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Financial Literacy
















A powerful day of stories and networking about community action

On September 9, the last day of Money Week, 2016, 72 people from 41 different Auckland organisations came together to talk about how community action around financial capability can support healthier wealthier communities.

Click here to see a quick video of the hui - Our thanks to  the Commission for Financial Capability.   


Opening address from the Honourable Paul Goldsmith

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith opened our hui. The Minister emphasised four major strands of work around financial capability. 

  • Financial Capability is a government priority; the National Strategy helps shape action for all of us. 
  • Strengthening consumer protection legislation will reduce the number of people being drawn into unfair contracts for things they can least afford.   The new legislation is bearing results – the Commerce Commission has successfully prosecuted a number of organisations resulting in both reparation to consumers and also changing behaviour in the industry
  • Equipping people with the knowledge and skills associated with financial capability is important, and the Grassroots Money Sense hui is an example of that kind of collaboration.
  • It is also important for people to actually have money to start with  - hence the government focus on economic growth, to provide greater prosperity for more people.


Korero Money – Alexander Stevens

Alexander Steven, the new Manukura Manager for the Commission for Financial Capability, was our first key note speaker. Alexander outlined how shaping resources and approaches that speak to Māori communities. Alexander talked about the importance of connecting to people’s sense of history and of hope and left us with great conversation starters based on the stories and images from our coins past and present.  

See Alexander’s presentation here

After an interesting description of how the resources came about, participants reviewed the material. Participants thought the tools were helpful, engaging and accessible. 

To see more of the Māori resources now up on the Commission’s website, go to Putea Sorted






Randwick Park: Money Road Trip


Te Awa Ora Trust has been working alongside the Randwick Park community to build local financial capability. Janice Thompson and Denise Tims   described how they have responded to their community’s request for programmes relevant to people’s lives, local employment training and community enterprise projects.  Staying true to local kaupapa, testing out ideas and adapting have been essential to their progress. Click here to learn more




 G-FIT: Growing Financial Independence in Tamaki 

Creating a pathway of courses specially designed for local people, and growing a network of coaches with the right financial literacy skills are two important elements of the G-Fit Strategy. A group of local champions supported the hui. Weaving together reducing smoking and saving money made a powerful connection with the audience. 

Click here to view G-FIT’s presentation




Short and Snappy sessions:

The afternoon sessions were 10 minute showcases of local initiatives that showed a range of different ways to get financial capability action started.


South Auckland Christian Food Bank – Jane Mead

The South Auckland Christian Food Bank has developed a wraparound financial literacy programme.  A short course has been developed with the help of Massey University’s Fin-Ed Centre.  Each session starts with a community dinner and finished with participants being given a food bag. A crèche is provided to remove a major barrier for people taking part.  The tutor keeps in touch by phone and text for a number of weeks after the programme finishes.  Click here for more details. 


Growing strong Pacific


Families – Pelenatete Lam Sam

Vaka Tautua is a Pacific organisation focused on Pacific families caring for a disabled family member. Their first course is an 8 week Financial Literacy course with in – home coaching.  Click here for more information about Financial Literacy for Pacific Families with Disability

A new development is Growing Strong Pacific Families, focusing on families experiencing violence. Financial literacy and mentoring for young family members is built in. 

Click here for more information  


Vape to Save – Rebecca Ruwhi-Collins and the G-Fit Champions

Using e-cigarettes can reduce both the harm of smoking and can save people money. The G-Fit champions talked about how stopping smoking is putting money in their pockets and creating a pathway to other local courses. Read more here



O’oa Mafangongo – Sima Langi  

(with the support of Tim Swann, Commission for Financial Capability) Sima Langi spoke about the programme to grow youth leadership and financial being developed with the United Church of Tonga.  Click here for contact details 


It’s all good: Knowing your rights… From your wrongs – Lezanne Gibbs

Making sure people know their rights is a major part of the Commerce Commission’s work.   Six videos with the Faleafa family  illustrate how the new regulations work. The video clips are great discussion starters. Click here to view video clips


Getting sorted – Glenn Martin 


The Sorted website has been redeveloped, with new interactive tools that are mobile friendly. It’s simpler to use, includes a personal dashboard, a new budgeting tool, a Kiwi Saver fund finder and a mortgage calculator. Click here for a summary of the main changes.

The hui was a great success with great new connections and resources

Feedback on the day and since the hui has been overwhelmingly positive. 


‘Gems of the day 

Mostly, participants referred to new ideas of how to start potentially difficult conversations surrounding finances or beneficiaries, and the insights gained about the importance of having two-way conversations with the community and families. 

  • "Whakarongo! We need to LISTEN to families and communities."
  • "Acknowledging the sacredness when a "connection" is truly made"
  • "Narratives are so important"

Participants also mentioned that it was not only useful to be informed about the various engaging resources that are available for them, but how to use the resources especially when it came to talking about money to younger ones. 

  • "Talks about money need to begin at the table at home…"
  • "How do we teach kids about money if they don't physically see it or hold it themselves"
  • "Use concrete, everyday things like coins and simple language to make it easy to talk about money"
  • "Everyone has a great money story"
  • "Online access and hard copy of resources very useful options to get sorted"


When it came to having conversations and moving forward an obvious theme or "gem" that participants mentioned was the notion that we need to look back to look forward. 

  • "Looking back to move forward. Connect to history and lore"
  • "Look at past mistakes +success to go forward. Qualified practical people. Creative ideas. Family community. Stories. Seed sowing"


Korero Money and Making Sense of Cents resources from the Commission for Financial Capability

People were very positive about the idea of conversation starters and resources that were focused on Māori. 

  • "Resources: Useful, attractive, keen to use these, love the relationship with coins-I shall use this ideas, Love how easily accessible you mad e the resources"
  • "Like that booklets show real people and stories"
  • "Great videos! Engaging, short, clear messages"
  • "Excellent resources using different coins to 'say a message' very relevant, looking back in order to looks forward. Well done (SFLI)"


The Warrant of Finance was mentioned specifically - it was a good idea that was portable, could be used on all ages and relates to daily life.

  • "Warrant of fitness relate to daily lives. Well done"
  • "WOF. Great idea-easily able to be developed with students in schools"


Participants noted the importance of having resources in both Te Reo and English.

  • "Fantastic that there is both Maori and English versions of the resources. We have been asking MOE for their resources to be available like this!!!"
  • "Sadly the resources available to schools via the Ministry of Education are not available in Te Reo format which precludes their use in Kura Kaupapa. Alexander's presentation does at least provide us with this. "


Participants also noted the importance of having the korero to allow for the engaging and exchanging ideas as well as a future need to focus on more on tamariki.

  • "Working with Maori and Pacifica on engaging media platform. Korero important for engaging thoughts and ideas"
  • "Be great to have a gathering of Maori interested in what we do with our Maori land as shareholders"
  • "Korero encourages exchange of ideas and thoughts about stuff"
  • "Tamariki-Could do a cartoon story re good/bad behaviour"
  • "Tamariki ones are good. It recognizes that financial literacy should start young. "


Feedback after the hui

# ‘Standouts’ – what really made an impact

Most participants referred to the community projects, programmes and interventions discussed, and how they would implement or attempt to implement them in some way in their own areas, using the resources available to them. They also enjoyed the success stories that came from it. 

  • "Enjoyed hearing the work done in Randwick park. Awesome!"
  • "Alex Stevenson's' talk-sacredness of the work, G Fit champions-work in action, Vape to save"
  • "Hearing success stories"
  • "Learning about social enterprise"
  • "Hope innovative ideas to implement into community"


Participants gained new ideas and insights on the importance of having "conversations" and community bonding.  

  • "Talking starts at home among individuals"
  • "Listen to the people-it’s not about telling! Everyone has a story from their space"
  • "Community understanding. Innovative groups. Personal conversations"


Finally participants also talked about the importance of making connections across the community and networking.

  • "More resources to use that will suit our community. Networking with some new people" 
  • "The connections and the need to connect-we can't work in silos"
  • "Shared passion! It’s really encouraging to be surrounded by likeminded people"


# Taking ideas back to apply at work

93% of those who provided formal feedback at the end said that they made new connections valuable to their work.

Most participants stated that they would access and use the newly introduced resources, specifically the media resources from the commerce commission and sorted.org

  • "Use commerce commissions new 'Episodes'-look great use sorted.org-look at the new updates resources"
  • "Improve on what we are doing, commerce commission animated videos, connect to other organizations and work in collaboration"
  • "Use commerce commission website"


Participants mentioned that they would like to maintain the new connections and networking opportunities made during the hui; between the other participants and the presenters. 

  • "Pass on information, network with the new made contacts to make it available for the people I support"
  • "Follow up on networks, find out more info on services that presented"
  • "Make contract with new providers. Share resources via email with providers"


Lastly, participants mentioned that they intended to share their newly gained information with their colleagues. 

  • "Share the information also the information form commission for financial capability"
  • "Teach my workers what I've learnt"

Most participants wanted an email list of the participants and presenters so that they can maintain the new connections made.




















Supporting families and communities to improve their financial literacy is one way COMET Auckland works to make Auckland a more literate city. Many people want better resources and targeted education to help them understand and manage their money or understand more about the important issues that affect their finances.

Increasing access to financial literacy education and training is key to helping families and communities across Auckland reach their goals.

Auckland Financial Literacy Practitioners and Providers Network (AFLPP)

We run the Network in collaboration with the Commission for Financial Capability, in order to:

  • Promote financial literacy in Auckland
  • Bring people interested in financial literacy together to share information and expertise;  and provide mutual support
  • Disseminate information about national and international initiatives, and to provide local information to relevant national bodies.

The network meets four times a year; most meetings have a theme. Since we
started in Money Week 2013, topics have included

Building Pasifika Financial Capability – Actions and Insights (December 2015)

55 people attended our December 2015 Auckland Financial Literacy Practitioners & Providers (AFLPP) network meeting which focused on how Pasifika communities are working to build up family financial wellbeing. Three amazing speakers shared powerful stories about how families transformed once they started managing their income. 

The Community Development Manager for the Cook Island Development Agency, Rourina Brown, who spoke of a research project – From Turanga to Ora’anga Mou – that involved 20 Cook Island families and highlighted why it is important for services to understand the collective as well as the individual’s need. (See presentation below)

Geoff Fariu shared the story ‘Akara Mamao’, a six week home-ownership focused programme in Tamaki  that is followed up with a detailed financial plan and coaching, including ongoing peer support. This programme shows how housing can be a real catalyst for change, linking home-ownership focused financial literacy with ongoing support enables families to clear debt, improve credit ratings and get a sense of hope and purpose for their financial future. (See presentation below)

Pelenatete Lam Sam presented on how Vaka Tautua is incorporating financial literacy into support for Pacific families who care for disabled family members.  (See presentation below)

Never underestimate the power of a budget! Many of the families in these programmes had no idea what a budget was, let alone how to create one. All the speakers said how important it was to have budgets that  acknowledged and took into account what people care about – family, church and cultural obligations. These are not additional items for Pasifika but  essential to their cultural and wellbeing.

Another important theme that came up multiple times during the meeting was the value of education. Education is one way families can save for the future – as if families invest time into the education of their children, the whole family will have a better life together.

Click thumbnail to view presentation

Building Pasifika Financial Capability – Actions and Insights (December 2015)


Turanga – A standing place:
Lessons from working with 20  Pacific families for a year on financial literacy

Rouruina Brown
Community Development Manager, Cook Island Development Agency (formerly Auckland Council)


Akara Mamao: Looking ahead
Insights from a six week home-ownership focused programme in Tamaki

Geoff Fariu



Vaka Tautua
Weaving financial literacy into support for Pacific people with disabilities  and their families

Pelenatete Ah Vui Lam Sam
Disability Information Advisory Services Coordinator/Financial Literacy Coach

Join the AFLPP LinkedIn group - and help to keep up to date with the latest literacy conversations.

Community financial wellbeing

We are supporting two community financial wellbeing projects that help communities grow financial capability. Taking a community approach means people can learn from trusted people around them how to manage their money, to understand financial transactions and to  be keep away from high cost debt. In these two communities, local community development organisations are taking the lead in promoting financial capability.

These community financial wellbeing projects are supported by SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust. COMET Auckland provides high level project leadership and makes sure that both projects stay connected and learning from each other.

Growing Financial Independence in Tamaki

In Tamaki, COMET Auckland and a local social service organisation Te Waipuna Puawai have collaborated to create G-Fit to promote community based financial literacy action. G-Fit is focusing on increasing the amount of financial literacy available to local residents and making sure local services are a good fit.

For more information on G-FIT click here or please call 0800 UR GFIT (0800 87 4348)

Money Story, Randwick Park
Randwick Park Manurewa is a small community that wants to celebrate the power of local people. Local community brokers have been weaving in financial capability with other community projects and are getting great results. Te Awa Ora Trust has developed a short course tailor-made for locals. The course included conversations about people’s values and beliefs about money where giving to church and cultural obligations are discussed.

The National Strategy for Financial Capability
The government has endorsed a national strategy to help individuals, families, community organisations and financial institutions align their work to common goals, so we are working together effectively for the same end. Our community financial wellbeing projects are linking in to the National Strategy. For more information click here