Mayor John Carter is calling on the country's banks to set up banking hubs to provide vital financial services to provincial towns hit by bank branch closures.
Many Far North residents now had to drive significant distances to deposit cash or access other key banking services, which posed real security risks.
"All our communities now have reduced banking services, while some of our most popular tourism destinations, such as Paihia, Russell, Coopers Beach and Mangonui, have no services other than bank machines. Even bank branches in our major centres, Kaitaia and Kaikohe, operate on reduced hours only," he said.
It was not good enough to tell residents to do their banking online.
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"Many of our communities still have very poor internet and mobile phone links, making eftpos transactions and online banking almost impossible. With banks phasing out cheques services this year, many small business owners in these towns have no other option but to take cash," he added.
He wanted the banks to work together to set up banking hubs, such as those being trialled in Martinborough, Opunake, Stoke and Twizel, which provided basic services, featuring Smart ATMs, support staff, online and technology support.
Carter said he and business leaders had discussed setting up banking hubs in the Far North with the Government and the New Zealand Banking Association, but there had been little support for the idea.
"We haven't given up," he added however.
"We want to see banking hubs established in key towns. Our residents, businesses and the local economy need to have viable banking options."