COVID-19 Welfare Services

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 at 11.59pm on Monday 8 June. To find out more information about COVID-19 and the approach to national recovery please see uniteforrecovery.govt.nz

This page lists key information and resources that you may find helpful during this time. You can do your part by checking in on neighbours, friends and family and letting them know about services available too.
 

Health services

If you concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, call Healthline 0800 358 5453 or your doctor. Do not drive to your GP clinic in the first instance.  
 

Mental Health

It’s normal to feel distressed in uncertain times, but if you feel you are not coping it is important to seek help. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text ‘Need to talk?’ on 1737. This service is free, available 24/7 and gives you the chance to talk with a qualified counsellor.  
 

Rural welfare

If you need help with counselling services, farming or business advices, connecting to suppliers, or financial information, Rural Support Trusts provides a confidential and free service over the phone or via Zoom/Skype. Call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit the website for more information. 

If you are experiencing a strain on feed resources, remote feed planning support is available. This is a free service that includes an assessment of feed planning needs and professional farm system advice. More in depth support is available, however this may cost. 

To access the service, call the relevant number below:  

  • Dry stock sector Beef + Lamb New Zealand: 0800BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352).  
  • Dairy sector DairyNZ:  0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 3247969).  
  • AgFirst:  0508 AGFIRST (0508 243 477). 

Financial welfare

If you are concerned about your financial welfare, Work and Income are delivering services over the phone and online. You can contact them on 0800 559 009 or find out more on their website. Here are a few specific ways you can get help from Work and Income:
 
  • If you are struggling to pay for a power, gas or water bill and your provider is unable to create a payment schedule for you, you may be eligible for assistance. 
  • If you are already on one of the eligible benefits, you will automatically recieve the Winter Energy Payment – an extra payment to help with the cost of heating your home over the winter months. The Government has doubled this payment in response to Covid-19 for the 2020 winter.  
     
In addition to increase support for our most vulnerable, the Government’s $16.1 billion package to support New Zealanders includes:  
  • increased funding for the heath and aviation sectors 
  • a wage subsidy scheme for affected businesses in all sectors and regions 
  • essential workers leave scheme and self-isolation support 
  • business cash flow and tax measures 
  • residential rent increase freeze and mortgage repayment holiday scheme  
  • business finance guarantee scheme 
  • support for Māori communities and businesses