Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


A socially caring economic model to follow

Nga Tangata Microfinance: A socially caring economic model to follow

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) says that successful ethical lending schemes such as Nga Tangata Microfinance (NTM) that are designed to empower families in hardship and reduce the effect of debt, should be a model for adoption nationwide.

A new report by NTM shows the not-for-profit organisation’s success in helping hundreds of financially vulnerable people to escape from the punishing and stressful cycle of high interest debt.

With loan capital from Kiwibank, and operations funding from J.R. McKenzie Trust, NTM provides no-interest loans to qualifying clients for family well-being and relief from high interest debt. The report shows that three-quarters of those who have received the help of NTM, and who participated in the survey, have dependent children in their care.

Dr. Claire Dale, CPAG researcher, says families borrowing from loan sharks who charge excessive interest rates are often forced into an unmanageable and endless cycle of debt.

"Fringe lenders have become commonplace in Aotearoa-New Zealand, advertising their services as a quick and simple way to obtain things needed, when other sources of finance aren’t available," says Dr Dale.

"It is a tempting option for families with children whose need is urgent, and incomes are totally inadequate. But they are forced into even greater poverty through the debt trap.

"There is an insidious and predatory side to fringe lenders and also mobile traders, who profit from charging high fees, high rates of interest and inflated prices to vulnerable people."

Robert Choy, Executive Officer of Nga Tangata Microfinance, says pay-day lenders often charge at least 1.2% per day or 438% annually. Third-tier finance companies provide loans with interest rates ranging from 20-40%, but the default interest rate can be up to 10% above that, with extra penalty charges.

The NTM report shows that its zero-interest loans provided to qualifying borrowers have significantly improved their well-being, reduced stress and given them peace of mind.

It is estimated the loans have saved recipients collectively, over a million dollars in interest and other charges.

CPAG applauds the continued efforts by Nga Tangata Microfinance, hopes the growth and development of NTM over the years will spell the end of loan shark operators, and increase in this type of support for low-income families across the nation.

"Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and this can be achieved when communities have access to the support that reflects, not exploits, their needs," says Dr Dale.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages