Rights and Responsibilities


In this unit students make and implement a small business plan for a service or a product, and explore the producer/consumer relationship. They apply number skills to auditing the budget and cashflow of a small business.

Achievement Objectives
NA4-1: Use a range of multiplicative strategies when operating on whole numbers.
NA4-2: Understand addition and subtraction of fractions, decimals, and integers.
NA4-3: Find fractions, decimals, and percentages of amounts expressed as whole numbers, simple fractions, and decimals.
NA4-5: Know the equivalent decimal and percentage forms for everyday fractions.
Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Identify a need and an opportunity.
  • Research and develop a small business plan.
  • Understand costs, including start up costs.
  • Understand profit, credit and cashflow.
  • Apply number skills to audit a business plan and cashflow.
  • Compare profit with returns and explain variance.
  • Understand how producers and consumers exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities.
Description of Mathematics

Students in New Zealand live in a market economy and in a global world. Each student’s family will be affected in some way by economic factors that have a significant impact on the lives of the each family member. It is important that young people are given the opportunity to understand these economic influences, and to develop the knowledge and skills that best equip them become financially independent as they make their own way ‘marketplace’ in the future.

Mathematics and Statistics in the New Zealand Curriculum are underpinned by an understanding that: “To be numerate is to have the ability and inclination to use mathematics effectively - at home, at work and in the community.” (Numeracy Project Resource material)

At this level, students are building on their level 3 problem-solving skills that require them to apply addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division strategies to whole numbers and to decimal amounts. Students need to be strong multiplicative thinkers to solve problems in a practical way, as they manage the finances of a small business enterprise, including maintaining a cash flow balance sheet, and calculating interest payments, expenses, unit prices, and profit.

Associated Achievement Objectives

Social Sciences
Social Studies

  • How producers and consumers exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities.
  • Understand how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges.

Learning activities
Whilst this unit is presented as sequence of five sessions, more sessions than this may be required. It is also expected that any session may extend beyond one teaching period.

Session 1

This session is about having students recognise a need and respond by developing an enterprise plan.


  • Identify a need.
  • Research and develop a small-business plan.

Activity 1

  1. Display information about a current humanitarian crisis. Discuss factual information that is available.
  2. On the class chart write two headings, Needs and Wants.
    Have students suggest and list the human needs in the crisis situation (food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care and supplies, information systems) and clearly differentiate these from wants. Agree that humanitarian aid responds to needs.
  3. Recognise the nature of the international response to the crisis, and agree that the class would like to raise funds to contribute to an international organisation aid fund. Research together and decide which organisation to support (for example: World Vision, Red Cross, Tear Fund) and the practical details of how donations can be made.

Activity 2

  1. Make chart paper and pens available.
    Allow time for student pairs to brainstorm possible fundraising events.
    Explain that the event should involve selling a product or service (as distinct from other worthy ideas such as organising a gold coin trail.)
  2. Have students share ideas in groups of 4 and together identify the most popular and practical idea.
  3. Have a spokesperson from each (group of four) outline the group idea to the class.
    Negotiate to achieve group enterprise ideas that have a point of difference.

Activity 3

  1. Have student groups discuss and make informal notes about an implementation plan for their enterprise.
  2. Make available to each student a copy of Attachment 1 (digital or hard copy).
    Allow time for the group to become familiar with the plan.
    Discuss these key ideas, where possible eliciting these understandings from the students:
    • Businesses, whether they are large or small, earn income by selling goods and services, but they also have costs.
    • The good/s or services that they sell will need to cover costs and make a profit that will be the donation to the Aid organisation.
    • It is important to research the costs well. Find the best deal for required materials. Costs can be reduced in this way and profits maximised.
    • The labour costs in this fund raising enterprise will not be included in the budget, because no one will be charging money for their time. This is voluntary. However, labour costs are a very real cost to businesses in the marketplace.
    • There are always opportunity costs involved. An opportunity cost is what is ‘foregone’, lost or given up, as the students undertake the fundraising event (for example: other curriculum learning, sports time, leisure time, lunch time).
      This is likely to affect the timing of their planned fundraising event.
    • It is important to keep a record of all cash flow: that is money out and money in.
  3. Allow time for each student in the group to complete, in collaboration with their team, pages 1 and 2 of Attachment 1 Business plan, including researching material costs.
  4. Have each student, partner with a student from another group. Have them critique and give feedback on each other’s plans, and adjust these in response to feedback.
  5. Have students return to their business group of four, share feedback and suggestions and all adjust plans accordingly.

Activity 4

  1. Conclude the session by reviewing the difference between needs and wants.
    Have student groups identify whether their business is meeting a need or a want.
  2. Ask, Does advertising target needs or wants? Discuss. (A basic human need is something required in order to survive. Advertising targets wants.)

Session 2

This session is about students exploring producer responsibilities and consumer rights, and applying these to their business plans.


  • Understand how producers and consumers should exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities.
  • Refine their business plans.

Activity 1

Begin by having each group briefly share their business plan with the class.

Activity 2

  1. Write NZ Consumer Institute on the class chart. Have students explain their knowledge of the organisation and its role. http://www.consumer.org.nz/
  2. Pose several scenarios such as:
    You buy an iPod that is faulty. It is still under warranty.
    Your family buys ‘fresh’ vegetables at the market, but finds several items in the bags are rotten.
    You buy a pair of shoes but find the sole and upper come apart the first time you wear them.
    You take your bike into the bike shop to have the gears fixed. When you get the bike back they still don’t work properly.

    Have students suggest what they should do in each case.
  3. Ask students to research "Consumer rights" in pairs. Some web pages which may be particularly useful include:
  4. Ask students to identify which parts of the law protect them as consumers. Discuss.

Activity 3

Have the student business groups consider which consumer rights legislation they must consider, before they action their business plan. (For example: make sure any advertising they do correctly reflects their product or service, ensure that their goods or service are of an acceptable quality, set a reasonable price, are of an acceptable standard in appearance and finish).

Activity 4

Have students consider page 3 of their business plan (Contingencies and Advertising):
Pose these scenarios for students to consider and record responses.

  • Will a cash float be needed? If so, how will this be obtained and repaid?
  • Will the business allow credit? (Some customers haven’t got money and promise to bring it tomorrow). How will this be handled?
  • Will receipts be given? For example for payment for services.
  • What if sales are slow? Will there be incentives offered? For example, Buy two and get one free.
  • What if goods are left over? What will happen to these?

Have students brainstorm and record any other challenges that might arise, and how these will be responded to.

Activity 5

  1. Students should begin to action their plan, by writing letters to the Principal/BOT seeking permission, and submitting this with their business plan.
  2. (Assume permission). Have business groups consider advertising/promotion, as a class, or as individual businesses. Allow time for students to develop their advertising plan.

Session 3

This session is about understanding loans, interest, considering cash flow recording and the practical implementation of the business plan.


  • Apply number skills to audit another’s business plan.
  • Understand small business start up costs.

Activity 1

Have student groups discuss and share progress to date.

Activity 2

  1. Make a copy of Attachment 2 available to student pairs.
    Allow time for them to work through the plan and critique it. Have them list suggestions they might make to Amiria and her team.
  2. Make a copy of the first page only of Attachment 3 to student pairs.
    Have them check Amiria’s Cash Flow, identify errors and correct it.
  3. Allow time for student pairs to share their responses to Amiria’s Business Plan and Amiria’s Cash Flow with the other student pair from their group.
    Make the second page of Attachment 3 available if necessary.
  4. Allow time for each group to make any adjustments to their business plan including identify whether they will need a small start up loan in order to buy materials required for their small business. See also:
  5. Have students understand that each team member is required to complete their own copy of the business plan and cash flow sheet. These will be required in Session 5.

Activity 3

  1. As a class, discuss important key understandings:
    • Businesses usually have start up costs (money is spent before money is earned).
    • Loans for start up costs should be formally sought and arranged.
    • Make a loan agreement in writing.
    • Loans need to be paid back, usually (but not always) with interest.
    • Interest rates vary. These usually relate to the length of time for which the money is borrowed.
  2. Have students complete their business loan details if appropriate.

Activity 4

Allow time for students to discuss and carry out their action plan (once permission has been granted).

Activity 5

Discuss whether local media will be contacted and invited to report on the fundraising event, in order to promote public awareness of the cause.

Session 4

This session is about students implementing their business plan including managing and documenting cash flow.
Remind students that each team member is required to complete their own copy of the business plan and cash flow sheet.


  • Apply mathematics and entrepreneurship skills in a practical context.

Session 5

This session is about evaluating business ‘success’.


  • Compare expected profit with actual returns and explain any variance.
  • Critically review a small business plan.
  • Audit another’s business plan and cash flow sheet.
  • Reflect on learning.

Activity 1

Allow time for each small business group to review their enterprise.
Team members should together:

  • Audit their accounting (check their cash flow record).
  • Ensure that start up loans have been repaid (or are ready be repaid).
  • Compare their total expected profit with actual returns and explain any variance.
  • Identify any issues related to consumer rights and producer responsibilities.
  • Each record, using a PMI format (Plus/Minus/Interesting), their review of their small enterprise.

Activity 2

Have students form pairs with a member of another team. Each partner should:

  • Read the other’s business plan.
  • Audit their partner’s accounting (check their cash flow record).
  • Discuss any consumer ‘issues’ and their solution.
  • Report their PMI findings.

Activity 3

Allow time for each student to write their own report on the business enterprise they were part of, including making recommendations for a future enterprise.

Activity 4

Have students write letters of thanks for start up funds and prepare a brief report to the Board of Trustees.

Activity 5

Calculate the total funds that have been raised for the Aid Organisation, and arrange how these will be transferred.

Activity 6

Review and list together key financial literacy understandings developed in implementing their small business plans.
List the key learning about students’ rights as consumers.

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Level Four