New Zealanders worried about money due to the effects of COVID-19 are urged to seek guidance through official government services Sorted and MoneyTalks.
The Sorted website is run by CFFC, headed by Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson, and MoneyTalks is run by the FinCap, the umbrella body for financial capability and budgeting advice services.
Wrightson acknowledged that many people in the community would experience various degrees of financial hardship due to the spread of COVID-19, due to job losses, loss of income and unforeseen expenses.
“New Zealanders need access to reputable financial mentoring and trustworthy tools to help them navigate this difficult time,” says Wrightson. “They can have confidence that Sorted and MoneyTalks are independent and impartial – we have the public’s best interests at heart.”
FinCap Chief Executive Tim Barnett said the MoneyTalks helpline would give callers access to expert financial mentors via phone, text, live chat and email.
“We are looking to scale up MoneyTalks to meet the anticipated demand,” said Barnett. “We’ll be using our digital channels including the MoneyTalks blog, facebook page and Cheaper Living New Zealand facebook group to provide support and advice to New Zealanders during this difficult time.”
Sorted offers tips, guides and tools and has become a trusted source of information over 20 years and through previous financial crises. It provides support through its website, blog, social media channels and email.
“We understand this is a time of great uncertainty but urge people not to rush into taking on more debt until they have consulted these expert sources,” says Wrightson.
Wrightson was aware that regulators such as the Financial Markets Authority were talking with financial service providers to ensure they were taking customer needs into account, and have sufficient resource in their call centres to deal with people through this stressful period.
Information about other Government financial support can be found at the official site covid19-govt.nz