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Kotahitanga, Community partnerships – working with our partners and stakeholders

25 March 2019.

Support for ethical alternative to shopping trucks


From left, Melvin Fincham, Territorial Secretary for Programme, The Salvation Army, Mark Goldsmith, MSD Regional Commissioner, Auckland, Angela Mentis, Managing Director and CEO, Bank of New Zealand, Ged Taylor, General Manager Commercial Noel Leeming, The Warehouse Group, John McCarthy, Manager, The Tindall Foundation, Kiri Hannifin, General Manager Corporate Affairs Quality, Safety and Sustainability, Countdown.

We are pleased to help fund the Salvation Army’s Good Shop pilot project which offers an ethical alternative to predatory shopping trucks in vulnerable communities.

Shopping trucks are a common sight in low socio-economic communities across New Zealand. These trucks offer various products (such as electrical goods, whiteware, household items and food) to people at inflated prices and high interest rates. This contributes to a cycle of unsustainable debt for individuals, families and communities.

The poor, mentally ill, homeless, elderly, and people who can’t access transport are all particularly susceptible to shopping trucks.

With financial backing from our Building Financial Capability (BFC) Fund, the Salvation Army has teamed up with The Warehouse Group, BNZ Bank, the Tindall Foundation, the Nikau Foundation and Countdown supermarket for the Good Shop pilot.

The first Good Shop van arrived in South Auckland on 19 February and there are plans for another van for Porirua from June.

Good Shop trucks provide ethical options for buying practical household items and groceries at fair retail prices. People buying from the Good Shop will also be offered free financial advice.

MSD’s Manager of Family and Community Services Gordon McKenzie says MSD’s BFC team shares the Salvation Army’s concern about predatory behaviour by shopping trucks and The Good Shop pilot is a timely initiative.

“Last year the Government announced its intention to tackle irresponsible and predatory lending practices like mobile truck shops in vulnerable areas. The Good Shop initiative comes at a good time, with consumer credit laws being reviewed to ensure consumers are protected from irresponsible lending practices and high-cost loans in the future,” he says.

Agencies unite to help provide ‘safe credit’ options


We know high levels of debt can create hardship for individuals and families, with problem debt sometimes leading to ‘debt spirals’, insolvency, bankruptcy, stress and/or mental health problems.

Ensuring people have access to safe credit options is particularly pressing due to upcoming changes to consumer credit regulation laws. These changes are aiming to reduce predatory and irresponsible lending, but may result in further limiting credit options for low income New Zealanders.

Alongside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Te Puni Kōkiri we are engaging with NGOs, the banking sector and finance and community groups to look at ways we might collectively provide financial solutions and services that are accessible and affordable for vulnerable consumers.

In early February the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi opened the first of a series of Access to Safe Credit workshops. He thanked the 50-strong group at the first session for uniting to seek ways to increase safe credit options for low income and vulnerable New Zealanders.

MSD’s Building Financial Capability Team Leader Tania Moody says the Access to Safe Credit coalition is a group of concerned people who want to make a difference for vulnerable New Zealanders.

“This collaboration is more than a cross-agency government initiative. It brings together broad expertise and resources from across the financial services industry, the community sector and government, in a creative environment where we can work on ways to increase financial wellbeing and inclusion.”

It is expected the group will complete an ‘Access to Safe Credit’ strategy by late April 2019.

Celebrating diversity in the Hawke’s Bay


MSD Disability Advisor Rihi Kempster tells the story about the artwork.

The Hawke's Bay community recently came together to celebrate human diversity, gifts and talents under the umbrella of living with a disability or health condition.

The event was 12 months in the making with MSD’s East Coast team joining up with members of the Napier Disability Advisory group to make it happen.

Around 35 exhibitors took to Anderson Park in Napier for the celebration on the International Day of Disabilities in December. The raindrops didn't dampen people’s enthusiasm.

There were many supporters but special shout-outs go to Napier City Council, Greenmeadows Rotary and the Rapid Relief Team who provided funding and sponsorship.

A piece of artwork was commissioned especially for the event, says Rihi Kempster, Disability Advisor for MSD. "The development of the art grew from a tiny seed of an idea at one of our Napier Disability Advisory group meetings. The work was created by some fabulous local art enthusiasts and is an example of what collective diverse talents can produce.”

A poem on the artwork was written by Trudy Eldred and recited by her on the day. An extract from her poem reads: "Only if people would let me be me, how wonderful this would truly be. Tasks and activities could take me longer, but being disabled has only made me stronger."

Other acts included Rezpect Dance Academy who inspire young people through creative dance, the HBITF Tae Kwon Do Club which won 43 medals at the World Champs in 2018 and 19 year old blind pianist Jesse Hutchison who performed works composed by Beethoven.

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