BNZ is our key partner in Community Finance, which provides no interest and low interest Good Loans to people on limited incomes, including debt solution loans as part of the DEBTsolve programme. BNZ has committed $60 million of loan capital to help New Zealanders on limited incomes improve their quality of life. Good 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 NZ were shortlisted for an innovation award from the NZ Sustainable Business Network.
The New Zealand Government is a key supporter of Community Finance, which provides no and low interest Good Loans, and the DEBTsolve programme. 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.
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.
We’re working with Suncorp on ways to support customers in vulnerable circumstances, and improve financial resilience for New Zealanders. Through Suncorp’s ‘Vero’ brand, we are trialling Drive car insurance, an affordable and accessible product designed to reach New Zealanders who have traditionally been excluded from the car insurance market. Good Shepherd NZ has contributed to Suncorp’s customer vulnerability framework and training programme to support customers in vulnerable circumstances. We are continually looking to better understand more about why people might not take out insurance and identify opportunities to improve financial security and resilience for New Zealanders.
Good Shepherd NZ has developed a Healthy Relationships Toolkit in partnership with Dr Ayesha Scott from AUT, with support from AUT Health Futures. AUT Health Futures is a bold approach to tackling significant societal problems facing Aotearoa New Zealand. AUT contributes to its communities through research and education. AUT wants to increase this contribution and co-design solutions that extend beyond traditional research and partnership boundaries.