The mission to improve financial capability and support intergenerational wealth for Pacific people is ramping up for Canterbury’s longest-serving Pacific health and social service provider.
Tangata Atumotu has been a strong advocate for Pacific families through a wide range of social and health services, including but not limited to, healthy lifestyle programmes, smoking cessation, mobile nursing, healthy homes, immunisations, and welfare support.
Recently, Tangata Atumotu partnered with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) to deliver Island Wealth – a financial capability programme unique to the cultural needs of Pacific communities.
Since the partnership began, Tangata Atumotu has supported two families through their journey to home ownership and delivered the financial capability programme to 186 Pacific families.
Financial programme coordinator and mentor, Akili Namuaira says Pacific people who have taken part in the initiative have used what they have learned to their advantage.
“The team is excited to see our Pacific families improve their financial standing and make changes that will support intergenerational wealth,” he says.
“Seeing the ‘aha’ moments come to light in our people confirms the need for financial literacy is great…we are privileged to deliver this in a way that our people understand.
“We have been able to work with different communities in the South Island and our programme complements other financial capability service providers.”
Tangata Atumotu has delivered the Island Wealth programme from Christchurch to as far afield as Oamaru.
Team leader, Rosenna Ratulomai says the Island Wealth programme was designed by Pacific, with Pacific, for Pacific.
The modules created look at budgeting and financial planning, understanding debt, understanding KiwiSaver and pathways to home ownership.
“Island Wealth offers mentoring or one on one sessions with families at their convenience,” Ms Ratulomai says.
“We also work with communities if they hold a training workshop on any or all our modules – such community groups include church, youth, and other communities.
“It empowers our Pacific individuals, families, and communities to be confident in their use of money.”
Tangata Atumotu has delivered mentoring sessions to 29 families, referred three families to mortgage brokers and taken one family to see Kainga Ora.
“The mentoring sessions we hold are tailored to our families,” said Ms Ratulomai.
“No two families are the same and we help set up a plan for each family where we can work together to achieve their goals.
“Most of the families we work with are focused on owning their own homes. A few families who already own homes want to look at investments and understand KiwiSaver for their retirement.”
She adds that “no question is a silly question” from participants.
“The information that is shared through the programme may give you a revelation in your finances.
“We can also translate the information into your mother tongue so that you can understand better…contact us, and we can work with you to achieve your goals.
“Anything is possible, even purchasing your very own home is achievable. We believe our service should not end with home ownership.”
Tangata Atumotu will continue to work with families after they have purchased their homes to help them understand their interest rates, paying rates and insurance and saving for maintenance.
“We want to ensure our families continue to thrive financially after home ownership,” Ms Ratulomai says.
Visit the MPP website for information on the Pacific Housing Initiative, which supports Pacific people on the house ownership journey.