Fighting misinformation

A new partnership has been set up to help some of the most financially vulnerable people cope when misfortune strikes.

The Commission for Financial Capability is linking up with the Insurance Council of New Zealand to develop and run a programme for people in Māori and Pasifika communities.

The aim is to give those communities information, tools and support to make better-informed decisions around risk management, insurance and protecting whanau and their belongings.

The Commission’s Community Group Manager Peter Cordtz said: “We see a lot of misinformation in families and communities and it’s based on what seems to be a small circle of trust. The problem is that it creates even greater risk for the most vulnerable.

“The Commission has developed great content that is relevant and accessible, involving collaboration with trusted community partners. This programme is one of the ways we can share that content with people who need it most.”

The ICNZ is keen to improve engagement with at risk groups and so is putting $100,000 into funding the programme.

Tim Grafton, Insurance Council Chief Executive, said: “We chose the Commission because of their specialist knowledge on how to influence long-term behaviour change to improve levels and knowledge of financial capability in Māori and Pasifika communities.”

Since 2014 the Commission has developed a suite of financial capability behaviour change programmes for delivery in workplace and community settings.

Evaluation of these programmes and community consultation, has identified both a lack of understanding and high levels of misinformation that influence decision-making among many Māori and Pasifika.

Recent news stories about property damage resulting from floods, fires and earthquakes across the country, have highlighted the risks for those who are under or uninsured. But it’s not just the big events that can have a lasting impact.

Peter added: “We hear from people whose car has been in an accident or gets stolen and there’s no money to fix or replace it. It’s the means for getting to work, getting the kids to school and keeping the family going.”

Tim Grafton cites ICNZ concerns around the lack of knowledge about what insurance covers and an understanding of the real risks associated with having homes, contents and cars uninsured.

He added: “The Commission has the relationships and networks to deliver high-impact programmes into our communities.”

The programme will include a national series of insurance-related seminars delivered via CFFC networks and the development of resources to support delivery and raise awareness.

The resources will include culturally appropriate on-line and print materials intended to make important messages more engaging and accessible.