As BNZ’s Head of Customer Care, Frances Ronowicz gets to see the positive effects BNZ’s partnerships with organisations like Good Shepherd NZ are having on people’s lives.
The thing that struck me about Hayley Tinning, Financial Wellbeing Coach at Good Shepherd NZ, is that her work is literally changing people’s lives by helping them find a way to a debt-free future. As she says, “You see people transform from feeling quite down and helpless, to building financial capability and going off on their own.
Hayley plays an active role at Good Shepherd NZ, a not-for-profit organisation that supports long-term financial wellbeing. “I worked at BNZ for six years before joining Good Shepherd NZ’s Good Loans team.” Good Loans are fair, affordable, not-for-profit loans to help people with things like fixing a car to get to work, or paying for unexpected medical or dental expenses.
Now Hayley, alongside other committed kaimahi (workers), is opening up conversations around money – one family at a time. “It’s taboo in New Zealand culture to talk about our finances and this is negatively affecting our relationships with money, and each other.”
Through its DEBTsolve programme, the team at Good Shepherd NZ works closely with individuals and families to create optimistic long-term plans. To do that, they first need to build trust. As Hayley explains, “It’s important as they’re talking about something they’ve been avoiding for a really long time.”
With that trust established, people can open up and share their financial situation. It also gives team members like Hayley the ability to negotiate with creditors, create financial plans of action, seek extra support, or work with partners like BNZ. As Hayley says, “We can’t do everything, but we can find the people that can.”
For me, it’s rewarding to know we can help. We know there are communities in Aotearoa that mainstream services simply can’t support. So partnering with organisations like Good Shepherd NZ ensures we’re doing our bit to help guide them towards financial wellbeing.
As Hayley says, “You’ve got your mainstream lending and people who aren’t able to get loans through that pathway. BNZ didn’t say ‘No, sorry can’t help you’. They recognise it’s not responsible to give everyone loans and are working with other organisations to provide fair and affordable alternatives. BNZ have found ways to provide an alternative to the impact of high-interest and unmanageable debt.”
This forms part of our mission to disrupt predatory lending in our partnerships with Good Shepherd NZ, Habitat for Humanity, and Paysauce.
I think it’s fair to say the work that Hayley and her team are doing within these communities will have intergenerational impacts. Equipping even one family member with some financial know-how means they can potentially do the same for the rest of their whānau. And that can only be a good thing.
To find out more about our Good Loans programme with Good Shepherd NZ, visit their website.
Any views expressed in this article are the personal views of Frances Ronowicz and do not necessarily represent the views of BNZ, or its related entities. This article is solely for information purposes and is not intended to be financial advice. If you need help, please contact BNZ or your financial adviser. Neither BNZ nor any person involved in this article accepts any liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance on, all or any part of the content. References to third party websites are provided for your convenience only. BNZ accepts no responsibility for the availability or content of such websites.