New money lessons in te reo help Māori students gain NCEA

Te Karere – Tauira learn financial literacy in te reo

Te Karere – Tauira learn financial literacy in te reo

Māori secondary students are now on their way to gain credits toward NCEA by learning about money thanks to a new collection of learning materials developed by Te Ara Ahunga Ora, the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC).

The CFFC has launched the resources through Te whai hua – kia ora, a sister programme to the successful Sorted in Schools used in mainstream schools around New Zealand. The resources are in te reo Māori, aligned to unit standards and have gained NZQA accreditation, enabling ākonga (students) who complete them to gain NCEA credits. They cover money management, saving, debt, goal setting, insurance, investing, KiwiSaver and retirement, and are designed to be taught by kaiako and whānau as part of day to day lessons in any subject.

Te whai hua - kia ora is a financial education programme specifically designed for Māori Medium Education, NZQA accredited and available free to all kura.

The CFFC’s Kaikōkiri (Learning Specialist), Erin Thompson, says the financial impact on Maori communities due to COVID-19 made the launch of these new resources even more critical. “CFFC research revealed the financially vulnerability of many whānau due to the effects of COVID-19. Of the 34% of households facing financial hardship 22% of those were Māori,” says Thompson. “Te whai hua - kia ora is helping a new generation of rangatahi (young people) become financially resilient, so they’re better equipped to weather financial storms throughout their adult lives.”

The resources use stories of Maui to relate his strengths and capabilities to rangatahi.  Rather than being simply about money, the programme fosters an understanding of what financial wellbeing looks like for the students and their whānau in terms of taha hinengaro (mental health), taha tinana (physical health), taha whānau (family health) and taha wairua (spiritual health).

“Through Te whai hua - kia ora, ākonga are encouraged to look at wealth through a different lens so they can determine for themselves what they need to do to attain wellbeing. In the process, they will learn valuable money skills that go beyond the school gates and gain the financial confidence and capability to transition into the wider world of future education, training or employment,” says Thompson.

And there is wrap around support for kaiako too. “We run professional development workshops with kaiako to help them feel confident to use the resources and teach the subject. Ākonga and whānau are welcome and in some kura, whānau members visit to help teach the programme,” says Thompson.

Since Te whai hua - kia ora launched in 2019, 60% of kura have registered to teach the resources, potentially reaching more than 42,000 students. Resources for students in Years 9 and 10 were launched last year.

The NCEA resources have also been designed to offer Merit or Excellence grades which can be put toward a Level 1 endorsement. They build on more than 300 resources already available through the Sorted in Schools and Te whai hua - kia ora website.

For more information see Sorted in Schools, Te whai hua - kia ora.


Te whai hua - kia ora is a free financial capability programme equipping young people with essential knowledge, skills and confidence to help them make good future decisions, helping them avoid the risk of falling into debt that can hold them back.  CFFC research shows 82% of school leavers wished they learned more about money at school. Sorted in Schools – Te whai hua - kia ora responded by becoming the only financial capability programme aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum and Māori Medium Education, enabling students to also gain credits towards their NCEA qualifications.  Te whai hua – kia ora is not a direct translation of the Sorted in Schools programme but has been developed from a te ao Māori perspective that takes a holistic look at what it means to have financial wellbeing.