Financial Education with Massey

Westpac Massey Finance Centre Logo

With an aim to help New Zealanders become financially empowered, Westpac and Massey University collectively launched the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre in 2011.

This initiative is an opportunity to meaningfully improve the financial education of New Zealanders for the long term benefit of our country.  We work with the Centre to ensure that people are receiving the relevant help with their money matters. 

They offer a wide range of courses for people wanting to go further with their personal financial management or become financial capability facilitators in their community.

Longitudinal study

The latest report presents findings from the second stage of the centre’s 20-year longitudinal study, which tracks the financial knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of a group of New Zealanders through different life stages. The longitudinal study is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. The first stage occurred in 2012 when the cohort was aged from 18 to 22 years. Now, five years on, the participants are aged from 23 to 27 years.

A summary report of the findings can be downloaded here.

Key findings:

  • Parents continue to be the primary source of information and lessons on personal financial management matters, although many doubt the knowledge their parents are imparting;
  • Financial literacy improved, but participants’ self-assessment of their financial literacy declined;
  • Participants remain confident about their ability to manage their money, while remaining wary of credit cards, and acknowledging the importance of saving;
  • At 89%, participants have a very high participation rate in KiwiSaver;
  • More than 90% know where their money is spent;
  • 65% budget and track spending;
  • 60% wished they were better at saving;
  • 67% think it’s better to dip into savings than use credit for purchases;
  • Only 30% considered long-term planning beyond 5 years;
  • 72% still have a student loan to pay off;
  • Impulse spending is a key problem;
  • Females scored an average of 54% on the financial literacy test while males scored an average of 70%;
  • 21% of women assessed their financial understanding as being ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ compared to 41% of men;
  • 47% of women assessed their financial knowledge as being ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ compared with 32% of men

Find out more about what the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre are doing here.