Food inflation has seen the price of groceries in supermarkets rise 12 percent in as many months. Add to that, the rise in fuel prices, and is it any wonder Kiwis are facing the pinch?
Māori and Pasifika households are facing the cost of living crisis the hardest, with an increase of 7.5 percent, according to Stats NZ, with the main contributors to higher living costs for Māori and Pasifika being interest payments, rent, and grocery food.
Māori households and the lowest-spending households bore the brunt of higher food prices – fruit and vegetable prices alone jumped by 21 percent for both groups, and grocery prices increased 12 and 13 percent respectively.
The Government’s upcoming Budget announcement is expected to deliver a total investment for Māori of more than $800 million with funding going towards building and repairing homes, boosting cultural festivals and celebrations like Te Matatini and Matariki, and funding for Māori in the areas of health, media, tourism and justice.
However, financial literacy mentoring, both as an education tool and as a health and wellbeing measure, is not expected to be singled out as a necessity, which in this cost of living crisis is negligent of the Labour Government.
With six Māori ministers in Cabinet who insist they are putting their best foot forward for whānau and tamariki, it is a shame that funding is unlikely to be specifically earmarked in the Māori Budget for financial literacy as part of both a health and education benefit.
Willie Jackson, the Minister for Māori Development, has said: “Māori have responded to crises, from supporting each other through a global pandemic, to the response and recovery from the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle. In these tough times economic resilience and security are more important than ever.”
If so, building the financial capability and capacity of Māori, and of Pacific peoples, should be vital, especially in this cost of living crisis.
More funding should go towards financial mentoring providers, such as NSBS, to deliver vital and relevant financial literacy programmes so that Māori and Pasifika have the life tools necessary to build their own financial future and have freedom from poverty so that they can find the economic resilience and security that the Government says is important.
NSBS recognises that Māori and Pasifika, as well as other ethnic groups who use our services, face a number of setbacks and barriers to entry in their rise out of poverty, and our mentors are committed to improving their outcomes within holistic frameworks.
Our clients and mentors are from diverse backgrounds. Under NSBS’s best practice guidelines, diversity and inclusion principles, and cultural capability training, all our financial mentors recognise the needs of people from all ethnic and religious communities and deliver money mentoring that is consistent with their cultural values.