A safe haven in the financial storms of life – Nga Tangata
Ngā Tangata Microfinance supports this
focus on the focus of the Money Week of the year; ask New Zealanders how they do that
will endure the financial storms of life, and how fast they are
If you have a low income, you control one
very tight budget, it does not cost much for calm waters
quickly turn into a raging storm.
Crises or emergencies
inevitable: the fridge no longer works, become children
sick and need a doctor, an unexpected repair for the car
arises. Once reserves and the support of family or friends
is exhausted, and without access to mainstream credit, the
only option is easily accessible, expensive finance companies, pay
day-lenders or mobile traders.
New Zealand is unusual in it
no limit on the costs of consumer credit and interest
rates and excessive costs can legally exceed 500%
annually. Although it seems useful or necessary with the
From the outset, such debts can capture families in a poverty cycle
that limits food for the children and the family
Not too different from being in a small boat
in a storm, in a sea full of sharks. But help is
Budgeting services offer tremendous support
to their clients who are under the burden of such debts:
providing a budget plan, negotiating with creditors
possible and advise ways in which a limited income can be
With loan capital provided by Kiwibank, and
cooperates with Budgeting Services, Ngā Tangata
Microfinance (NTM) offers no costs, no interest costs
eligible low-income families. These are in stark contrast
for those of usurers.
Robert Choy, Executive Officer
of NTM, says "In almost all cases our customers have taken over
high interest debt out of despair and because there are
no other options available for them. That's why we exist –
to provide a service that is safe, fair and affordable, and
show people that the debilitating stress is of great importance
debt does not have to be permanent. "
NTM welcomes the work that is currently under way
towards a safer consumer credit environment, led by the
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hon Kris Faafoi.
The revision of the credit regulations will draft a draft
recommendations by the end of this year.
It is hoped
the outcome of this, together with the work of Budgeting
Services and ethical lenders such as Ngā Tangata, will
create a necessary safe haven in Aotearoa for weathering
the financial storms of life.
Background information about Ngā Tangata Microfinance
Founded in 2010 with the vision to build a more just one
and a just society for low-income people
two loan products offered without interest or costs.
The first, NILS, is to help build family assets and
well-being or essential items or services. The second loan
product, DRLS, is for illumination of high interest debt, and
– Eligible conditions for all loans
applicants include a Community Services card or a low income
and the willingness and ability to repay the loan within 2
– Ngā Tangata appreciates the relationship that customers have
have a financial mentor. Financial information
in addition to our loans is encouraged.
– The tree
the setting up of NTM organizations is Child Poverty Action
Group, New Zealand Council or Christian Social Services, and
New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services.
loan capital is provided by Kiwibank. J R McKenzie Trust
provides financing for operational costs. Good Shepherd
Microfinance in Australia and Good Shepherd NZ has provided
advice, support and information.
– In 2013, Ngā Tangata
Microfinance Trust and Kiwibank were the biggest winners of the
NZI Sustainable Business
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