Prisoners at Arohata Prison learning about needs versus wants. Managing money, how to start saving, managing bad credit and avoiding loan sharks are just some of the topics prisoners and community-based offenders heard in a series of financial literacy workshops yesterday.

“The workshops delivered some simple, down-to-earth tips that will help prisoners, community offenders and their families,” says Assistant Prison Director Kym Grierson, Arohata Prison.

“Identifying what is a necessity and what is a nice-to-have is part of the workshop, and this can help with budgeting and setting financial goals.”

When asked what she got from the workshop an attendee said “I feel really informed about Kiwisaver. I hadn’t understood the differences between the different sorts of interest and schemes.”

The workshop also helped regarding bad debt: “I have had bad debt experiences and I found out that some go away after a period of time and some don’t.”

Workshops were held in Arohata Prison near Wellington, as well as in Tongariro Prison near Turangi and Waikeria Prison near Te Awamutu.

Financial literacy workshop with offenders in the community in New Plymouth.Community-based offenders in Upper and Lower Hutt, Porirua, Wellington (Adelaide Road) and New Plymouth also took part in workshops at Community Corrections sites.

The workshops were delivered by BNZ volunteers who took part in the bank’s Closed For Good campaign, where staff volunteer their time in the community.

This is the fourth year the workshops were held, with the largest number of participants to date, with around 170 prisoners and offenders from three prisons and five Community Corrections sites.