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Salvation Army launches ethical shopping van

Newshub logoNewshub 19/02/2019 Laura Tupou
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The Salvation Army is attempting to beat mobile traders at their own game.

Vans that visit poorer communities selling goods with inflated interest rates will now have to compete with a new van in town from Wednesday that aims to sell residents products they actually need. 

In communities such as Manurewa, protecting locals from financial predators is something to celebrate.

The Salvation Army is trying to bring down mobile truck lenders that sell people flashy goods they don't need at high interest rates they can't afford.

"We've had reports of 300, 400, 1000 percent interest, but the worst one I've seen personally is 800," Ronji Tanielu of Salvation Army told Newshub. 

"We're not selling Playstations, we're not selling Nike jackets or anything like that. We don't want to keep buying into the materialism.

"We're selling products that families need, like fridges, and loans for cars, and car repairs - stuff that is really useful."

Manurewa locals will be able to access affordable groceries and goods and interest-free and low-interest loans.

a van parked on the side of a road © Provided by Newshub The ethical van concept was developed by The Salvation Army and supported by the Ministry of Social Development and commercial partners.

And it's even backed by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi.

"Any alternative to the loan sharks or the truck shops is good," Minister Faafoi says.

Last year, the Government announced it would crack down on loan shark lenders.

Restrictions on trade including capped interest rates of 100 percent are expected to be introduced next year.

But people can get a much better deal already now there's a new van on the block.

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