CHASM Seminar: Understanding spending amongst marginalised female communities: the case of Māori women – lessons for the UK. POSTPONED

Wednesday 15 January 2020 (00:00)

Helen Harris:

Please note that this event has been postponed until later in the year

This presentation is based on a study about the spending habits of Māori women carried out in 2015/16. It was an exploratory study which aimed to have a better understanding of the spending habits of Māori women.

Speaker: Dr Pushpa Wood, Director - Financial Education and Research Centre, Massey University, New Zealand

This initiative was led by Massey University, in collaboration with the Māori Women Development Inc. and Māori Women’s Welfare League. It involved two age groups of Māori women- group one included women in the 17 – 25 age group and group two consisted of women in 35 – 50 age bracket. The spending habits of group one were analysed through the spending diaries maintained by the women and the financial literacy skills of group two were assessed through a financial health check survey as well as through focus groups.

Through a participation in a series of focus groups, the completion of spending diaries and surveys, participants provided the researchers with insights into the spending habits of young Māori women, as well as with an understanding of how to reach Māori women and equip them with the necessary tools and resources to make wise financial decisions.

The impetus for this research was based on the findings of Massey University Fin-Ed Centre’s previous work and observations in the field the identified need for further insights into the financial literacy of Māori women. In addition, although literacy and numeracy levels of Māori population is well recorded, there is a lack of documented research on how women, especially Māori women, make financial decisions and what information they use to make major financial decisions. Previous research with the Ngāpuhi iwi, and discussions with the Commission for Financial Capability, Māori Women Development Inc. and Māori Women Welfare League, has highlighted that there is a need for data to support the development of targeted financial literacy programmes.

Through this study the researcher wanted to:

  • Identify the spending habits of young Māori women, through engaging a group of young Māori women to participate in the research and complete spending diaries, indicating which purchases are ‘wants’ and ‘needs.’
  • Explore a process for government. NGOs, private sector organisations and educators to work together to implement an effective coordinated approach for reaching Maori women and equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to make financial decisions appropriate to their circumstances


Dr Pushpa Wood was appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List for 2016 for her services to financial literacy and interfaith relations. She was the first person in New Zealand to receive an award for both financial literacy and interfaith relations.

Dr Wood has a long history of adult and financial literacy advocacy. She has worked across the school, tertiary, NGO and industry sectors to improve adult literacy and financial literacy. Dr Wood has extensive experience in developing teaching and learning resources, training and capability development, strategic planning and stakeholder relationship.

Her research interests include identifying trigger points that motivate people to change their financial behaviour, preparedness of women in planning for their future and testing culturally appropriate evaluation tools.

If you are interested in attending, please email Helen Harris –