New Zealand has just faced one of the worst moments in the nation’s history.

It’s an event that will certainly leave a deep scar in the Kiwi psyche…and one that will shape New Zealand’s future in the years to come.

As I prepared to write today’s Money Morning New Zealand, I struggled to think of anything other than these events…and how it will affect each of us. It’s hard to pick out a silver lining…

But I did realise that there’s something to be gleaned from how the nation responded…not with fear and terror, but rather solidarity, sympathy, and charity. Even anger quickly gave way to action…as organisations and communities banded together to provide whatever support they could.

Indeed, I feel that we as members of this society have a duty to respond to the needs of one another. That we should be moved to action, especially in times like these.

And for many, that action manifests itself through generosity.

In the days that followed the attack, Kiwis have been quick to give. As Stuff reports:

More than $6.1 million has been raised for the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attacks.

A Givealittle page has already raised more than $4.3 million — the most ever for a campaign since Givealittle began in 2008 — with tens of thousands of people donating.

Robyn Lentell from Spark Foundation, which runs Givealittle, said they could never have predicted that level of donations. “It’s great to see New Zealanders sending so much aroha at a time like this.”

The volume of donations was enough to crash the site on Friday night, and a second fundraiser was set up on Everyday Hero while staff worked “through the night” to fix the problems.

What an amazing response to see…

My wife and I experienced this generosity first-hand. On Sunday, we attended a service that honoured the victims and took up donations to help support their families going forward…and as you’d expect, many people were quick to open their wallets.

Personally, seeing folks donating like that reminded me of one of the most important reasons why I work in the world of money — so that I can be generous.

You see, there are heaps of ways to be generous.

I have friends and colleagues who can be generous with their time and skills. A doctor who can help in the ICU. A psychologist who can help with the emotional trauma. An organiser who can arrange vigils and ceremonies. All valuable contributions towards supporting the Christchurch community.

But I’m no good at any of those things.

Instead, I enjoy the privilege of contributing financially whenever I can…and I’m only able to do so by being smart with my money.

Lots of people, especially those who have never invested themselves, seem to think that investors just want to get rich to buy big houses and fancy cars.

But in my experience, most investors don’t think that way.

Instead, many of them want to generate wealth through investing so that they can do more good in the world.

  • They want to support their parents or children.
  • They want to support local businesses, even if it costs a little bit more.
  • They want to be charitable…and have resources to offer in times of crisis.

These are noble goals that are made possible through wealth.

Growing up, I attended a small church. The members tended to fall into one of two categories. On one hand, there were those who had time and skills to offer on the mission field. We’d arrange mission trips so that these people could go and do eye exams, teach English, build houses, etc.

On the other hand, there was a group of church members who supported the missionaries. Perhaps they were business owners, investors, or retirees. They had built up some wealth. Many of these supporters were older. They weren’t comfortable jumping on a plane to the Philippines to go rebuild roofs in Cebu.

But they were able to fund those who would.

Both sides of the coin are equally important. You can’t have one without the other. And that’s the importance of generosity.

You can’t be generous if you’ve got nothing to give. Being smart with your money opens up the opportunity to step up and offer financial resources to those who need it.

It’s a necessary role in society…and one that is a privilege to fill.

I think we should all try to be a tiny bit smarter with our money so that, in the very least, we can create a little more good in the world.


Taylor Kee
Editor, Money Morning New Zealand