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Financial capability

Financial capability is highlighted in The New Zealand Curriculum as an example of the type of theme that schools could use for effective cross-curricular teaching and learning programmes.


School Leavers’ Toolkit
This resource, written especially for school leavers, offers advice and resources for finding your way after leaving school. The section called Money and tax explains KiwiSaver, tax, insurance, budgeting, banking and borrowing. Moving out of home and Tertiary education also includes guidance around financial capability. 


Action plan framework
Before you begin teaching financial capability it is useful to reflect on what financial education you are currently providing and what your next steps will be. An action-plan framework for financial capability has been developed by the Upper Harbour Sorted Schools (UHSS) for this purpose. The action plan describes five phases of financial capability from pre-emerging through to empowering. The financial capability action plan is available as a word download for your own use. You can adapt the descriptors within each phase and add more dimensions to suit the needs and aspirations of your school community.

Word 2007 icon. Financial capability action plan framework (Word 2007, 65 KB)

Introducing financial capability to teachers
This PowerPoint presentation has been developed for school leaders or teachers leading financial capability programmes to use with staff for professional development. The PowerPoint introduces and explores the nature of financial capability and ways of integrating it into the classroom programme. The slide show is broken into three sessions. It can be downloaded and edited as required for staff meetings.

PowerPoint icon. Financial capability in your classroom (PowerPoint, 68 MB)

Programmes and workshops

Sorted in Schools
This financial capability programme was developed by the Commission for Financial Capability and is aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum. 

ASB GetWise
This financial literacy programme is delivered free to primary and intermediate schools.

Free workshops to high schools across the Auckland and Waikato regions, and the provision of information and resources for students.

Teaching resources

Created by the Commission for Financial Capability, Sorted is New Zealand's free independent money guide. It's full of calculators and information to help manage personal finances throughout life. This site is easy to navigate and includes guides to managing debt, saving, setting goals and managing your money, investments, mortgages, KiwiSaver and retirement. Aimed at teachers but also suitable for upper primary and above. Printed booklets can be ordered in either English or Te Reo.

Building conceptual understandings in the social sciences: Taking part in economic communities (PDF 2.4MB)
This text is about providing ways to develop students' financial literacy in the context of a social sciences learning programme. The activities emphasise the values and perspectives that influence financial and economic decision-making.

Consumer Protection resources for schools
These resources support The New Zealand Curriculum’s vision for young people to be informed decision-makers who can actively contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of New Zealand.

Reserve Bank – Financial education
This section of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's website actively promotes economic education through a variety of publications, videos, and activities. 

The New Zealand Maths Curriculum website
Contains useful resources particularly in the Number, Algebra, and Measurement strands.

Young Enterprise Trust
A range of enterprise programme and financial literacy resources for New Zealand schools. Financial literacy resources are available for primary students (including board games, story books, units of work) and secondary students (PFM unit standards packages, KiwiSaver package, board games, two-term and full year units). All electronic resources are free for teachers to download.

Figure It Out – Financial literacy
This series is an excellent resource for subject based and integrated units. Each level has individual student booklets and a teachers’ guide that can be downloaded. The student books have interesting activities, an attractive layout, and are accessible to students with teacher guidance. The teachers’ guide provides explanations of financial understandings and suggested sequences, copy masters of useful templates, and a glossary.

Instructional Series
The instructional series offers a range of texts related to financial capability.  

Online financial literacy resource for New Zealand teachers teaching financial literacy to primary school students in years 7 and 8. Free to schools.

A hands-on digital resource supporting students to build their financial literacy and to be confident with money. Banqer is free to primary and intermediate schools.


Primary school games – Westpac Bank
These games are a fun way to get kids thinking about money and developing the skills and knowledge that can help them make better financial decisions throughout their lives. 

Zombie Cash-tastrophe
A downloadable board game centred around surviving a zombie apocalypse. The game has been designed for ages 12 and up to create a fun way to explain fundamental financial concepts and help develop the skills and knowledge that will enable young people to make better financial decisions throughout their lives.


The financial capability of secondary students, and the place of financial capability in secondary schools
This 2015 report summarises research carried out for the Commission for Financial Capability into financial capability in secondary schools. The research, in 2014, involved surveying students, teachers, and school leaders to investigate the attitudes, behaviours, and experience of secondary students towards money and money management.

Published on: 03 Sep 2020