There are many ways of accessing essential goods and financial help.
Take the time to look through the information below and find out what you are elibigle for.
(Information is updated on a regular basis)
To help keep our homes healthy Manaaki20 are supplying whānau in need with hygiene packs.
The Whānau Ora Hygiene Packs contain things like soap, rubber gloves, disposable gloves, Chux wipes, toilet tissue, and facial tissues.
Exact contents may vary depending on supply.
Find out about receiving a pack from the following distribution points:
Getting help to access essential goods and financial help
Some of us may be struggling to get the food and medicines we need.
See the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) website for the latest information and guidance for all social services.
Work and Income
Work and Income now has a process in place to help their clients access essential non-food consumer products online.
Case managers use The Warehouse website page for essential items to help clients select what they need and verify prices and a delivery fee.
Once selections have been made:
- The case manager emails the order to The Warehouse.
- MSD pay The Warehouse directly (including delivery fee).
- Delivery is made to the client’s home within three to seven days.
Salvation Army - food parcels
Salvation Army in partnership with Countdown are providing food parcels in some areas.
Phone 0800 530 000 to find out what’s available in your area.
Help is available from your local Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group.
This service is for people that do not have any other options available to them.
The following information is from the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group:
Essential household supplies
If you don’t have the essentials you need to get through lockdown (such as food, medication or cleaning supplies), in the first instance please try calling a:
- family member who lives nearby
- friend who lives nearby
- or, check the availability for shopping online.
If these options are not available to you, then please call your local Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group.
This service is intended for people and whānau who don’t have any other options available to them.
The service operates seven days a week from 7am to 7pm.
Otago: 0800 322 4000
The following has been taken from the Covid-19 Government website.
Help with money
If you’ve lost your job or had your hours reduced you may be able to get a benefit or some other financial help from Work and Income.
Work and Income can help with urgent costs like:
- accommodation costs (rent, mortgage, board, emergency housing)
- repairs or replacing appliances
- emergency dental treatment
- emergency medical treatment
- water tank refill.
Work and Income call centres are experiencing very high demand at the moment, so we recommend you check their website first.
Call Work and Income on 0800 559 009.
Contact your bank
If you are worried about your ability to finance existing loans as a result of COVID-19 you should contact your bank or finance company as soon as you can.
Banks and other lenders will work with customers who are struggling financially. Borrowers have a legal right to ask for changes to their repayments. A range of options are available to help. See the list of banks below with specific webpages about COVID-19:
Sorted and MoneyTalks
The government-funded services Sorted and MoneyTalks can help with budgeting or other financial guidance.
Some electricity companies are halting disconnections and late payment penalties temporarily during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Contact your electricity supplier to find out more.
MSD winter subsidies have been doubled and brought forward.
The Electricity Authority has released COVID-19 advice for customers on their website.
Skinny Jump is a low-cost prepaid broadband service for eligible Kiwi homes. Get 30GB of NZ’s finest broadband for just $5.
Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme
If the business where you work is laying people off or reducing your hours because of COVID-19 it may qualify for the wage subsidy to help it keep going. If you’re an employer, contractor, sole trader or are self-employed you may also qualify.
The subsidy is a lump sum payment for the employer to pass on to employees. It covers 12 weeks per employee and pays $585.80 per week full-time workers and $350.00 per week for part-time workers.
Wage Subsidy employer search
You can see which companies have received payments under the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme on the Work and Income website.
You can search for:
- the company name as registered with Inland Revenue
- the number of employers for whom payment has been made
- the amount paid.
This information has been published to ensure payments under the Wage Subsidy Scheme are transparent and that the scheme is accountable to the public.
Updates to the Wage Subsidy Scheme
- 6 April 2020: Search function now available to find employers who have received payments under the Wage Subsidy scheme
- 27 March 2020: Government modified scheme to better support workers not able to work during Level 4
- 24 March 2020: the Government announced the removal of the $150,000 cap
Essential Workers Leave Payment Scheme
If the business you work for needs help to pay essential workers who need to take leave because of COVID-19 Public Health guidance it could be eligible for the Essential Workers Leave Payment Scheme. This scheme subsidises eligible businesses, and allows them to pay workers who need to take leave because Ministry of Health guidelines recommend they stay at home, and they can’t work from home.
The scheme offers the same rates as the Wage Subsidy Scheme of $585.80 per week full-time workers and $350.00 per week for part-time workers.
If you’ve lost your job or you run a business and are faced with laying off your employees, there may be support options available to you. Work and Income offer a range of information and support to employees who are made redundant.
Work and Income has also information for employers who are considering redundancies.
Protection for renters and tenants
If you are renting and are struggling to pay your rent, you may be eligible for support to help you stay in your rental property. Help could include a 6-month freeze on residential rent increases and increased protection from having your tenancy ended.
It is important tenants do not face the prospect of homelessness during this challenging time. This will also enable families and individuals to self-isolate, to stay home and maintain physical distancing, and support everyone’s public health.
Mortgage repayment holiday scheme
New Zealand’s retail banks are offering to defer repayments for all residential mortgages for up to 6 months for customers financially affected by COVID-19.
If you get a mortgage repayment deferral from your bank you will not need to make principal and interest payments on your loan for up to 6 months. This package is in addition to what banks are already doing individually to help affected customers.
Key details of this scheme:
It is important to know that interest on these loans will still increase, and deferred interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan.
Banks will assess the suitability for each customer who is asking for a deferral.
Banks will have different approaches to how they manage the process for customers to opt into a mortgage deferral. Those details, including eligibility criteria, will be available on bank websites.
Customers should contact their bank for further details or queries about the scheme.
Support for Māori communities and businesses
Māori communities and businesses can access help tailored to meet the specific needs of Māori in the face of COVID-19. These include:
- a Whānau Māori Community and Mārae package reprioritising $10 million from the Māori Development vote to support community outreach
- A Māori Health and Whānau Ora response with $30 million targeted directly to Māori Health services and an extra $15 million to Whānau Ora commissioning agencies
- supporting Māori Businesses and engaging with Māori with $1 million of funding to enable a needs assessment for Māori businesses, and $470,000 to Te Arawhiti to engage and work with iwi on their COVID-19 pandemic response plans.