Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


BNZ And Good Shepherd NZ Provide $5 Million For Families Struggling Due To COVID-19

BNZ and Good Shepherd NZ announced today they will be extending their Community Finance programme, allowing $5 million of no interest loans to be used by families financially impacted by COVID-19.

BNZ CEO Angie Mentis, says, “There are families out there struggling and we want to take some of the pressure off. If you need just a bit more help to get through, we’re here for you.

“We are extending the No Interest Loan Scheme to help vulnerable people and families financially impacted by COVID-19.

“Making $5 million of lending available to help pay rent or utility bills will give individuals and families some breathing room during this uncertain time and help them avoid the perils of resorting to using loan sharks and predatory lenders,” says Mentis.

Mentis decried predatory lenders who are seeking to profit from people’s desperation: “These unscrupulous lenders target our most vulnerable people and at-risk communities. We are determined to do what we can to disrupt them and help people get through the COVID-19 lockdown,” she says.

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides loans of up to $1500 and was previously only for essential goods and services such as furniture, whiteware and items needed for school and education.

From today it can now also be used as relief for people and families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, providing a no-interest loan to pay outstanding bills like rent and utilities, or to refinance or consolidate existing high-cost debt.

With Community Finance, the focus is also on building longer term financial wellbeing.

Good Shepherd NZ Chief Executive, Fleur Howard, says, “While the extra funds will help relieve the most immediate needs of those who are facing an uncertain outlook, another really important part of Community Finance is the in-depth financial conversations people can have with our loan workers.

“Our loan workers can support people who are currently struggling to access all the assistance available to them as a result of COVID-19, including a range of hardship options, and help them develop a longer-term plan.

“Even if you don’t need a loan, our loan workers have lots of experience with supporting people when money is tight. People should come and talk to us before they resort to a high cost lender,” says Good Shepherd NZ Chief Executive, Fleur Howard.

“One person who has lost their job and didn’t have money to get home has already benefitted from the extended no interest loan offering.

“Our loan is helping them buy food and pay their rent until the jobseeker support from the government kicks in. This is a person who would have been a great target for a predatory lender,” says Howard.

BNZ, Good Shepherd NZ, and the community provider partners have been delivering Community Finance for more than five years, lending over $6.3 million to more than 2,300 families, saving more than $3.3 million worth of interest and fees going to high-cost lenders. $5 million of lending is being ringfenced to support this new initiative, and BNZ is also providing its own staff and resources to support Good Shepherd NZ to process the loans as quickly as possible.

About Good Shepherd NZ

Good Shepherd NZ is a charitable non-government organisation established to support people

experiencing disadvantage. Building financial wellbeing, capability and resilience is a key part of the

organisation’s work.

Good Shepherd NZ is part of a global network spanning more than 70 countries. Good Shepherd

International has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United

Nations for its work with women and girls.

About Community Finance

Community Finance is the name given to the partnership between BNZ and Good Shepherd NZ,

supported by the Ministry of Social Development, to provide NILS no interest and StepUP low

interest loans to New Zealanders living on limited incomes. These loans are a form of microfinance,

meeting the needs of people who are financially excluded from mainstream financial services.

Community Finance provides a pathway to fair and affordable borrowing, as an alternative to high-interest,

high-cost loans, through Good Shepherd NZ and community provider partners The Salvation Army, Aviva,

Vaka Tautua and Presbyterian Support Otago.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Motor Industry Association: 2020 New Vehicle Registrations Suffer From Covid-19

Chief Executive David Crawford says that like some other sectors of the New Zealand economy, the new vehicle sector suffered from a case of Covid-19. Confirmed figures for December 2020 show registrations of 8,383 were 25% ... More>>

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>


OECD: Area Employment Rate Rose By 1.9 Percentage Points In The Third Quarter Of 2020

OECD area employment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, but remained 2.5 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level The OECD area [1] employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose ... More>>

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>

NIWA: 2020 - NZ’s 7th-warmest Year On Record

The nationwide average temperature for 2020, calculated using stations in NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which began in 1909, was 13.24°C (0.63°C above the 1981–2010 annual average). New Zealand’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when... More>>

Quotable Value New Zealand: Property Market Set To Cool From Sizzling To Warm In 2021

Nostradamus himself could not have predicted the strange series of events that befell our world in 2020 – nor the wild trajectory of New Zealand’s property market, which has gone from “doom and gloom” to “boom and Zoom” in record time. Even ... More>>