$35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders

A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

“It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk of experiencing hardship by strengthening Building Financial Capability (BFC) services.

“We announced on Budget Day money was being invested in building financial capability service providers in support of demand for their services. We can now announce that $9.7m will go towards a general funding top up of around 20% to the rate so BFC providers can continue to support the 35,000 clients they see each year.”

“In addition to existing pressures on services, a significant increase in demand for budgeting services is expected in the economic downturn from COVID-19 with some households living on a reduced income,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Therefore an extra $25m worth of funding will be rolled out to 131 existing services. The extra funding will go towards:

  • Financial Mentoring – one-to-one support empowering people to achieve their goals, including reducing debt and connecting to support they may need.
  • MoneyMates – peer-led support for people to learn and share together as a group.
  • Building Financial Capability Plus (Kahukura) service – intensive support for people who are hard to reach or with complex needs.
  • Micro-finance services – affordable credit to people at risk of unsustainable debt and hardship.”

“Social services are key to helping us support New Zealanders and improve wellbeing in our communities,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Budgeting services play a vital role in providing help and advice to people struggling financially and/or facing problem debt, particularly with the practical challenges they face.

“Rebuilding New Zealand means building financial resilience now and in the long-term so New Zealanders are well equipped and supported to look after their finances, and take care of themselves and their families.”