New Zealand’s premier institutional and adviser associations have delivered contrasting responses to the country’s first Wellbeing budget, handed down last week.
Financial Advice New Zealand
The clear message from Financial Advice New Zealand in response to Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s budget was that any consideration of a collective or national wellbeing must include financial wellbeing.
In a release, Financial Advice NZ CEO, Katrina Shanks, said there is a clear link between wellbeing and financial confidence and capacity: “To help New Zealanders build a successful future, access to quality advice and confident use of tools such as KiwiSaver, is essential.”
Shanks referenced 2018 research undertaken by the Commission for Financial Capability in making two critical points:
- 68 percent of New Zealanders have money worries
- 44 percent could access only one month or less of income from savings or other means
Shanks commented that these were two of the many very concerning statistics that access to quality financial advice can greatly aid in improving.
“KiwiSaver advice for young New Zealanders starting work is a prime example, she continued. “…we want to see more young Kiwis able to access quality advice on this essential savings tool at the beginning of their working life; to help give them confidence and capacity to build financial wellbeing.”
Financial Services Council
The Financial Services Council has welcomed what it refers to as the long-term focus and consideration of a broader set of policy measures in the country’s inaugural Wellbeing Budget.
FSC CEO, Richard Klipin, noted “We know from our day-to-day work that success and wellbeing for New Zealanders requires more than a pure focus on economic growth and GDP and it’s good that the Budget now explicitly recognises this.”
Klipin added the Council was particularly heartened to see a focus in the Budget on multi-generation initiatives and a recognition of the need to taking a long-term approach to solving NZ’s most pressing challenges:
The Wellbeing Budget represents a new approach…
“The new $300 million fund to help grow New Zealand firms beyond the early start-up phase is also a welcome development and one that we hope a number of the exciting fintech firms in New Zealand take advantage of to expand, he said, adding:
“The Wellbeing Budget represents a new approach and we look forward to discussing it in detail and what wellbeing means for the financial services sector at our national conference later this year.”
Click here to access an overview of Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s 2019 Wellbeing Budget.