Over the last two years, Kiwibank has supported Nga Tangata Microfinance Trust, the first formal microfinance initiative in New Zealand, which provides small, safe and fair loans to households in South Auckland.
It is a partnership of Child Poverty Action Group, NZ Federation of Family Budgeting Services, and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services.
Kiwibank provides Nga Tangata with the capital to make small, safe and fair loans (of $2000 to $3000) to households in South Auckland. Loans are directed to responsible, asset-building purposes such as education, family well-being, and essential home goods. Kiwibank also provided essential business support and advice to set up the programme, and is currently the only bank in New Zealand supporting microfinance initiatives.
Recipients of loans have been able to repair vehicles needed to get to work or transport family, to secure accommodation, and to reduce interest costs. Those assisted also received support to increase their own financial literacy and manage their spending. Now into its third year, Nga Tangata is extending its services to the Waikato region.
Kiwibank and Nga Tangata Microfinance Trust won the 2013 NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable NZ Award (supreme award) and the Community Innovation category at the 2013 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards.