Assistance available to foreign nationals impacted by Covid-19

posted: 7:00 pm - 5th July 2020
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(Picture caption: Pacific people are among the foreign nationals in New Zealand who are experiencing serious hardship because of the Covid-19 pandemic.) 

Pacific people are among the foreign nationals in New Zealand who are experiencing serious hardship because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently, Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, is working with New Zealand Red Cross to assist those who need help the most.

From July 1, 2020, eligible people can apply for in-kind assistance to help them meet basic needs, such as food and accommodation, under the Government’s Assistance to Foreign Nationals Impacted by Covid-19 programme.  

Deputy Chief Executive at Internal Affairs Maria Robertson says there are people in Aotearoa on temporary visas, who are unfortunately unable to meet their own basic needs and have exhausted all other options.

This includes Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme workers from throughout the Pacific, who are in New Zealand at present.

“We are pleased to be working with New Zealand Red Cross to deliver temporary, in-kind assistance to eligible people across New Zealand, who have found themselves in a difficult position due to Covid-19,” Maria says.

People can check their eligibility and apply HERE. In-kind assistance will be made directly to third parties, such as landlords or power companies. No cash payments will be made.

Internal Affairs is managing the programme on behalf of the Government and is working closely with New Zealand Red Cross on delivery.

This is a temporary and transitional mechanism which will run for three months, with the intention at the end of this time, people have either returned to their home country or have secured alternative means of support.