Below is a list of places you can turn to for information and help during COVID-19:
Government advice and directives regarding:
- financial support
- rent and home ownership
- business and workplaces
- Alert level restrictions
can be found at the following link:
Further health information
The Prime Minister sits down with her Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard, and science educator Dr Michelle Dickinson to clear up some of the questions around the virus:
Retirement villages are continuing to operate under COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions after being classified as an essential service.
The essential service classification covers all staff, including those involved in catering, caregiving, cleaning, maintenance and administration. It also includes villages’ supply chains of food and equipment, including that required for aged care facilities on many village sites.
Friends and families of residents who are unsure about the welfare or rights of their loved ones should contact the operator of their village in the first instance. If they are still concerned, contact us at email@example.com
Aged care facilities and rest homes come under the auspices of HealthCERT, District Health Boards and the Health & Disability Commissioner. Those concerned about an outbreak of coronavirus at an aged care facility or rest home should contact the operator of that facility, their local DHB or the Aged Care Association.
KiwiSaver balance fluctuations
Many KiwiSaver funds are invested in the sharemarket, which has fallen due to the effects of COVID-19. Click here for more information
Employer wage assistance
The Government has announced a wage subsidy for employers who have suffered a 30% decline in revenue compared to last year, to be paid out at up to $585.80 per week for full-time workers for up to 12 weeks, and up to $350 per week for part-time workers. This applies to all New Zealand employers, contractors, sole traders, self-employed people, registered charities and incorporated societies.
Leave and self-isolation wage subsidy
The Government is also providing leave and self-isolation support at the same rates as the wage subsidy (see above) for up to eight weeks. This is for people who have to self isolate or care for others but cannot work from home, or have already used up all their sick leave.
There will be a permanent increase of $25 a week in main social welfare benefits after increases from indexation on April 1, likely to help 350,000 low-income families.
Winter energy payment increase
The winter energy payment has received a one-off doubling to $1400 for couples and $900 for singles, likely to help 850,000 people.
Financial guidance and budgeting help
The Government has announced a six-month mortgage holiday for those whose incomes have been affected by COVID-19. People worried about their ability to finance other loans as a result of COVID-19 should contact their bank or finance company as soon as they can.
Banks and other lenders have indicated their willingness to work with customers who are struggling financially. A range of options is available to help.
Borrowers have a legal right to ask for changes to their repayments when they are experiencing unforeseen hardship.
The government-funded, independent services Sorted and MoneyTalks are ready to assist those seeking budgeting help or other financial guidance.
Sorted’s website offers tips, guides and tools and has become a trusted source of information over 20 years and through previous financial crises. People can also email the site’s editor with questions and contact us through social media.
MoneyTalks is run by the FinCap network of budget advisory services and gives callers access to expert financial mentors via phone, text, live chat and email.
If you’re planning to retire
If you intend using your KiwiSaver money within the next three years, you need to consider whether you’re in an appropriate KiwiSaver fund to ensure the money will be there when you need it. Consult your KiwiSaver provider or financial advisor.
If you’re unsure who to contact for the help you need, phone the 0800 Government Helpline on 0800 779 997.
Government information relating to COVID-19 is available in other languages: Click here