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Fin-Ed Centre organises conference to discuss financial capability

Conference organiser Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood.

Leading financial literacy experts will meet in Auckland this week to discuss the latest research and practitioner knowledge for improving the financial capability of communities.

Organised by the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre, in collaboration with the Alliance of Financial Capability Academics, the ‘Building Financially Capable Communities’ conference includes presentations by academics from around the globe, government agencies, and practitioners within community organisations. 

Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood says the conference aims to explore innovative ways of building financially capable communities.

“It is the communities that will influence our way forward in this area,” she says. “We all want to improve financial capability and wellbeing statistics and this conference will provide us with the opportunity to share research, practice and funding models.

“It will be a platform for national and international academics and practitioners to gather in one spot over three days, network, encourage and motivate each other, share experiences and explore collaboration opportunities.” 

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi (via video message) and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr will both speak, as well those working at the coalface, including Toa Faneva and Mariameno Kapa-Kingi from Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa and Lacey Filipich from the Money School in Australia.

Keynote presentations will be given by three international academics. Dr Carly Sawatzki from Deakin University in Melbourne will share her research into the design of financial literacy tasks that reveal how young people think, feel and respond to financial problems. She argues it is time to rethink how to support schools and teachers to provide financial literacy education.

Professor Dennis Philip from Durham University in the United Kingdom will give a presentation titled ‘Financial consumer protection in the digital age’. Professor Philip studies financial decision-making and has received international attention for the impact of his research into financial literacy and access to finance.

Dr Dee Warmath from the University of Georgia in the United States will give an overview of her research into the role of hope in financial wellbeing. She says the ability to see pathways to achieving a desired state, and agency to pursue those pathways, is key to individuals achieving financial wellbeing.

Massey University researchers will also be well represented at the conference, with maths education researcher Dr Jodie Hunter, from the Institute of Education, sharing insights from her research with Pasifika primary school students that shows strong links between cultural values and their management of money. 

Dr Michelle Reyers and Dr Adnan Balloch from the School of Economics and Finance will present research findings from their study into the relationship between self-efficacy, or an individual’s belief about their abilities, and economic net worth.

The conference runs from  November 28-30 in central Auckland. For more information, including the full programme, visit

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