About the sector

Financial mentors provide invaluable support to individuals and whānau across Aotearoa New Zealand. Their services are free and confidential, offering essential assistance for managing financial challenges and improving financial capability.

There are more than 800 financial mentors serving their communities from about 180 financial mentoring services.

Financial mentoring in New Zealand has a rich history that traces back to the early 1960s. It began as a grassroots initiative led by passionate volunteers, emerging in response to the financial challenges brought about by the introduction of new credit products in the post-war era.

Over time, this small group of dedicated volunteers has grown into the vibrant sector it is today.

About financial mentors

Financial mentoring typically begins by addressing immediate financial needs, such as ensuring access to essential necessities like food, shelter and electricity. This process starts with a thorough evaluation of an individual’s financial situation, followed by collaborative goal-setting and the development of tailored strategies to manage finances and reduce debt.

The scope of mentors' work can vary widely, ranging from a one-time session to address an urgent financial crisis to more in-depth and ongoing assistance.

Financial mentors also advocate for clients by negotiating with creditors, resolving debts, assisting in disputes, guiding through insolvency procedures, and connecting to ethical lending options.

Additionally, some services may extend their reach by offering community education programmes to groups and initiatives that are tailored for their communities.