Budgeting services in Rotorua say hard-hit families are struggling under the weight of crippling debt.
People were juggling millions of dollars in debt with one agency working to help its clients reduce $12.6m in the year to June.
Rotorua Budget Advisory Service manager Pakanui Tuhura said to the year ended in June it had worked one on one with 564 clients that had a total debt of $12.6m. The majority was owed on mortgages, money to government departments, bank loans, finance company loans and other types of loans.
Its figures show about $4.6m was unsecured debt with $8m secured, while in the year ended in 2016 it had helped 764 clients deal with $19.4m in debt.
Mr Tuhura said unfortunately the clients it dealt with "have pretty much hit rock bottom".
"If they came to see us before they got anywhere near rock bottom, we could probably put them on to a plan so they wouldn't hit rock bottom."
The majority of its clients were beneficiaries and ''I don't believe non beneficiary people are seeking help, they are toughing it out''.
Family Focus Building Financial Capability services team leader Michelle Nahu said there had been a huge overhaul of the budgeting sector by the Government which had caused unrest as Ministry for Social Development contracts went from five to two in Rotorua.
''It was really a difficult time but in saying that there needed to be change.''
She had embraced the new programme which had a focus on three phase delivery which included education and mentoring programmes.
''It's a whole wrap around service, they walk out of here really independent and knowing how to mange their own finances.''
Its client base was a 50/50 spilt between beneficiaries and wage earners.
Now statistics were recorded by sessions with 313 clients attending 753 3-hour education programmes since November.
Salvation Army Rotorua Lieutenant Kylie Overbye said it had one budgeter that offered budgeting to people in its Transitional Housing programme as it did not have the funding or resources to extend the service.
In her view there were not enough budgeting services in the city.
"Personally I'd like to see more education around budgeting for up and coming generations.
''We are living in a culture that is very consumer driven and people are now accustomed to borrowing money, or tick something up to a credit card, enjoy the temporary relief of borrowed money, but when the reality of paying back money hits, it can be sobering."
Debt had a big affect on families and children, she said.
"Among the people we help, we see regularly that being under financial pressure leaves people quite stressed and this causes other issues for families like depression or parenting issues. When parents are consumed with debt it's all they think about and that can impact on some parenting."
"Kids may face issues like hunger, or peer pressure from not having things other kids have around them ... it's hard for them."
- Rotorua Budget Advisory Service
1247 Pukuatua St
Phone: 07-346 3236
- Family Focus Rotorua
1115 Pukaki St
Phone 07 346 2096