April 02, 2020
COVID-19 Welfare Facts
Getting the help and support you need.
Everything you need to know in one place.
Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread, see what help is available and get the latest advice and updates at Covid19.govt.nz
Got symptoms or have health questions?
Call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
Not sure who to talk to?
If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, or you don’t know who to contact for help, phone the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 (8 am – 1 am 7 days a week).
Health and wellbeing
It’s normal to feel distressed and to experience symptoms of stress related to COVID-19, especially if you or your friends and family have possibly been exposed to the virus.
We are in uncertain and unprecedented times, and everyone will respond differently.
Right now many people are feeling worried, anxious or scared. So as well as looking after our physical health we also need to look after our mental health.
We’re all in this together, and while we might not be able to be physically in touch right now, it’s important to stay connected in other ways.
New Zealand is known for its manaakitanga and now more than ever we need to remember the power of kindness and uniting together.
Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing
While there are things that we can’t control at the moment, there are things you can do to boost your mental wellbeing and that of your loved ones:
1. Stay connected
This is important for our wellbeing and helps to make us feel safer, less stressed and less anxious. We can support each other to get through this. While we are limiting social contact to contain the spread of COVID-19, there are still lots of ways we can connect.
2. Acknowledge your feelings
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, worried or scared in the current situation.
Allow yourself time to notice and express what you’re feeling. This could be by writing thoughts and feelings down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative or practising meditation. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you’re feeling. Reach out to others.
3. Stick to routines where possible
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, change your clothes, have regular e-meetings with colleagues or virtual coffee dates with friends and do your chores.
Meditating and exercising can help you to relax and have a positive impact on your thoughts. Try not to increase unhealthy habits like comfort eating, drinking or smoking.
4. Check-in on other people who might need help
Reaching out to those who may be feeling alone or concerned can benefit both you and the person receiving support.
5. Seek accurate information from legitimate sources
You may find it useful to limit your media intake. Get the facts from Covid19.govt.nz to help distinguish facts from rumours. Seek information updates at specific times once or twice a day.
6. Don’t be afraid to seek further professional support
For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
7. Continue existing mental health treatment if possible
Notice if your symptoms are getting worse. Talk to your GP, counsellor, caseworker or mental health team about how they can continue supporting you. Can your appointments take place over the phone, via email, text or video chat? What tips do they have to help you get through? Who can you call if you need help urgently?
Find the latest health information
The Ministry of Health updates their webpage regularly. Get more detailed health advice at health.govt.nz/coronavirus
Are you or your whānau unwell?
The best ways to get support are to:
– call your family doctor for advice or information. If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 (through contact with someone who has it), it’s important to let your family doctor know.
– call Healthline with your COVID-19 health-related concerns. The call is free and someone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 358 5453 (or for international SIMs call +64 9 358 5453)
you can also call Healthline:
– if you don’t have a family doctor
– if you’re feeling unwell but you’re not sure if you need to see a doctor
– for advice about what’s happening for you and the next steps.
– call Plunketline if you have questions about your child or baby’s health or wellbeing on 0800 933 922 and speak to a Plunket nurse. Plunketline runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
– contact your midwife for support and advice during pregnancy and postnatal.
– In an emergency, always call 111
Food and other essential goods – support through local CDEM Groups
Most people can access food and other essential items for themselves and their whanau, either through their own means or through their community providers or support networks like whānau, friends, iwi and neighbours. For some people, this is not a possibility and they may need extra help to access the things they need during self-isolation, like food and medicines.
Financial help to people is available through the Ministry for Social Development. This works well when people have their own way of getting the goods they need.
For people who have an urgent need for essential supplies and they don’t have the means of transport to get it themselves, they can contact their local
Civil Defence and Emergency Group (CDEM) for help. This service is intended for people and whanau who don’t have any other options available to them.
The service operates seven days a week from 7 am to 7 pm.
If you find yourself in this situation, please phone your local Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group.
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.
There is help available for urgent costs like:
– accommodation costs (rent, mortgage, board, emergency housing)
– repairs or replacing appliances emergency dental treatment emergency medical treatment health travel costs
– water tank refill.
You can find more information about financial support (including eligibility criteria) on the Work and Income website at https://workandincome.govt. nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support. html.
Work and Income call centres are experiencing very high demand at the moment, so we recommend you check the website first. If you don’t have access to the internet you can call us on 0800 559 009.
Employer Wage Subsidy
The wage subsidy is to help keep your businesses going if they face laying off staff or reducing their hours because of COVID-19. If you’re an employer, contractor, sole trader or are self-employed you may qualify. The subsidy is a lump sum payment for the employer to pass on to employees and covers 12 weeks per employee.
For more information including how to apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme visit
If you are required to self-isolate and you need support to find suitable accommodation, the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS), run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is working with other government agencies to assist people to find suitable accommodation. TAS is providing assistance to those who are unable to self- isolate in their own homes or are travellers visiting New Zealand and do not already have suitable self- isolation accommodation arranged.
To register your details, please call 0508 754 163.
After registering your details, you will be contacted by a temporary accommodation staff member who will assess your needs and work with you to help you find suitable temporary self-isolation accommodation.
There is a cost for temporary accommodation and TAS will work with each individual or household who uses the service on how to meet this cost.
If you are a visitor to New Zealand please contact your Embassy or consulate for guidance. A list of foreign representatives to New Zealand can be found online https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/embassies/
If you’re a New Zealand citizen or resident on a low income or benefit, you can contact Work and Income to see if you’re eligible for support www.workandincome.govt.nz
More information and updates can be found at https://temporaryaccommodation.mbie.govt.nz/ covid-19/
If you are the tenant or landlord of a rental property, you can find information on your rights and obligations at www.tenancy.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262)
Schools and early childhood
The Ministry of Education is providing additional support for schools and early childhood centres to provide resources for teachers and parents to maintain routines for children.
During the holiday break, from 30 March to 14 April, we will support schools to develop e-learning and other distance learning options ready for the start of Term 2. See more here http://www.education.govt. nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/
Home-based care options for children aged 0â€“14 of essential workers
To ensure essential workers can access care for their children if needed, the Government has agreed that three large home-based providers will provide
additional support. This will provide in-home care for children aged 0â€“14.
Arrangements are also being made for OSCAR services around the country to also offer support for children of essential workers. See more http://www. education.govt.nz/covid-19/home-based-care- options-for-children-aged-0-14-of-essential- workers/
Keeping children and young people safe
If you’re worried that a child or young person is not safe or being cared for, or you are aware of a child who has been separated from their parents or caregivers, you can phone Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
or email email@example.com
You can also access more information on our service at this time by visiting our website: https:// orangatamariki.govt.nz/news/coronavirus/
If you’re concerned about an animal’s welfare phone the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 0800 008 333
If your animals need treatment, contact your own veterinary clinic. If you do not have a regular
veterinarian or yours is not open, you can find nearby clinics by going to Find-a-Vet.
NZ Veterinary Association has COVID-19 information at www.nzva.org.nz including how to manage animals when in self-isolation.
At alert level 4, you MUST contact your veterinarian BEFORE visiting them or going to the veterinary clinic for product. You MUST identify if you are self-isolating or otherwise higher risk. This applies to everyone (pet owners and farmers), even if your animal is being presented by someone else.
Information for international visitors
If you need help with your travel bookings, contact your nearest i-SITE or your travel provider. For the latest local travel conditions and for rearranging travel arrangements, contact one of the 80 i-SITEs
throughout New Zealand. Visit i-SITE.org for a full list.
If your visa is about to expire, phone Immigration New Zealand on 0508 558 855 or visit immigration.govt.nz/new-Zealand-visas
If you are a foreign national travelling in New Zealand requiring further consular assistance, contact your nearest Embassy or High Commission first. Contact details are available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website mfat.govt.nz
For updates and more information on keeping yourself safe, visit Covid19.govt.nz
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