The attempt to solve common problems by combined action is at the root of all co-operatives, but empowerment, shared ownership, and democratic control are also key concepts of co-operative ideology.
In New Zealand, co-operatives employ 43,000 people directly, and employment by the farms and shops that are co-op Members is well into six figures.
Together, co-ops are responsible for 3 percent of GDP. For the year 2010–11, the 40 largest co-operatives and mutuals in New Zealand had a collective turnover/revenue of more than $39 billion, and represented just under 10 per cent of the Deloitte/Management magazine list of New Zealand’s 200 largest businesses.
Collectively the mutual banking sector, including mutual banks, building societies and credit unions, represent more than $600 million in revenue per year with a number of these organisations among Co-operative Business New Zealand’s “Top 40” co-operative and mutual businesses (by revenue) and Co-op Money NZ is ranked at number 30.
Approximately 190,000 New Zealanders are already customers of a co-operatively owned credit union or building society.
Co-operative Business New Zealand (www.nz.co-op
) is the industry body whose mission is “bringing together the country’s co-operative and mutual businesses to promote, encourage and support the co-operative and mutual business model, and act as the advocate for those engaged in co-operatives and mutuals.”
> What are credit unions and building societies
> Co-operative History
> Operating Principles
> New Zealand Credit Union Foundation
> 6 Reasons to Join – Switching is Easy!