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$4.2 million boost to benefit more low income earners

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister for Social Development
12 October 2016
Media Statement

$4.2 million Community Finance boost to benefit more low income earners

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says more low income families will be able to access low and no-interest loans, as the Community Finance partnership is rolled out to additional areas across the country.

“The government, the private sector and NGOs have been working together on this initiative, and I’m delighted that more families will be able to access the scheme,” says Mrs Tolley.

“This allows low income earners to steer clear of loan sharks and to avoid finance options with hidden fees and high interest loans which can result in crippling debt.

“Families can apply for the low and no-interest loans to purchase essential home appliances and items to support employment and education such as cars, car repairs and computers. Budgeting advice is also an important part of the service.”

Budget 2016 invested $4.2 million in operating funding over four years to widen the reach of the scheme, which has already been trialled in Waitakere and Manukau in a partnership between government, BNZ, Good Shepherd NZ and the Salvation Army.

Community Finance has now been extended to Whangarei, Mt Wellington in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Palmerston North and Invercargill. Over the next few months it is scheduled to be rolled out in Napier, Hastings, Tauranga, Rotorua, Dunedin and Hamilton.

Good Shepherd and the Salvation Army work with families in the community to give advice and help them access the loans and provide ongoing support, while the BNZ has committed $60 million in lending to the project.

“I want to thank Good Shepherd, the Salvation Army and BNZ for stepping up to partner with MSD in this initiative and I know it will make a difference for many families across the country,” says Mrs Tolley.

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