Wellington, March 26, 2020
$27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19.
A list of Non-Government Organisations and community groups that qualify as essential will be made available in the next day or two.
Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said that at COVID-19 Alert Level 4, these entities are supporting New Zealanders to stay well during the fight to break the chain of transmission of the virus, which will save lives.
She said that package supports services (a) Ensure people have access to the food and other goods they need to survive (b) Provide a place for people to live (c) Support disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing (d) Keep families safe from harm and offer crisis support
Risk of family violence
Ms Sepuloni said that self-isolation can also mean the risk of family violence increases.
“That is why we are making sure family violence and sexual violence services will remain available for those in need. As has been the case in countries around the world battling the global pandemic, there have been significant increases in the demand for these essential social sector services. Social sector partners of MSD are already reporting impacts on their essential services. In addition to increased demand, many organisations have changed the way they work to adhere to the Government guidance on moving to an Alert Level 4,” she said.
Ms Sepuloni said that the government is also working with these services to ensure that maximum hygiene protocols are in place for essential workers.
She said that the following will be provided to ensure that essential services continue throughout Alert Level 4:
Up to $16 million to bolster existing essential social sector services delivered by NGOs so that they can continue to support individuals, families, whānau and communities at risk through uncertain circumstances and respond to increased demand.
Up to $6 million funding for disability Community Participation providers to put in place appropriate health mitigations for the current group orientated services and provide support for disabled people in lock-down
Up to $4.8 million to provide community grants or fund innovative community-led solutions to support local resilience
For further information, please visit
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or need to self-isolate, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800-3585453 or +64 9 3585453 for international SIMS.
You can also call your GP if you are feeling unwell and are unsure if you have COVID-19 symptoms