Building Financial Capacity for Students - Understanding Tax

Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission’s Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools has launched a new learning taxation module in partnership with the Inland Revenue, Te Tari Taake (IRD).

The module provides specialised tax information for Year 9 and 10 students aligned to the NZ Curriculum. The resources have been designed so students better understand tax in preparation for their working lives.

Nick Thomson, Director Financial Capability says arming young people with an understanding of taxation early on is another key step in setting them up well for their future.

“Whether students are future employees paying income tax or running their own businesses, the modules provide practical details and the big picture of why we pay tax in Aotearoa,” he says.

“We want our rangatahi leaving school confident about what money is and how to make it work for themselves. Learning about financial capability and taxation in school will set students up for the future, which will benefit both themselves as individuals, but also Aotearoa.”

Te Ara Ahunga Ora launched Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools in 2019, and now has 76% of New Zealand secondary schools and kura taking part.

It is the first government-backed financial education programme fully aligned with the curriculum, so can be taught as part of day-to-day classes in subjects as diverse as maths, social sciences, technology, English and even health. Additional resources cover topics ranging from debt and money management, to KiwiSaver and insurance, and include learning and assessment materials for NCEA unit and achievement standards.

Corey Sinclair, National Leader for Community Compliance, Inland Revenue says: “We saw this as a great opportunity to work with Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools to support students with learning about Inland Revenue and how tax works in Aotearoa.”

“The approach fits perfectly with our goal of helping our customers to get things right from the start. It’s important to help lift students’ financial capability and decision making at the very start of their journey in contributing to our communities.”

Tina Rose-Dutton, Head of Department Commerce at Cambridge High School says: “Tax is something everyone has to pay and the learning activities through the varied contexts are great in this resource. Well done to the creators of this resource.”

Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools is committed to ensuring every young New Zealander has equitable access to financial capability education, and understanding taxation is an important component.

The taxation module will be taught across the New Zealand curriculum and Māori Medium Education (in Te Reo). It is designed to be accessible and respond to diverse learner needs, providing real-life and future focused examples to engage students.