Welcome Vaka Tautua – our new NILS and StepUP partner

April 13, 2018

Image: Left to Right: Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, Minister of Social Development; Diana Crossan, Good Shepherd NZ Chair; Vui Mark Gosche, Vaka Tautua Chief Executive; Paul Carter, BNZ Head of Retail Banking and Marketing; Hon. Aupito William Sio, Minister of Pacific Peoples

The Community Finance partnership is proud to welcome today the Pacific Peoples community organisation Vaka Tautua as a provider of its low and no interest loans programme.

Vaka Tautua Chief Executive Vui Mark Gosche says, “Pacific families are captive to the worst loan providers in New Zealand and have been paying outrageous levels of interest because of their inability to access normal lending rates.”

A key finding of Ministry of Social Development research into the impact of the financial conversations which are an integral part of Community Finance was that participants’ said their financial management improved over time helping them become more independent and successful.

Paul Carter says, “BNZ’s mission is to enable a high achieving New Zealand so we are particularly proud that the research found that a significant proportion of Community Finance clients reported an increase in their employability.

“Many clients use their loans for second-hand cars or car repairs and this improved access to transport has benefits for their employment situations such as being able to look at a wider range of opportunities, in a broader geographic area or with working hours outside those covered by public transport,” Paul Carter says.

Community Finance estimates that the $2 million of lending to date has saved clients more than $1.1 million in interest and charges when compared to borrowing the same amount through high-cost lenders.

“Over two-thirds of participants in the MSD research said the financial conversation meant they were spending less on things they did not need and around half said they understood their finances better and were paying off debt faster or saving more money,” Diana Crossan says.

For the past four years Vaka Tautua staff have been providing financial capability programmes to hundreds of Pacific families, Vui Mark Gosche says.

“Many Pacific workers work in precarious employment with irregular hours and need a reliable vehicle. Being able to borrow at an affordable rate will benefit them financially and enable them to continue to work,” he says.

“Unaffordable housing and high levels of debt are common amongst the families we work with. Providing affordable loans will help families lift themselves out of poverty and improve the lives of their children,” Vui Mark Gosche says.