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Lack of Funding Holds Kiwis Back From Achieving Dreams

11 August 2014

Lack of Funding Holds Kiwis Back From Achieving Dreams

More than half (51%) of New Zealanders have been held back from achieving their dreams due to a lack of funding, according to a new survey conducted by AMP. This announcement comes as AMP has launched its $200,000 AMP ‘Do Your Thing’ Scholarship programme for 2014.

The other key issues holding Kiwis back from pursuing their dreams was not knowing where or how to start (37%), fear (35%), family (27%), time (20%) or work commitments (17%).

Jeff Ruscoe, Chief Customer Officer, at AMP says: “We don’t want money to be an obstacle for talented people who want to achieve their dreams. With $200,000 available we hope this will go some way to eliminating some of the barriers for passionate and determined Kiwis to start making their goal a reality.”

The survey also revealed that more than two thirds of New Zealanders (69%) have pursued a dream or significant goal and age didn’t seem to be a barrier – with 65% saying any age is ideal to achieve a dream. 43% Kiwis also say the wider New Zealand public would benefit from their dream, if they were to go on and achieve it.

“Most people, at some stage in their life have a dream. No matter what age, or point people are in in life, we want to encourage everyone to do their thing and turn their dreams into a reality”, continues Ruscoe.

Of those that had achieved a dream, 59% say family support was a crucial factor that allowed them to do it. Over half (51%) say time is also important, as is having access to financial assistance / funding (41%). Surprisingly, friend’s encouragement wasn’t as high on the priority list, with just 27% saying it was. Other popular comments shared include: “determination”, “persistence” and “hard work” – words that resonate with most Kiwis.

Results also showed Kiwis are most inspired by their friends (51%), parents (33%), colleagues (29%) and famous New Zealanders (28%).

Ruscoe concludes: “The survey shows just how inspirational and determined Kiwis are and we want to encourage as many people as possible who have a dream to go ahead and apply for an AMP Scholarship.”

The survey also asked Kiwis if they could follow their dreams now and do something they felt passionate about, what they would do – more unusual answers included: being an astronaut; an event manager running the Grammy’s; to develop the sport of synchronised swimming in New Zealand to get a team to the Olympics; develop a block of land and plant almonds, timber trees and raise organic poultry; collect older BMWs; and continue to play a round of golf on all New Zealand golf courses.

This year applications for AMP ‘Do Your Thing’ Scholarships are open until 16 September.


Notes to Editor:

About ‘Do Your Thing’:

• AMP ‘Do Your Thing’ applications are open from 21 July 2014 until 16 September 2014.
• Applications for AMP ‘Do Your Thing’ Scholarships must be made through the online Application Form located at
• In order to be eligible for AMP Scholarships you must be an individual (not a group). You must also be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and you must not have been ordinarily residing outside of New Zealand for more than five years as at the date of your Application.
• If you are under 18 years of age you must have the consent of your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to apply.
• You are not eligible to apply for any AMP Scholarship if you have previously won an AMP Scholarship of any kind before.
• In total, there are 11 National Scholarships available – each consists of one payment of up to a maximum of amount of $10,000.
• Full terms & conditions can be found on

About AMP:

• AMP is a leading wealth management and insurance provider in the New Zealand marketplace and has been supporting the financial welfare of customers for 160 years
• Our customers hold more than 870,000 investment, savings and insurance products
• AMP has one of the largest networks of advisers in New Zealand
• AMP is the only default KiwiSaver provider with both a ‘silver’ rating from Morningstar and a 5 Star Canstar Award
• AMP has more than 258,000 KiwiSaver Scheme members and more than $3 billion funds under management, equating to around 16% market share
• We’ve awarded more than $1.8 million in the last 16 years through our AMP Foundation
• In 2013 we:
o helped more than 1,800 kiwis buy their first home through KiwiSaver
o paid out $46.75 million in general insurance claims
o supported approximately 73,000 New Zealanders who were unable to work because of an injury or illness by paying out nearly $9 million in income protection insurance
o wrote $644 million in new mortgages, and
o provided advice over the phone to more than 150,000 New Zealanders – more than 400 people per day.


It’s a pretty common trait, particularly here in New Zealand. Many of us find it easier to hide from the limelight than to put ourselves out there. So when opportunity knocks, we sometimes stay quiet and pretend we’re not home.

It’s normal to have the odd concern, perhaps worry whether you’re experienced enough, or if you’ve waited too long to start something new. But the truth is that it’s never too early or too late to ’Do Your Thing.’ The AMP Scholarship programme is simply about helping passionate people realise their dreams. It’s not limited by sports or grades. It’s not even limited by age. Lewis Hawkins is living proof of that.

Lewis is only nine years old, but you wouldn’t know it from his vocabulary. Playing Scrabble is his thing, and in 2013 he became the youngest person to win an AMP National Scholarship. Only eight at the time, the win helped him make it to Dubai to compete in the World Youth Scrabble Championships.

Despite winning multiple competitions, and showing impressive enthusiasm and skill, funding a competitive Scrabble trip had proved tricky.
“Most large corporations only sponsor famous people like All Blacks,” Lewis notes, “but AMP helps people like me. People who are not famous, and yet to reach their dreams.”

Lewis’ goal is to one day become the best Scrabble player in the world. And after placing first in the Under-10 and Under-12 age groups in Dubai, it’s clear he’s well on the way. And thanks to his AMP National Scholarship win, he’s also been able to make it to the Australian Nationals and the New Zealand Championships. He doesn’t show any signs of stopping. A keen Scrabble enthusiast might call him tenacious. Or pertinacious. Or intransigent.

Conversely Kath Johnstone left her thing a little later. She was in her early seventies when she discovered her love of competitive swimming. And it wasn’t until the age of 93 that she won her AMP National Scholarship to travel to the FINA World Masters swimming games in Italy.

Age is just a number to Kath. She believes if you’re passionate and determined to succeed, it doesn’t matter how many candles are on your birthday cake. She proved that by being the oldest competitor at the World Masters. And despite her focus simply being to compete, she also brought home five gold medals.

“You can’t tell someone my age what she can and can’t do. If she wants to, she’ll do it. And she’ll come out beaming.

It doesn’t matter if I come first, second, fifth or tenth… although I’ll probably come first, as no one else is silly enough to still be competing in Masters swimming in their late nineties!”

Kath and Lewis are inspiring reminders that it’s never too early, or too late. AMP Scholarships aren’t bound by academic requirements or physical fitness. They’re not limited by gender, ethnicity or age. Anyone can choose to ‘Do Their Thing’ - the future starts today.


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