International financial literacy initiatives

New Zealand is closely involved in international efforts to understand the drivers of financial literacy and find ways to improve and promote higher levels of financial literacy. New Zealand initiatives are highly regarded and the Retirement Commissioner is a key player in OECD and APEC advisory and expert working groups.

New Zealand’s international involvement

New Zealand is closely involved in international financial literacy efforts.

  • The Retirement Commissioner is on the Advisory Board of the OECD International Network for Financial Education.
  • The Hon Bill English, Minister of Finance attended an APEC Finance Ministers conference on improving efficiency of national strategies for financial literacy and along with other APEC finance ministers, adopted a policy statement on financial literacy and education.
  • The Commission hosts international speakers in New Zealand at events such as the biennial financial literacy summits
  • The Commissioner and other Commission staff speak regularly at international conferences and events about New Zealand's experiences in encouraging financial education and financial literacy. 

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Our OECD role

OECD International Network on Financial Education

New Zealand is a member of the International Network on Financial Education (INFE). The network is an initiative of the OECD's Financial Education Project, which was set up to describe, analyse and assess the effectiveness of programmes to improve financial literacy. 

The network brings together senior government officials from both OECD member countries and non-member economies, to discuss issues, new developments, experiences and programmes related to financial education. This dialogue allows government experts to exchange information on good practice and to provide input on OECD guidelines and principles in the area of financial education and awareness before they are publicly available.

See OECD Financial Education.

Assessing the financial literacy of high school students

The Commission works with the OECD in assessing the financial literacy of New Zealand high school students through the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA). From 2012, financial literacy is being included in this global comparative assessment of fifteen-year-old students from member countries.

See OECD Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA).

2012 Conference on Financial Education

The Retirement Commissioner was invited to join other high-level officials and experts and participate in the Colombia-OECD-World Bank Conference on Financial Education, 2012. The conference focused on: 

  • Measurement of financial literacy, tools, international evidence and regional examples
  • Analysis of programmes targeted at hard-to-reach groups, impact evaluation and relevant international guidance
  • Latin American experiences in the development and implementation of national strategies for financial education

For more details, see Colombia-OECD-World Bank Conference on Financial Education.

International framework for the evaluation of financial education, 2012

An international framework for the evaluation of financial education programme was developed under the auspices of an OECD expert sub-group chaired by the New Zealand Retirement Commissioner, Diana Crossan.

See OECD INFE High-Level Principles for the Evaluation of Financial Education Programmes on the OECD IGFED website.

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Our APEC financial literacy involvement

APEC finance ministers policy statement

The finance ministers of the APEC economies, including New Zealand, adopted the Policy Statement on Financial Literacy and Education during the APEC Finance Ministers' meeting in August 2012 in Moscow.

APEC conference on improving efficiency of national strategies for financial literacy

The conference in June 2012 was organized as a part of the APEC Finance Ministers' Process (FMP) by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation together with support of the Russia's World Bank Trust Fund and OECD.

The agenda of the conference focused on the implementation of national financial education strategies and covered the following key topics:

  • Elements and experiences in developing national financial education strategies
  • Financial education in schools
  • Overview of measurement tools and methods
  • Impact evaluation of financial literacy programs
  • Effective communication and awareness campaigns
  • Integration of financial education policies in the global financial agenda

See the APEC website news item  (June 2012)

Expert’s Workshop on Financial Literacy National Strategies

On April 11-12 2012 Moscow hosted a seminar organized by the Finance Ministry as part of Russia's presidency in APEC. The seminar, Expert's Workshop on Financial Literacy National Strategies, focused on the key problems in the drafting and development of national strategies to increase financial awareness.

During the seminar, leading financial education professionals from the APEC economies reviewed both global and regional (APEC members') strategies and initiatives to promote financial literacy, discussed the key problems in working on such strategies and the government's role in regulating this area. They also looked at the experience of various APEC economies in implementing targeted programs to raise financial awareness among the population.

The agenda included a roundtable conference, the APEC experience in implementing financial education programs: Key problems, recommended standards and practices employed.

See the APEC website news item (April 2012).

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