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New teaching resource aims to boost financial literacy

Rabobank and Garden to Table have today launched a new teaching resource to develop and strengthen money management skills among New Zealand school children.

The new resource, titled Deep Pockets, Hōhonu te Pūkoro is now available free of charge to all primary, intermediate and secondary schools across New Zealand.

Developed as part of a joint initiative between agri banking specialist Rabobank and food education charity Garden to Table, the resource outlines a ten-lesson teaching unit that helps students build their financial literacy skills by undertaking everyday garden and cooking activities.

Rabobank New Zealand CEO Todd Charteris said the new teaching resource gives students the chance to handle real money and to make a real product to sell at a profit.

“The students get to make the financial decisions along the way and decide what to do with the profit they make,” he said.

Victoria Bernard & her family, Garden to Table

“By the end of the unit, students will be able to complete a product plan, understand how borrowing and investing money works, use financial terms and vocabulary and know what they mean, make and sell a product – including marketing and advertising, and write a basic financial report.”

Mr Charteris said the idea for the new resource stemmed from discussions between Rabobank and Garden to Table on the ongoing development of the Garden to Table programme.

“Earlier in the year, Rabobank teamed up with Garden to Table to further develop and expand its programme empowering tamariki across Aotearoa New Zealand to grow, harvest, prepare, and share great food,” he said.

“As part of our discussions, we looked at what was currently being done to improve financial literacy among young Kiwis as both organisations believe that learning basic money management skills is incredibly important and that these skills can really help set-up a young person for a successful future."

“We discovered a gap in hands-on learning resources to support knowledge development in this area and, as a result, we decided to create a new teaching resource that connects learning to grow and cook food, with improved financial literacy.”

Garden to Table Curriculum and Community Relations Manager Victoria Bernard said Rabobank and Garden to Table had worked together over recent months to pull the new resource together.

“The current cost-of-living crisis – and in particular the significant price lifts we’ve seen for many food items – has only reinforced our view that this type of resource is necessary,” she said.

“And it’s fantastic to have it ready for schools just in time for term three and for NZ Money Month which kicks off in August.”

Given the importance of the topic, Ms Bernard said, Rabobank and Garden to Table were keen to offer the resource to all schools nationwide.

“Generally, these types of resources are only made available to schools participating in the Garden to Table programme, but both parties felt it was important to open up access to a wider audience,” she said.

“The resource is targeted at students from Year 3 upwards, and we expect there will be plenty of interest in this not just from primary schools, but from intermediate and secondary schools too.”


Unit start-up fund

Ms Bernard said the ideal scenario was for schools to begin the teaching unit with a small start-up fund of less than $100.

“Students are initially asked to brainstorm ideas as to how they might convince someone to give them a start-up fund and to discuss who they might be able to borrow this from – whether it be the Principal, Board of Trustees, a local business or someone else in their community – and how they might pay the money back,” she said.

“The unit can be taught without this start-up fund. However, the impact of having some money to make even more money can make a big difference in getting the kids to really buy-in to the whole thing.”

Ms Bernard said the resource provided students with an opportunity to explore investment in an authentic way.

“As they move through the various lessons, the students are given a lot of responsibility and the chance to take on roles like project manager, risk manager or marketing manager,” she said.

“This helps students identify who might be best suited to certain roles and how they can work together as a team to get the mahi done, and it’s all done in a low-risk context with guidance from their teacher.”

Ms Bernard said several schools were already gearing up to kick off the teaching unit.

“Schools already involved in the Garden to Table programme were given a heads-up earlier this month that the resource was coming. Several have already indicated they’re planning to start the unit in August and run this through term three,” she said.

“We’re also running a webinar for interested Garden to Table schools this week to talk them through the resource and to answer any questions they might have.”


Accessing the new resource

For schools not currently part of the Garden to Table programme, Ms Bernard said, further information on the new teaching resource could be found on the Garden to Table website below.


Depending on interest, a webinar exploring the new resource in more detail may also be run for schools not currently part of the Garden to Table programme. Schools can register their interest for this webinar on Garden to Table’s website.


Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of about 10 million clients worldwide through a network of close to 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank New Zealand is one of the country's leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the New Zealand food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 32 offices throughout New Zealand.

Media contacts:

David Johnston
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank New Zealand
Phone: 04 819 2711 or 027 477 8153
Email: david.johnston@rabobank.com

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations 
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: +612 8115 2744 or +61 2 439 603 525 
Email: denise.shaw@rabobank.com