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BNZ volunteers set to help Kiwis improve their finances

18th June 2018 – For Immediate Release

Thousands of BNZ volunteers set to help Kiwis improve their financial know-how this August

18 June 2018: The Bank of New Zealand has announced that this year it will be sharing financial know-how skills with kindergarten-aged children, teens and seniors as the focus for its annual staff volunteering day, Closed for Good.

Now in its ninth year, Closed for Good will see BNZ stores and offices close and more than 3,000 BNZ employees head out into the community for New Zealand’s largest single volunteering day on Wednesday 8th August 2018.

Across New Zealand, trained BNZ teams will be helping kindergarten-aged children, teenagers and seniors with some financial know-how using specially designed, interactive tools.

BNZ CEO, Angie Mentis, said: “Closed for Good is a special part of what BNZ has to offer communities in New Zealand. This year we’re building interactive tools to help communities be good with money using scenarios and language relevant to them.

“For some it’s the basics of helping them understand how choices drive outcomes and for others it’s about offering a safe place to practice the skills you need to be safe online.

“It’s always a privilege for us to help a customer achieve the outcomes they want, but Closed for Good is for everyone. We’re asking community organisations to sign up so we can send the BNZ team out and make a difference in your community”.

BNZ has worked in collaboration with key partners including the Auckland Kindergarten Association, the Retirement Villages Association, and numerous high-schools across the country to build tools including an interactive story book, avatar-based apps, as well as online learning modules which will be available to all New Zealanders from 8th August.

Children in kindergartens and pre-schools around the country will be introduced to Penny the Penguin through an interactive storybook about Penny who needs help to fix her boat – a mission she can only accomplish with the help of children making the right choices between supplies she needs and treats she wants.

Auckland Kindergarten Association CEO, Pauline A. Winter QSO, said: “The early years of a child’s life are critical to establishing a strong foundation for learning. By providing early learners with the opportunity to engage in Penny’s story, the BNZ initiative is able to add a voice to the learning outcomes already part of the everyday fabric of every quality early learning provider in New Zealand. Telling an appealing story around needs, wants and making good choices can help children learn about the potential consequences to others as a result of their decision-making – an outcome often top of mind for adults in relation to financial management.”

For teenagers, BNZ has developed a unique app – My Moni – which lets teenagers select an avatar and trial scenarios based on choices immediately in front of them, like buying a car or getting a job to help them prepare for financial independence.

General Manager of Taranaki Futures, Warwick Foy, said: “As an organisation working with schools to add value to their existing offerings, we know that there is a real opportunity to help improve financial capability amongst teens in New Zealand.

“Our young people are growing up in a rapidly changing world where static qualifications are no longer enough - we need to move toward providing life-long learning in order to ensure that they are armed with the right skills and competencies as they prepare to move into adulthood. Financial capability is a big part of this and we support the efforts of organisations like BNZ who are actively providing engaging solutions in this space.”

BNZ’s detailed Scam Savvy programme teaches seniors to spot and avoid scams, and an Internet Banking demo gives them the chance to learn and practise how to use internet banking.

Scam Savvy aims to help participants confidently navigate scams and the programme will take users through a comprehensive Q&A which shows a range of common tactics used by scammers. As they work through the programme, they’ll learn how to identify, report and avoid a range of scams.

John Collyns, of the Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand, said: “We’re looking forward to working with BNZ for this year’s Closed for Good to help arm seniors with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed against scammers. It’s more important than ever that Kiwi adults understand how to deal with any suspicious approaches. Not only is their own knowledge of what to look out for important, but being confident in managing their digital footprint and digital accounts is a key part of this.”

Community groups, schools and institutions that work with/support children, teenagers and senior citizens can register for the opportunity to help improve our nation’s financial capability with visits from BNZ staff on August 8th, by visiting www.closedforgood.org and signing up by July 6th.

Ends


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