Support for people

Need help?

General information for vulnerable people is available on the COVID-19 government website.

Unite Against COVID - Click for more information

Mental health and wellbeing

Wellbeing is a continuum and we're likely to find ourselves at various points over the coming weeks and months. As well as our resources on the COVID-19 website, there is lots of useful information online through organisations including the Mental Health Foundation ( and the Health Promotion Agency (

Support organisations

A number of organisations are continuing to operate to support people during the COVID-19 crisis .

  • Anglican Family care are still operating the FAMILY START service during this time, to provide support to vulnerable familiews with young children aged 0-3 years, covering areas such as family violence, mental health, and drug/alcohol use. Contact: Sue Dundass,, T: 027 603 1145, W:



If you're interested in volunteering to help others in Otago get through the COVID-19 emergency, Volunteering Otago are coordinating offers of help on our behalf. They're the experts when it comes to coordinating volunteers so please fill in this form to register your interest:

Career Guidance

An over-the-phone service with a career expert to help people develop a personalised plan for the next steps they can take to get into a job or training. Individuals can call 0800 601 301 to book a session with a career expert.

Other support available to job seekers and learners who are looking to get into work

  • The job hunters' toolkit has resources and guides to help people find and apply for jobs
  • has information and resources to help people plan their careers
  • Fees-free tertiary education allows eligible first-time learners to get one years' study or two years' training without fees, and
  • The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) pays fees and compulsory costs for a range of vocational qualifications until the end of 2022. The fund covers all TEC-approved apprenticeships as well as diplomas, certificates and programmes in targeted areas.


Jobs available

The following agencies are operational, providing services to job seekers and local businesses looking for staff.

  • Nikita Cunningham│Work Broker│Ministry of Social Development: DDI 03 9042953 | Cell 029 6500300
  • Workbridge ( is available to help people prepare and look for work by working with clients via phone and the internet. Please contact Sandra Familton (, M: 021 190 2418) or Dawn Ewing (, M:021 442 725).
  • Work Assist -APM: We know it's a difficult job market in these times, especially if you're suddenly unemployed. The time is now to start preparing for your next job, polishing up your CV and applications, look at your transferable skills and any training/upskilling. This service is free for you and employers. Click on this link to find out more.


Changes to Work visa Rules

The Government has made short term changes to visa settings that will assist two more groups of migrants already in New Zealand to stay lawfully. These changes are being implemented using new powers of the Minister of Immigration through a special direction


Support from Banks

All the major New Zealand banks are providing support to their customers, and you can visit their websites for more information:

NOTE: With mortgage or loan deferrals, interest is still charged and added to the loan, meaning your loan balance will increase, and you'll likely pay more interest overall, but at a later date. Afterwards your repayments will likely be higher unless the loan term is extended

Paying it forward to local business

A national not-for-profit initiative has been started to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters buy a voucher now to be redeemed once the business reopens. Several Waitaki business are listed.

Website address: