Find ways to safely help others in your community.

Helping look after others

Kindness is an incredibly powerful way to show we're united against COVID-19. You can make a huge difference by:

  • checking in on older relatives or vulnerable people to make sure they have everything they need
  • talking to friends, whānau and neighbours to see how they are and if they need support.

These connections and support will go a long way to getting others through COVID-19.

New volunteers

Volunteers play an important role in supporting New Zealand. It's important to keep volunteers and those they help safe and well. It’s also important to coordinate our efforts so help reaches those who need it and no effort is wasted.

The Volunteer Centre network is taking the details of people offering to help. If you would like to volunteer, you can see how you can help on the Volunteering New Zealand website.

Contact Volunteering New Zealand (external link)

Existing volunteer groups

If your group would like to help with COVID-19-related work, please contact your local civil defence or council in the first instance to ensure that your support is coordinated.

Contact your local civil defence group

Working in the community at Alert Level 2

Community organisations can operate, and volunteers can resume their duties at Alert Level 2. However, everyone should do everything they can to reduce the risk of transmission. Where it applies, community organisations should follow the guidance that has been provided for businesses and guidance on gatherings.

  • Volunteer organisations whose services involve close personal contact must keep contact tracing records. 
  • Volunteers should keep records of where they go, when they go there and who they meet.
  • If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, stay home.
  • Keep a 1 metre distance from others where possible. 
  • Wash your hands regularly. 
  • Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.

Working in the community at Alert Level 3

Only organisations that can operate safely may operate during Alert Level 3. 

People should work from home unless it's not possible. 

If you're providing services in the community using volunteers you must make sure you operate in a manner that's safe for volunteers and your clients and complies with Alert Level 3 requirements.

Find guidelines for the current Alert Level

Guidelines for community organisations working with volunteers at Alert Level 3 [PDF, 163 KB]

Delivering essential supplies

COVID-19 can live on surfaces, so any objects which pass between people are potential ways for the virus to spread.

To contain the spread of COVID-19, it is important to comply with restrictions on deliveries and other community work.

Support to access essential goods

Advice on shopping safely

Delivering supplies at Alert Level 3

Unless you're undertaking voluntary services under the direction of a recognised service provider, you should only deliver essential supplies to nearby friends, family and whānau, and close neighbours. Do this only if it's absolutely necessary.

You should only deliver to a few people and you must remain loyal to these people for the entire period at Alert Levels 3 and 4. The more people you deliver to, the higher the risk.

If you know someone that needs help, then let them know about the help available or enquire on their behalf if they are comfortable with you doing so. If they have an urgent need for essential goods that you can’t get or who need help and don’t have anyone who can assist them.

Be a friend on the phone

People need to feel connected with others, but during this time that connection can’t come from being physically close or chatting in person.

Could you spare 20 minutes on the phone to check in and have a conversation? A way to help is for groups to reach out to their networks and see if members can be a friend on the other end of a phone or a video call, especially for those who are on their own, aged over 70 or vulnerable.

Anyone can start to feel lonely and most people appreciate a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. It doesn’t have to be about requesting support, it could just be to share some stories and keep in touch. By staying connected in other ways, we may not be as tempted to burst our bubbles and can keep saving lives.

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