Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Foss and Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga welcomed the launch of the 2014 Talanoa campaign. Talanoa-encourages Pacific communities to ask for help and seek redress when they have problems with loans.
“One of the main aims of the campaign is to help Pacific communities to be more proactive when lodging complaints if things go wrong when borrowing money,” says Mr Foss.
“Pacific communities are often targeted by third-tier lenders, particularly for motor vehicle and personal loans. Some of these loans come with high interest rates and onerous repayment schedules. It is important that families know where to go for support and assistance,” says Mr Foss.
“During the recession, many Pacific families fell on hard times and borrowed money as a last resort,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.
“There are families in my own electorate who are burdened with loans they are incapable of repaying. Some of these loans should never have been granted. It’s important that people know that advice is available if they are struggling with a debt crisis,” says Mr Lotu-liga.
Pacific community leader Laauli Michael Jones is taking part in the campaign this year, encouraging people to reach out for help when they need it. Talanoa tells the stories of real Pacific families who have learned to manage their finances and have worked their way out of debt.
“The Government will not tolerate loan sharks in our communities. The Credit Contracts and Financial Services Law Reform Bill is progressing through parliament. It will strengthen protections for borrowers and make wide-ranging changes to our consumer credit and repossession laws. We’re committed to promoting responsible lenders and informed consumers,” says Mr Foss.
The campaign has been launched in South Auckland and Porirua communities and will run until mid-April.
For further information visit www.loanstress.govt.nz
Minister Foss: Rachael Kerr 021826189
Minister Lotu-liga: Cat Corser 021 684 380