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Building financial capability in New Zealand

The Government Statement on Building Financial Capability was released on 3 July 2015. The Statement sets out the Government’s approach for building the financial capability of New Zealanders and brings together current and planned financial capability initiatives.

Financial capability is about having the financial knowledge, understanding, confidence and motivation to make good financial decisions. Better financial capability will help us improve the wellbeing of our families and communities, reduce hardship, increase investment and grow the economy.

Government agencies will be working more collaboratively and building financial capability in more of the things we do, including projects such as the 50 Plus Research Project, Money Week, and financial capability pilot programmes within whanau, marae, land trusts and Pasifika migrant worker communities.

Government CFFC




3 July 2015 – Paul Goldsmith – Government Statement on Financial Capability announced

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced a Government Statement on Building Financial Capability in New Zealand, which supports New Zealanders getting ahead financially.

“At the moment almost a third of New Zealanders have low levels of financial knowledge,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“If we can improve their financial capability we can improve the wellbeing of our families and communities.

“Financial capability allows people to better shape their lives, avoid hardship, and meet their goals.

“The Government is already working hard in this area across a range of portfolios and government departments. But there is an opportunity for more collaboration between existing agencies, and room for new participants to contribute.

“The Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) are already providing strong leadership in this area. Today’s announcement is intended to affirm that leadership, and provide a broad view of the work going on across government.”

The Government Statement is intended to provide further leadership in this area by

  • making it clear that building financial capability is a priority for the Government;
  • endorsing the National Strategy for Financial Capability led by the CFFC, and the Investor Capability Strategy led by the FMA;
  • providing information on the roles and activities of government agencies; and
  • reinforcing that building financial capability is a shared responsibility, and encouraging further contributions from all interested parties.

“There are three specific areas where we are increasing our support. They are; building Māori financial capability, better utilising the Ministry of Social Development’s networks and improving investor capability,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“I want to congratulate the Partner Working Group on the He Kai Kei Aku Ringa reports, released yesterday, which provide a snapshot of the financial capability issues facing Māori, highlighting where we need to tailor our services.

“I am also pleased to see the launch of the Investor Capability Strategy by the FMA. Its focus is on creating smarter KiwiSavers and helping investors make more informed decisions.

“Another initiative will see more agency collaboration, and better use of the Ministry of Social Development’s networks, to improve our reach out to communities and promote basic money skills and tips for where to go for financial support.

“A more joined up approach across government, business and communities will have a long term impact on people making better financial choices leading to a reduction in debt and hardship.”


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