Mortgage Hub and MPP partner to help aiga tackle home ownership barriers

By MPP NZ 13 May 2023, 12:00PM

One thing beats the feeling of winning a test match for former All Black Mils Muliaina. And that is guiding his people through the daunting challenges they face on the pathway to home ownership. 

It is a feeling he knows too well, having set up his own mortgage advisory business in 2019 with good mate Vinnie McClafferty. 

They are the proud directors of The Mortgage Hub, based in the west Auckland suburb of Avondale. 

Their team of five includes Programme Lead Marie Holo, Relationship Manager Raj Chand and Marketing and Operations Manager Joanne Muliaina. 

The Mortgage Hub partnered with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) to deliver a programme that increases the financial capability of Pacific families and individuals to own their own homes. 

The launch of MPP’s Pacific Financial Capability Programme in February 2021 was a first step towards strengthening the financial management knowledge and skills of Pacific families and communities, while supporting them to save for a home. 

So far, The Mortgage Hub has supported 148 Pacific people on the road to home ownership. 

Mils and Vinnie were good friends at high school in 1998 before they joined forces to start up their thriving business. 

Vinnie did an OE and worked in banking, before returning to Aotearoa and managing several bank branches in Auckland. 

Mils says despite his widely known career in professional rugby, he had no idea about the many trials and tribulations that came with buying a house. 

“My parents rented all their lives, and we lived in state housing,” Mils adds.

“I purchased my first house in 2001 and from there built a property portfolio, learning along the way and passing this knowledge on to my fellow Polynesian rugby teammates. 

“Vinnie had always dealt with Māori and Pacific people through the bank and believed there was an opportunity to provide support around financial literacy and pastoral care to achieve home ownership.  

“There are so many barriers within the Māori and Pacific communities when looking to buy a home. 

“Many don’t have the confidence and knowledge to ask questions, but when you strip things back it can become a simple process.  

“We have found it’s about generational change and we believed as a team with our expertise and experience we could make a difference.” 

So far, The Mortgage Hub has delivered 10 My Fale workshops across Aotearoa within various companies and 148 people have taken part in the My Fale home ownership programme nationwide. 

A total of 47 individuals which make up 25 aiga have become homeowners through The Mortgage Hub’s own My Fale financial capability programme. 

Funding from MPP has enabled The Mortgage Hub team to invest in resources and capture more data and content to educate others about their purpose. 

“Without the Ministry’s support, we would not have the resource to really make a difference and prioritise the needs of our people. 

“We have been able to accelerate our vision of helping Pacific families and it has allowed us to start now, rather than in five to 10 years’ time.  

“Now, we get to work in a space we are passionate about and can really make a difference in people’s lives. 

“Sometimes we feel we haven’t scratched the surface… we know there is so much more we can do. 

“It is important to sit back and reflect on some of the feel-good stories of our families and what they have achieved. 

“It’s life-changing for them.” 

Mils’ advice for Pacific aiga who are hesitant to take the first step towards home ownership is simple. 

He encourages anyone on the journey to call him or his team to talk things through. 

“We can help simplify the process for you and put steps into place to make your home ownership journey a reality,” he says. 

“We work on our three aspects DDI – Deposit, Debt, and Income… you can also review our client tales clips on our website and social platforms. 

“It has been great having the support and working alongside other providers, because we have been able to collaborate and complement each other through the various services we provide. 

“It is a daunting process as only two percent of financial advisors across Aotearoa are Pacific and Māori.

“The Mortgage Hub team is made up of a range of ethnicities, Tongan, European, Samoan, Fijian and Māori. 

“We want to keep growing this as it allows our people to feel comfortable speaking their native tongue in a different environment.  

“The Ministry’s support has been an integral part with regards to investing into the right staff for our team in this field of work. 

“Our vision is to broaden our team with young Pacific people who also share an interest and passion in home ownership and the financial literacy space. 

“Hopefully our story can also inspire our people to become financial advisors and make a difference to our people’s lives.” 

By MPP NZ 13 May 2023, 12:00PM
Samoa Observer

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