Help with essential costs
If you have lost your job, cannot work or are working fewer hours, you may be able to get a benefit or some other financial help from Work and Income.
Work and Income can help with urgent costs like:
- accommodation costs, for example rent or mortgage, board, emergency housing, moving house
- power, gas, heating or water bills
- medical and dental costs.
You do not need to be on a benefit to get financial support.
Call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or use their online calculator to check what you might be eligible for.
Support for whānau
Whānau Ora helps whānau access health and welfare services, and meet basic needs for food, accommodation, heating, internet connectivity, water and sewerage.
You can contact Whānau Ora on:
Support for students
If you are a tertiary student, you can contact Studylink for advice.
Support for home owners
If you are worried about your mortgage repayments, talk to your bank or finance company about the options that are available to you.
Help for renters
If you are having trouble paying your rent due to COVID-19, let your landlord know straight away. You may be able to work together to agree on a repayment plan, or negotiate your rent for a period of time so you can stay in your home.
If you have overdue rent and you are worried you will lose your housing, you can talk to Work and Income for support.
Work and Income can also help with other accommodation costs, or support to stay in your home — for example help with essential repairs or maintenance or with heating costs.
Wage Subsidy Scheme
Your employer can apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme to help keep paying you during Alert Levels 3 and 4. Your employer needs to meet the eligibility criteria to apply.
If your employer applies for the wage subsidy, they must pay you at least 80% of your normal pay. If they cannot, they must pass on the total amount of the subsidy to you.
If you normally earn less than the subsidy amount, your employer must continue to pay your normal pay.
Applications for the third Wage Subsidy Scheme payment open on Friday 17 September 2021.
If you need to get a COVID-19 test
If you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, it is important you stay home until you get a negative result.
Think about whether you can work from home.
If you cannot work from home, your employer can apply for the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment for you so you can continue to get paid.
You can also get this payment if you:
- need to stay home and look after a dependent child who has been asked to get a COVID-19 test
- live with someone who has been at a location of interest and need to stay home while they wait for the person in the household to get a negative test result.
You can get a one-off payment of $359. Talk to your employer if you think you meet the criteria.
If you need to self-isolate
If you have been asked by health officials to self-isolate and you cannot work from home, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. Your employer needs to apply for you.
You may also be eligible for this payment if you:
- are sick with COVID-19 and need to isolate until a doctor tells you that you no longer need to
- have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19
- are at a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19
- live with someone who is at high risk of getting sick from COVID-19, and a doctor or health professional has told people in the household to isolate to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to vulnerable household members
- have been asked to self-isolate by public health officials
- need to stay home and look after a dependent child who needs support to self-isolate.
You can get $600 per week if you work full time, and $359 per week if you work part time.
NZ citizens and residents living in Australia
Access to Australian superannuation
All New Zealand citizens and permanent residents living in Australia, who meet the Australian Government’s eligibility criteria, will now be able to access up to AUD$20,000 of their Australian superannuation.
Support for foreign nationals in New Zealand
Contact your embassy or consulate
If you're from overseas and need help getting home or your employment has been affected and you're experiencing financial hardship, your embassy or consulate may be able to help.
If you're an international student
If you're an international student and are experiencing financial hardship, we recommend you speak to your education provider or student association. They may be able to offer you free budgeting advice, or tell you about funds that are available.