Home' The Wellingtonian : August 25th 2011 Contents 18 THE WELLINGTONIAN, AUGUST 25, 2011
Proud supporters of
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2011 National Competition
Fraser Park $5 entry
Under 15 years free
Sunday 4th September
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Saturday 24th September
Counties Manukau Stingrays
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By JARED NICOLL
Goodbye to high interest
War has been declared on high-interest
money-lenders in a new microcredit loan
scheme, to be based in Newtown.
The scheme will rely on borrowers
paying back cash before others can
access the emergency funds.
A steering group headed by Newtown
community worker Anna Costley
intends to offer interest-free loans of up
to $1000 to people in financial hardship.
The group is aiming to raise about
$5000 from investors to provide funding
for the loans by early next year.
If all the money has been lent, emerg-
ency borrowers will need to pay back
their loans to the scheme s base fund so
the cash can be credited to someone else.
People who invest in the scheme will
be doing so for philanthropic reasons --
there is no financial gain to investors
from interest-free lending.
Ms Costley said the group wanted to
make money available to people with
immediate financial needs, such as to
pay power or medical bills.
We would have stricter criteria than
the existing finance companies, Ms
We would take only clients recom-
mended to us by budget services
Budget service officers are trained by
the New Zealand Federation of Family
Budgeting Services to educate people
about how to manage their finances.
This wouldn t be the kind of lender
where people can just walk in off the
street and walk straight out with cash,
Ms Costley said.
Plans for the interest-free loan
scheme were based on dozens of other
successful New Zealand models.
The Tauranga Ray of Hope Trust
offers people no-interest loans and it s
been very successful. Only 3 per cent of
borrowers have defaulted on their loans.
It works because they work very
closely with the clients to help them get
out of debt.
Steering group member and Debt-
Free Newtown campaign spokesman
Mark Barnard said the scheme would be
a community asset and could combat
Wellington s high-interest loan
We really hope to create another
option for people, an alternative to the
high-interest companies, he said.
We won t be able to issue thousands
of loans, but it will be a start.
Debt-Free Newtown s recent C mon
Stacey, let s tackle debt! campaign tried
to persuade former rugby league star
Stacey Jones to end his endorsement of
high-interest lending company Instant
Finance, and got people talking about
debt in their communities, he said.
The reality is high-interest lenders
exploit significant needs of people who
have challenging circumstances.
That same group that s borrowing
often doesn t have a high level of
financial education, so you ve got high
needs but low levels of financial liter-
acy, Mr Barnard said.
Debt owed to finance companies rose
nationally from $43 million to $63
million from June 2009 to June 2010.
reward for obeying rulesWell-behaved:
Tom Cole, 10,
Ojala, 10, who
are part of the
Being good has become second
nature to some pupils at New-
town School, thanks to a govern-
ment programme aimed at man-
aging disruptive behaviour.
They have earned second
prize in Positive Behaviour for
Their reward is an activities
day, and they get to choose the
activities -- sewing, skipping,
cooking and mini-golf, said
Neve Tassicker, 5.
It makes us feel happy
because we ve achieved some-
thing, says fellow pupil Davin
The pilot scheme, which has
been running since last year,
aims to improve student behav-
iour and achievement by reduc-
ing suspensions and increasing
learning time, leading to
improved literacy and
One strategy being tried was
making school rules simple and
easy to remember, said deputy
principal Sheree Garton.
Pupils aren t going to remem-
ber a whole list of rules, she
We have main rules that are
shown around the school so
students will remember.
These include be safe, be
respectful, be positive, be a
She said teachers gave
caught-being-good cards to
pupils who had reinforced school
rules or recorded an achieve-
The cards are stored in a con-
tainer shaped like a kahikatea
tree. It has three levels and as
each is filled with reward cards
the students as a group achieve
the next prize.
The first prize was a movie
day, the second is the upcoming
activities day, and the third will
be a trip to H2O Xtream swim-
ming pool in Upper Hutt.
The school has a student coun-
cil that meets once a week to
Crowding at drinking fount-
ains and rubbish in stairways
have been addressed by putting
At the drinking fountain we
count to 10 [to limit time spent],
We keep left in corridors and
walk, not run, said Davin.
Some pupils reinforce school
rules by telling others they are
doing something wrong.
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