BNZ is our key partner in Community Finance, which provides NILS no interest and StepUP low interest loans to people on limited incomes. BNZ has committed $60 million of loan capital to help New Zealanders on limited incomes improve their quality of life. Loans are provided on a not-for-profit basis. In 2015, BNZ won the Institutional Banking Innovation Award for its role in Community Finance. In the same year, BNZ in partnership with Good Shepherd New Zealand were shortlisted for an innovation award from the NZ Sustainable Business Network.
The New Zealand Government is a key supporter of Community Finance, which includes Good Shepherd NZ’s NILS and StepUP microfinance programmes. The Ministry of Social Development contributes towards the operating costs of Good Shepherd NZ and our NGO community partners in delivering the initiative (but does not provide lending capital or guarantees), to support people on limited incomes to access affordable loans.
The Salvation Army is our largest Community Finance provider, delivering Good Shepherd’s NILS and StepUP loans to families on limited incomes. The Salvation Army works directly with loan applicants to help them get a loan when appropriate, and supports them through financial conversations or by referring them on to other useful social services. This relationship with borrowers continues throughout the life of the loan, with the Salvation Army and BNZ monitoring repayments and providing ongoing support.
Aviva is a family violence service provider in Christchurch. Good Shepherd NZ has worked with Aviva to develop and customise NILS loans to best meet the needs of the women, children and men they support. Aviva offers StepUP low interest loans from its location at The Loft in Christchurch East. Good Shepherd NZ has also supported Aviva to deliver its Specialist Peer Support and Pathways to Employment programme, to employ and train people who have overcome violence to walk with those who are working on building violence-free futures.
Good Shepherd NZ supports Turning the Curve, an initiative of the ChangeMakers Resettlement Forum, which supports women from refugee backgrounds to obtain their full driver’s licence. The programme supports women to learn to drive with the support of other local women who mentor them after their initial driving lessons with a certified instructor. Good Shepherd NZ provides operational funding and support for the administration and development of the programme. In 2016 Changemakers won a Transport Implementation and Practice Award from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in New Zealand Incorporated.
Presbyterian Support Otago works for a fair, just and caring community. They care for Otago’s older people, support families in need and deliver programmes for young adults and children. The Family Works service includes social work, foodbank, emergency response, financial mentoring, parenting support, youth development and community development programmes. Family Works is now working with Good Shepherd NZ to provide NILS no interest and StepUP low interest loans, and meet the need for fair and affordable credit in the community.