2017

A parliamentary select committee is deliberating the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Amendment Bill.

Manchester Unity has provided its written submission of a proposed amendment to enable capital raising.  Manchester Unity’s proposed amendment would allow friendly society insurers to issue ‘friendly society securities’ (as credit unions can currently do by issuing ‘credit union securities’) to support their capital needs and to continue to meet their capital requirements as an insurer.

By allowing Friendly Societies to raise capital, the proposed amendment will release funds to apply towards:

– Greater innovation; to boost sector growth,

– More self-help; to reduce rising government spending, and

– Additional companionship, social activities and social services; to lift community well-being

The submission is here.

21 November 2017

Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010

The Reserve Bank is reviewing the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 (IPSA).

Manchester Unity is seeking law reform to allow friendly societies in general, and Manchester Unity in particular, to raise new capital through the issue of securities.

On 29 June 2017, MUFS submitted for law reform to allow for new capital raising.

We suggested a change to the Reserve Bank’s solvency standards to enable friendly society insurers, including MUFS, to issue securities (as credit unions currently can do) to support their capital needs and noted the need for further empowering legislation for this to be achievable, here.

6 December 2017

Friendly Societies and Credit Unions (Regulatory Improvements) Amendment Bills

CEO Sanjiv Jetly appeared before the government’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He sough law changes to allow Friendly Societies to raise capital. Read more.

31 May 2018

Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Amendment Bill 2017

Following CEO Sanjiv Jetly’s presentation to the government’s select committee, Manchester Unity has succeeded in achieving law reform to allow New Zealand friendly societies to raise capital. Read more.

Our History

Our History

Manchester Unity in New Zealand commenced in 1842.  New Zealand was a young country then.  More…

Friendly societies in New Zealand

Manchester Unity

Manchester Unity is New Zealand’s largest fraternal friendly society.  Our members pay small amounts of money over a long period, so when they need it for things like study scholarships, affordable family holiday homes, or overcoming financial hardship, they will get their money back.  All along their family’s journey of life, they become part of a supportive community.

Members’ rights and privileges

Governance rights.  Manchester Unity members enjoy governance rights.  They can vote at our annual general meetings.  They can get elected to the board of directors.  Local lodge elections give further opportunities to get involved.

Ownership rights.  Members share ownership of Manchester Unity.  They can receive appropriations from surpluses.

Privileges.  Members benefit from the considerable privileges of membership – like holiday homes, discounts and deals that save money at nationwide retailers, and education scholarships.


Membership benefits Insurance products
Holiday homes

Education awards

Members Discount Card

Member-only deals

Welfare help

Social events

Lodge meetings and projects

Medical insurance

Funeral Plan

Personal insurance (home, contents, car, travel)

Life insurance


Other friendly societies in New Zealand

New Zealand Companies Office keeps a searchable register of all friendly societies, here.

Mutual insurers in New Zealand

Manchester Unity

Manchester Unity is New Zealand’s largest insurance friendly society.  Our policyholders receive insurance cover in exchange for premium payments.  Plus more! 

We are a mutual insurer, all policyholders are members of Manchester Unity, so we:

(1) Provide extra worth to our policyholders through value for money products and discretionary returns of surplus:

1) Offering better insurance products and experiences

a) Issuing covers that offer excellent value for money – better cover at     lower premium

b) Paying claims swiftly

c) Providing service considerately

 2) Providing discretionary returns of surplus:

a) Distributing operating surpluses via premium rebates

b) Increasing policy value through bonuses

c) Decreasing future premiums by retaining surpluses

 (2) Allow policyholders to access our considerable membership benefits.

Why go with a mutual insurer?

The main difference between mutual insurers and listed insurers is that while listed insurers aim to provide returns to shareholders, mutual insurers’ objective is to provide value to policyholders. 


  1. Rather than being a source of profit for overseas investors, Manchester Unity policyholders can enjoy the surpluses themselves, via the use of the universal benefits available to all members, and via receiving discretionary returns of surplus
  2. Rather than continuously finding ways to increase profits, Manchester Unity   can channel its energies into exploring ways to improve the value-for-money of its products and quality of service to policyholders
  3. Rather than focusing on satisfying the short-term profit hunger of overseas investors, Manchester Unity can concentrate on the longer horizon for the benefits of all policyholders.

Other mutual insurers in New Zealand

Reserve Bank of New Zealand keeps a searchable register of all NZ licensed insurers including mutual insurers, who tend to use “society” in their name, here.

Rules of Society

Manchester Unity has it’s own set of rules in which we are governed by.  Members can access the latest version of the Rules here.