Collaboration to professionalise the financial capability workforce the first of its kind

Monday 26 June 2023

A collaboration between the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University will help upskill the workforce dedicated to providing financial mentoring services across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Last updated: Tuesday 18 July 2023

This will be the first time MSD has partnered with a university to lift the capability of financial education providers by funding 20 scholarships per year across three years. The scholarships will provide the opportunity for financial mentors to elevate their standards of delivery and client outcomes through Massey’s targeted microcredit course.

Currently, MSD funds organisations who provide free financial mentoring services including support, advocacy and advice to prevent financial hardship in New Zealand. Funding access to the microcredit will allow mentors to move up a level in their financial skills to increase proficiency in this sector and explore their career path.

MSD General Manager Mark Henderson says the collaboration is intended to provide a career path for financial mentors and support them to grow more confident in the service they provide.

“The scholarships are not exclusively targeted at those in financial mentorship roles, but also for those who work in adjacent roles who want to move into this space, such as a social worker who wants to better assist their clients with improving their financial wellbeing. With Massey’s Financial Education and Research Centre already successfully helping New Zealanders become more financially savvy, we knew this would be a valuable collaboration to improve workforce knowledge and capability.”

The sponsorship will fund successful applicants to enrol in a microcredit course with Massey, which has been designed to give financial mentors the tools to help empower people to move beyond crisis and debt management toward financial wellbeing for their whānau.

Director of the Financial Education and Research Centre Dr Pushpa Wood says the microcredit complements what is currently on offer rather than duplicating it.

“It delivers a more in-depth look at personal financial management skills, such as consumer protection and ways to move from debt to getting ahead, that elevate understanding and translate to better financial wellbeing. The resources and learning opportunities provided in this level five professional development opportunity will enable mentors to help people not only gain control of their finances but to continue achieving long-term, sustainable money goals.”

The microcredit is a self-paced, online course worth 10 credits, supported by Zoom meetings on an as-needed basis. It can be completed either full-time or part-time and is designed to enhance people’s current practice and help them acquire new skills.

As there are only 20 scholarships available per year, selection criteria will apply. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must currently be working in an MSD-funded mentor service or in a community-led service and/or have experience in their role relevant to financial mentorship. For full details of the criteria and expressions of interest, please email

Expressions of interest for the scholarships will be accepted from early July.

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