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Making sense of cents

Posted to Money Week Financial Capability on 05-09-2016

An unexpected glimpse into New Zealand’s history was provided when a new video series was being filmed for Money Week.

The ‘Making sense of cents” series is the first of its kind and is designed to encourage people in the Māori community to find as many ways as possible to korero (talk) about money.

It features a range of people sharing stories linked to the images on different coins.

It was only when filming began that the Commission discovered one of its video stars, Kūkupa Tirikatene, has a special link to the shilling coin, which features a Māori warrior holding a taiaha (weapon).

Kūkupa is Kaiākau for Manukau Institute of Technology and when approached to appear in the series, he instantly asked to represent the shilling.

The Commission for Financial Capability’s Manukura manager Alexander Stevens, who also appears in two of the videos, said: “I approached Kūkupa who I’ve known for many years since I was a lecturer at MIT. He had shared with me lots of stories about savings and money and I thought he might be interested.

“When I prompted him as to why he wanted to represent the shilling he told me the imprint was his dad Sir Eruera Tihema Te Aika Tirikatene.

“I instantly thought of how special this coin was and also realised that I had stumbled on a piece of significant New Zealand history that we’ve now brought to life.”

Alexander added: “Using New Zealand’s pre-decimal and decimal coins, with iconic images featured on them, creates a space to share stories and memories that people can recall using in their lifetimes.”

Each video features a specific money-themed resource that can be accessed online through the Sorted website. The series can be seen at: and resources for Money Week can be found here:




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