Financial Service Providers - Hone Harawira

Thursday 25 September 2008, 6:37PM
By Hone Harawira

Kia ora, Madam Assistant Speaker. Kia ora ttou i te Whare.

On behalf of the Mori Party I am happy to take a short call on this “Let Us Nail Those Filthy Bloody Loan Sharks and Try To Stop Them From Ripping Off All The Poor People by Making Them Go Through Registration and Dispute Resolution Protocols Bill” today, because I see the level of poverty being exacerbated by some of these vultures preying on poor Mori communities right throughout the country and, in particular, in my own area.

I see these companies are charging upwards of 450 percent for finance. I see families that are so pushed to the wall that they are taking out these quick loans just to pay for kai and already, by the very next week, they are behind the eight ball.

I see the way that these companies come into my home town of Kaitia at Christmas time because they know of the massive pressure put on people to try to buy things for their families, and already those families do not have money.

I see people coming out of pokie parlours, busted for the week, and trying to get some money so that they can go home and make out like they still have their benefit.

I see these sorts of things happening and I am glad that somebody is at least trying to propose some kind of protocols to keep these guys in line. I am glad because poor people do not have the money—if they did, they would spend it on something else—to pay for lawyers to try to deal with some of these rip-off merchants that are preying on our communities.

I would like to see other things like being able to ensure that any time a loan shark company tried to come swinging through a town, it would have to ensure that there was sign-off from a budgeting service before a family was able to get access to that kind of money.

I would like to see those people being banned from decile one communities, because those are the places they prey on. I would like to see a whole range of things, including some of these buggers being strung up.
I would like to see them not getting on the front page of the Tonga Times in South Auckland. I would like to see them not taking up the centrespread in some of the community newspapers in some of the poorer South Auckland communities, where they are ripping people off.

I hope that some of them have gone to the wall over this financial crisis, and that the people who have loans out to them can just move a few houses down the road and get out of having to repay those loans.
If I speak with passion about this issue it is because if there is anything we can do in this country to help poor people get by, particularly at this time when money is so short and prices are rising so much and at such a rate, then the Mori Party, as members know, is a fan of it.

That includes taking GST off food—we are just so surprised that the rest of the House does not go along with that great idea—raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and ensuring that anyone on an income of less than $25,000 does not need to be stung with tax.