Financial mentors provide valuable support to individuals and whanau across Aotearoa, New Zealand. Their services are free and confidential, offering essential assistance for managing financial challenges and improving financial well-being.
There are more than 800 financial mentors serving their communities from about 190 financial mentoring services.
Financial mentoring in New Zealand has a rich history that traces its roots back to the early 1960s. It started as a grassroots initiative led by passionate volunteers, initially 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 a vibrant sector comprising over 800 dedicated professionals and more than 190 community organisations.
FinCap plays a crucial role in supporting financial mentoring services. We provide comprehensive financial mentoring training to develop highly skilled financial mentors. Among other offerings, we provide financial mentoring services with a free, bespoke client management system and advocate for system change to support the work financial mentors do to build financial capability in their communities.
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. Throughout this journey, financial mentors offer ongoing guidance and support, ensuring that clients have the tools and resources they need to achieve their financial goals.
The scope of their 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 extend their support beyond budgeting, advocating for clients by negotiating with creditors, resolving debts, assisting in disputes, guiding through insolvency procedures, and connecting to ethical lending options. These actions can significantly enhance a whanau’s financial well-being.
Additionally, some services may extend their reach by offering community education programs to groups or providing specialised temporary or continuous Total Money Management services for those who struggle to manage their finances independently.