COVID-19

Resources and information for Maori communities and organisations
income support / wages / rent + more questions

Q&A on the Corona Virus & resources

UPDATED: Guidance and advice for Maori Download

Check out the recommended Maori Council Hongi

 

 

Rent and mortgage holidays

 

New Zealand Banks are soon to release a package on a “mortgage holiday” that will see those who qualify not have to make payments for a period of up to six months – more on that soon.

In terms of the rental market the Government has passed new laws meaning that no New Zealander who is renting can be evicted or the tenancy terminated during the period of the lockdown. Also, rules around who qualifies for the accommodation have been relaxed and if you are entitled to the wage subsidy or you have lost your job you also may qualify for the supplement. We expect the Government to make more announcements on that front shortly – the key message is you cannot be evicted from your home and the Council urges all renters to be in touch with their landlord and ask the direct question about a rent reduction for the period or a rental holiday.

 

For our people who are receiving benefits or pensions from Work and Income and New Zealand:

 

All your requirements and obligations have been deferred and these include:

  • deferring the need to provide subsequent medical certificates for clients already getting Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Supported Living Payment and Child Disability Allowance.

  • deferring any Disability Allowance reviews

  • delaying Annual Reviews (including all annual reviews of income, confirming your circumstances (CYC) and annual circumstances letters (ACL), social housing reviews, and life certificates)

  • clearing any Special Benefit expiries or reviews

  • deferring any new obligations failures.

 

WAGE Subsidy and qualifying for income support

 

If you have lost your job or you are still in work and your employer does not know about the wage subsidy then you need to know the following:

  • First, there is no longer a stand down period between the time you lose your employment and the first benefit payment. We urge those who have lost their employment to hurry and apply through Work and Income New Zealand as soon possible.

  • If you own or operate a business, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $585 per week per employee – there is no longer a cap on this for business with a turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million. In addition to this you may also qualify if you are a charity, a community-based organisation or an Iwi post settlement trust organisation or Runanga.  This applies to all New Zealand employers, contractors, sole traders, self-employed people, registered charities and incorporated societies. You are now able to apply for a wage subsidy for all your staff. Call 0800 40 80 40 for more information (keep in mind the wait times may be extensive but do stay on the line)

 

Specific Maori Support Package

 

The New Zealand Government has announced the following for Maori, Maori organisations and communities:

 

  • $10 million for whānau Māori community outreach.

  • $30 million targeted health funding for Māori.

  • $15 million to Whānau Ora to reach into Māori communities.

  • $1 million to provide Māori business with advice and planning.

  • $470,000 to Te Arawhiti to work with iwi on local response plans.

  • He Poutama Rangatahi to redeploy 2000 workers to assist with delivery of services.

 

First Council strongly urges Maori providers to contact their Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency when it comes to accessing additional funding and support. If you are knocked back please get in touch with the Council @ matthew@maoricouncil.com and we will follow up for you.

 

The Maori Health fund is being managed directly through TPK and we also urge you to be in touch with your TPK regional office as soon as possible – this is what is included:

 

  • Provide financial support for Māori provider networks to enable them to meet increased demand;

  • Support backfilling and additional workforce capacity arrangements for Māori providers;

  • Develop guidelines to help Māori prepare for self-isolation, particularly when self-isolating as part of a large family group;

  • Provide financial support for whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities – payment for prescriptions, health services etc;

  • Kuia and koroua support – in-home care continuity to keep kaumatua healthy and well (e.g. food parcels, resources, medications);

  • Ensuring actions are supported by tailored Māori communications through appropriate and trusted channels expanding reach and coverage of communications;

  • Build-in to the telehealth service a call-back mechanism to ensure all Māori whānau, hapū, and iwi are receiving timely health advice;

  • Provide funding for Māori-led, Māori-specific vaccination programme to address equity issues, including a targeted health promotion campaign;

  • Support the workforce of Whanau Ora Commissioning Agencies to respond to the increase demand as a result of COVID-19;

  • Activate and establish Community Based Assessment Centres in Māori communities. Supporting Māori Businesses and engaging with Māori

 

Key phone numbers and contacts:

  • For income support and financial assistance both organisations and individuals 0800 40 80 40

For more information: CLICK HERE from the World Health Organisation

Links to important sites:

Q&A World Health Organisation 

NZ Ministry of Health Info

Wherever you are in Aotearoa call the following hotline if you are concerned or showing symptoms:

0800 358 5453

Download a Marae poster:

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NZMC COVID 1.png

Download the guidance document:

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