New banking hub for Martinborough

01 October 2019

Martinborough will be one of four locations to receive a banking hub as part of a new trial, announced by the Government yesterday. The banking hubs will provide basic transactional services like cash withdrawals, deposits and account transfers.

They will all have a multi-branded Smart ATM and online banking facility, along with a support person to provide guidance and assistance. The hubs will be trialled for a year in Martinborough, Opunake,Stoke and Twizel starting early 2020. The trial is being led by six banks – Kiwibank, BNZ, TSB, ANZ, ASB and Westpac – in collaboration with the Bankers’ Association and the Government.

South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier said this was great news for Martinborough and the wider South Wairarapa community. “The closure of the District’s last bank in Martinborough last year was a significant loss, especially to our elderly residents and businesses and those who live remotely. If you need to visit a bank, Masterton is a long way to travel if you live in Ngawi, so I welcome this announcement.”

Labour MP based in Wairarapa Kieran McAnulty agreed the initiative would be well received, saying he remembered all too well the public’s frustration when the last Martinborough bank closed its doors. “I linked arms with the community around the bank to send a clear message that South Wairarapa needs access to banking services.

“All of us in this region know that South Wairarapa is humming – that business is good – and so the decision to close didn’t make sense to us. I have met with the Finance Minister a number of times since and so today I thank him for listening to the community and working with the banks to find an innovative solution,” Mr McAnulty said.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the announcement is fantastic news for people in smaller towns who have been left feeling cut off as more banking moves online. “I hope this will provide a solution for both the banks and local communities where it may not be economical for individual banks to maintain a branch.”

Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones says this Government is committed to supporting the regions and the announcement is the first sign of hope for regional communities that have lost their face to face banking facilities. The participating banks have agreed not to close any branches outside of main centres while the trial is under way, however this excludes co-located Kiwibank/NZ Post premises.

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