25 Jan 2022

Nelson, Tasman residents financially best placed to manage Omicron impact - research

5:18 pm on 25 January 2022

New research shows the Nelson and Tasman regions have the strongest financial wellbeing in the country.

New Zealand currency

Photo: 123rf.com

The data from the ASB bank and the University of Melbourne revealed the regions had savings balances that were much higher than the national ASB customer median of $3032.

Tasman residents had savings balances that were 31 percent higher than the national median, while those in Nelson were 25 percent higher.

Gisborne and Southland had the weakest financial wellbeing, with ASB customers in those regions around 40 percent more likely than average to be in overdraft.

ASB said incomes were highest in Wellington, but Aucklanders saved more, with median account balances 18 percent above the national median.

ASB chief executive Vittoria Shortt said having a regular savings plan would help provide a valuable buffer through a potentially challenging time ahead, as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 spreads.

"Globally, we've seen how Omicron can disrupt people's ability to be at work, whether through illness, needing to isolate or to care for whānau who are unwell. Knowing you have some savings in place can take away some of the anxiety at a very difficult time."

Shortt said many New Zealanders found themselves unexpectedly better off during previous lockdowns when spending opportunities dried up.

"While the red traffic light setting gives us more freedoms, I'd encourage Kiwis to remember back to their lockdown savings and choose one or two simple things they can do to make saving a permanent habit in 2022."

Regions with the strongest financial wellbeing:

  • 1. Tasman
  • 2. Nelson
  • 3. Marlborough
  • 4. Auckland
  • 5. Canterbury

Regions with the weakest financial wellbeing:

  • 1. Gisborne
  • 2. Southland
  • 3. Taranaki
  • 4. Manawatū-Whanganui
  • 5. Hawke's Bay

Source: ASB

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