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Which way will MP Sam Lotu-Iiga jump?

Which way will MP Sam Lotu-Iiga jump?

Tonight in parliament MP Sam Lotu-Iiga will decide whether he is a Pacific Island MP supporting the Pacific Island community or a neo-liberal MP opposed to the regulation of loan sharks.

If he supports the Pacific Island community Sam will vote in favour of Carol Beaumont's private members bill which seeks to begin putting some regulations in place to control loan sharking which has exploded in low income areas of New Zealand in the past decade and which target Pacific Island families in particular.

An August 2007 report to the Labour government on loan sharks in the Pacific community said -

"the realities for many are that they and their families are struggling to survive, not only physically but also mentally, emotionally, culturally and spiritually

and pointed out the hugely damaging effects of loan sharks targeting Pacific people.

The report went o to say -

"the confusion and stress caused by hidden high costs and exploitative credit contracts exacerbates their already vulnerable positioning with negative and dire consequences in many cases".

However if Sam is a neo-liberal MP more interested in opposing regulation he will vote against the bill and condemn Pacific families to continue struggling against loan sharks.

Last year GPJA wrote to Sam as Deputy Chair of the Commerce Select Committee on this issue but he simply passed the letter on to ACT Deputy leader and Minister of Commerce Heather Roy.

There will be no hiding tonight. It's a simple choice between supporting Pacific people or neo-liberalism.

Which way will Sam jump? (We are not taking bets)


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