An innovative project between the Westland District and an investment fund aims to see 1500 school kids and pre-schoolers signed up with KiwiSaver by the end of August.
The project was initiated by the Westland District Mayor Maureen Pugh.
We already have a well recognised KiwiSaver provider who is working with us and we will be in a position to reveal some exciting details of their proposal next week.
Millions of dollars will be generated for our children and non-working people by simply applying to the KiwiSaver programme, with no further contribution required.
Encouraging the children to sign up and receive the Governments kick start means they will have a nest egg to draw on for their first home, and possibly qualify for the first home subsidy as well.
That means that Westland has a much greater chance of encouraging the next generation to remain on the Coast and thats one of the fundamental reasons we think this is a great scheme to support.
I have been contacting all Westland school principals and the support for the project has been overwhelming. They really are enthusiastic about getting their pupils started on the road to financial security and they wonder if there is a catch but there isnt one I really think its the opportunity of the decade for Westland.
We believe that KiwiSaver will also give Coast kids an incentive to save which is something children all over New Zealand have been missing out on for the last two generations, Mayor Pugh says.
Kids know about credit and hire purchase but very little about the need to save. West Coast parents have always tried to instil good habits and values in their children and we are confident that they will seize this simple opportunity to give their kids a government guaranteed advantage in life.
Mayor Pugh says she will be promoting the idea to next weeks Local Government Conference. We might be leading the way on this but Im confident many other Mayors will want to copy our strategy.