25 Jun 2019

Maori and Pasifika need better financial services

12:52 pm on 25 June 2019

Maori and Pasifika communities are falling behind and financial services providers in New Zealand need to do more to help, a new report says.

A calculator, a model of a house, a pen and a notebook - to illustrate financial planning and household budgets.

Photo: 123RF

The report on people's perceptions of their wealth was published this week by the investment, savings and KiwiSaver provider, Kiwi Wealth.

It found that a third of Maori and Pasifika people in New Zealand felt they were financially worse off than they were a year ago, and 40 percent said they were struggling to live week to week.

Joe Bishop from Kiwi Wealth said providers needed to better to cater to the community.

"We've got to do a better job as well. We've got to look at the tools that we provide, the advice that we provide, the products that we provide and see if these resonate with Maori and Pasifika," Mr Bishop said.

"Do we reach them? Do we find them in the right channels? Do they understand the messages that we're putting forward? Are our products and services fit for purpose for them? Because it strikes me from the research that we're not hitting the mark."

Mr Bishop said the report also showed the disparities in New Zealand's so-called "rockstar economy" were glaring.

"This rockstar economy is not something that resonates with them at all. It's not reflective of how they're finding their day-to-day life when actually people are really struggling," he said.

"Thirty-eight percent feel like they're struggling or just managing to get by, and that means they're only barely paying for necessities rather than really having opportunities to save or invest."