Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Check who’s offering budget advice


A press release from the NZ Federation of Family Budgeting Services (NZFFBS), prompted by emergence of complaints against uncertificated budget advisers

Check who’s offering budget advice

It pays to check that you are being offered budget advice and not instead being sold some product or loan.

Anybody can set themselves up as a budgeting advisory operation. There is no national registration required for budgeting services or budget advisers. Budgeting organisations that affiliate to the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services Inc must operate to a Code of Ethics and minimum standards and all budget advisers working in these organisations must be certificated by the Federation after a period of theory and practical training. By far the majority of, but not all, community-based budgeting services choose to affiliate to the Federation but some do not want to compromise their own autonomy for a collective good but may all the same offer safe advice.

Shirley Woodrow, Federation President says “Complicating matters in recent times is the emergence of more commercially styled operations that are responding to market opportunities created by the rising indebtedness within New Zealand. They have found a niche for themselves from people who are looking for a quick-fix. With client numbers remaining as high as ever and budgeting services struggling like all community groups, to hold and recruit new volunteers to be trained as advisers, not all can offer a same-day service. The increased complexity of consumer and contract laws and the size of personal debt make it unlikely that budgeting solutions will be found over-night. The problem is that some of these commercial organisations seem more interested in profiting from people when they are most vulnerable rather than educating people on how to look after their own budgets”.

In recent weeks the Federation’s national office has fielded three complaints from three different parts of the country about actions of people purporting to be budget advisers but who are not accredited by the Federation. In these cases the Federation is unable to influence the outcome of complaints as these non-affiliated organisations seem to account to themselves only. Some may rely on government or community funding and it’s then possible to complain to these funders.

“Occasionally mistakes can be made and it’s often only when things go wrong that people realise the difference between a budgeting service that has a national affiliation and one working alone” says Mrs. Woodrow. She added that when consumers use suppliers that are members of national associations they increase their protection because these associations can sanction their members when they do not live up to the agreed standards. “It pays often to check before using anyone for any service, and that includes budgeting advice, to see if they are members of professional or industry associations and are therefore prepared to be accountable to their peers for their activities and services” says Mrs. Woodrow.

The Federation advises people looking for budgeting advice to ask the organisation:
o What service are you offering me?
o What will it cost?
o What will I learn?
o Will I decide my own priorities?
o Can I cancel the service at any time?
o If something should go wrong and I need to complain will the complaint be independently investigated?
o Who does the budgeting service account to for its activities?
“Above all else seek help early”, says Mrs. Woodrow. “In this way a few days delay in accessing advice will not make much difference and it’s better to have advice before incurring debt than hope that someone can later make high interest and penalties go away. Small debt is a lot easier and quicker to manage than large debt in default”

Budgeting services that are affiliated to the Federation can be found:
o Listed in the Telecom White Pages under the heading BUDGET ADVICE SERVICES
o Through the Federation’s web page www.familybudgeting.org.nz
o By telephoning the Federation national office on 04 471 1420
o By e-mailing the Federation at nzbudget@xtra.co.nz



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New TPP Agreed: Govt Must Explain How Canada Got Changes

Jane Kelsey: Overnight in Japan the remaining eleven governments have concluded the ‘revised’ but essentially unchanged Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA-11), now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership. The signing is set for 8 March 2018 in Chile.

University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey predicts ‘the rebranding of the TPPA won’t fool anyone...

Canada has reportedly secured new protections for culture, as well as rules of origin for automobiles, which was not on the list of outstanding items in the TPPA-11 ministerial statement in December last year. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Our Housing Crisis – And The Unintended Consequences

There is no doubt that we are having some huge issues with housing in Wellington. Finding somewhere to live is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive... But why? And what happens next? More>>


Ministerial Inquiry: Broad Look At Mental Health And Addiction Services

The Government has taken a major step towards improving mental health and addiction services with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing details of a ministerial inquiry. More>>


Wealth: Two NZers Own More Than Poorest 30%

A staggering 28 per cent of all wealth created in New Zealand in 2017 went to the richest 1 per cent of Kiwis, while the 1.4 million people who make up the poorest 30 per cent of the population got barely 1 per cent, according to new research released by Oxfam. More>>


Employment: Joint Working Group On Pay Equity Principles Reconvened

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway, and Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter, are reconvening the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles as the next step in pay equity for New Zealand women. More>>


Hapū: Prime Minister And Clarke Gayford Expecting First Child

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, have announced that they are expecting their first child in June. “We’re both really happy. We wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting." More>>


Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care. Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More >>

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>





Featured InfoPages