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Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan puts hand out for more cash

Wednesday 21st March 2012

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Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan told the parliament’s social services committee she needs more money if her office is to increase the financial literacy of Maori and Pacific Islanders.

The Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income, which operates the website, was urged to extend its coverage to lower socio-economic groups at the select committee hearing today. Since it was established in 1993, the commission has predominately focused on improving the financial literacy of middle income New Zealanders.

“We don’t have the facilities or the money that would be required to target some of these groups,” Crossan said.

“We are aware that what we are doing is for the general population – we are targeting some smaller areas but we don’t have a lot of the resources. We can’t work alone.” Crossan said the commission has no specific strategy to target Maori and Pacific Islanders.

She acknowledged a relationship with the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs would be an important pathway to developing one.

“We have talked with iwi – we want them to get into a long-term strategy,” Crossan said. “What we have had to do is to alert them to the fact that the resources are there - we can help you but we can’t do it.”

About 35 percent of the New Zealand’s population uses the website, which allows people to organize and take control of their budget.

The commission would like to see this number of visitors increase by 10 to 15 percent following a recent upgrade of the site last year.


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