The Whānau Matters website is an extension of the Ngāi Tahu Financial Independence Programme which was developed with assistance from Te Puni Kōkiri. This programme was designed to help whānui to fulfil their dreams and aspirations through financial freedom. It ran for a period of three years and had over 100 participants. Almost all (93 percent) started a budget or a financial plan and reduced their debt levels as a result of being part of the programme. One of the participants told us that: 

“Drowning in debt is no way to live, and having money is freedom, the freedom to make wise choices.”