- Community Associations and Groups
- Community Funding
- Community Research
- Economic Development
- Emergency Management
- Event Planning and Venues
- Heritage, Arts and Culture
- Māori Community
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Do You Need Help?
This situation will be very challenging for many people in our community who are being let go from their jobs and face financial uncertainty.
Please be aware that it may take up to 3 working days to process your assistance request. Please be patient, submitting another request will only delay our ability to respond to both your request and others.Do you need help? Employment opportunities
Where to get support
COVID-19 has changed how many of us live and work in Otago. It’s been an uncertain time and it’s OK to ask for help.
There are people and agencies able to support you. Whether its help paying for the essentials or just someone to talk things over with, a range of advice, help, or support is available.
If there is a health emergency call 111 immediately.
If you can’t speak to your doctor, or you do not currently have a doctor, call Healthline for free advice and information – 0800 611 116.
The Healthline team are specialists in assessing and advising over the phone. They can arrange to talk with you in your language. When your call is answered, say you'd like an interpreter and the language you’d like to speak in.
For mental health advice free call or text 1737 at any time.
1737 is available 24/7 with trained mental health counsellors. They can arrange to talk with you in your language.
When your call is answered, say you'd like an interpreter and the language you’d like to speak in. Free call or text 1737.
Wellbeing support in Central Lakes
For information on a number of different support avenues and methods available, head to https://www.southernhealth.nz/living-well/well-being-support-central-lakesClose
Help with food, rent, clothing and household essentials
If you have no support and are unable to meet basic needs such as food and other essentials like winter clothing, firewood, pet food, or accessing medicines, there are options available to you.
If you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident contact:
You may be able to access support from the Ministry of Social Development. You can find out what support may be available to you at www.msd.govt.nz, or call MSD on 0800 559 009.
If you are from overseas:
People from overseas on a temporary visa may be eligible for support via the Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri programme from the Department of Internal Affairs and NZ Red Cross. To be eligible you must be unable to meet basic needs and have exhausted all other options including accessing a flight to return to your home country.
For information about what support may be available to you visit foreignnationals.services.govt.nz or call: 0800 RED CROSS (733 276)
If you’re from overseas and need advice about your visa status, contact Immigration New Zealand www.immigration.govt.nz or call 0508 558 855
If you need advice on your rights as a tenant contract Tenancy Services www.tenancy.govt.nz or call 0800 836 262
Citizens Advice Bureau
The Citizens Advice Bureau aims to help people understand their rights and obligations and how to use this information. They provide a free and independent service to all. https://www.cab.org.nz/location/cab-queenstownClose
If you’re looking for work or have a vacancy that needs to be filled contact Work and Income New Zealand https://www.jobs-during-covid.workandincome.govt.nz/hello or call: 0800 779 009 (Job Seeker’s line)
You can also try the Work for Seasons website https://worktheseasons.co.nz/hello for information about seasonal job opportunities that may be available.
Go with Tourism assists 1:1 and with redeployment of tourism workers to opportunities across all sectors / NZ regions www.gowithtourism.co.nz
If you’d like advice on your rights as an employee contact Employment NZ www.employment.govt.nz or call: 0800 20 90 20
Wage subsidy register & complaints
If you think your employer is receiving the wage subsidy and not passing it on, you should talk to your employer in the first instance. Ask your employer if they listed your name on the application, as they can apply for the subsidy for some or all of their employees.
If you can’t find out from your employer whether you were included in their application, you can check with the Ministry for Social Development. https://msd.govt.nz/form/msd/govt/nz/form.req2?requestType=wage-subsidy-payment-employee-information-request
If you have talked to your employer and:
- you cannot resolve your problem or
- you think your employer has behaved fraudulently in relation to the subsidy,
You can make a complaint with Employment New Zealand https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/other-types-of-leave/coronavirus-workplace/wage-subsidy-and-leave-support-complaints
The Community Law Centre offers free legal advice and information, representation and education to the people of Otago. Free legal advice clinics are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month in Queenstown and Wanaka. https://groups.qldc.govt.nz/groups/show/community-law-centre/
If you’re a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and lose your job (including self-employment) from 1 March 2020 to 30 October 2020 due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment. Visit https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/covid-19/income-relief-payment/index.html
For other information about what financial support is available contact Work and Income New Zealand www.workandincome.govt.nz or call: 0800 559 009.Close
First and foremost, we encourage you to look after each other by checking on elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.
We are also encouraging our business community and landlords to show humanity and compassion and wrap as much support and assistance around affected people as they can.
How to get the help you need
Help is available if you or somebody you know is in a vulnerable position and in need of additional assistance.
New Zealand Citizens and Residents
If you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident in need of support then you should contact Work and Income for financial support for emergency and ongoing needs. You can apply for a main benefit online and check eligibility for food or accommodation assistance.
- 0800 559 009 (General Ministry of Social Development line)
- 0800 552 002 (Seniors aged 65+)
- 0800 88 99 00 (Students)
Temporary Visa Holders
If you are NOT a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident then you can register for help with the Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri programme which is being provided by New Zealand Red Cross in partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs.
To be eligible for this support the eligibility criteria detailed by the Department of Internal Affairs is:
- You must be on a temporary visa in Aotearoa New Zealand
- You must be unable to meet basic needs including food, rent, clothing, medical care, utilities bills, and household items for immediate urgent needs such as blankets
- You must have exhausted all other options including accessing a flight to return to your home country.
You can find out more or register for assistance at foreignnationals.services.govt.nz or freephone 0800 RED CROSS (733 276).
If you have difficulties completing the online forms, the following agencies will be able to provide assistance over the phone. Please contact:
- Queenstown Salvation Army Community Ministries - 03 442 9661
- Happiness House Community Support Centre - 03 442 6531
- Citizens Advice Bureau - 03 442 6799
- Community Networks Wānaka - 03 443 7799
The Queenstown Salvation Army can also offer language assistance if required: Spanish, Portuguese, Afrikaans, French, Fijian Hindi, Gujarati, Hindi, Sinhalese.
A number of job seeker channels are available to help support those looking for work.
Jobs during COVID
Register and search for work across all regions in NZ
Go with Tourism
Assists 1:1 and with redeployment of tourism workers to opportunities across all sectors / NZ regions
Work the seasons
Find Seasonal work around NZ