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Huaketo Korona (COVID-19)



Unite against COVID-19, together we can slow the spread

covid19.govt.nz

Last updated Sunday 12 July 2020.

Aotearoa is currently at ‘Alert Level 1’ for COVID-19. Kia mataara e te iwi!

RĀHUI: TE RĀ KOTAHI RAU TEKAU MĀ RUA

Information on Alert Level 1

Learn more

Whānau support.

Ōrākei Health.

Whānau Hub.

Tangihanga.

Updates.

Released Tuesday 26 May 2020.

Released Thursday 4 June 2020.

Released Friday 5 June 2020.

Released Tuesday 7 April 2020.

 

Helpful Links

Official NZ Govt Website.

Latest from the Beehive.

COVID-19 Advice for Māori.

Info and resources specifically for Māori about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental Health Foundation.

Looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19.

Ministry of Health.

Latest updates, information and advice on COVID-19.

Studylink.

COVID-19 information for students getting Student Allowance or Student Loan.

Work and Income.

Support for employers during COVID-19.

Healthline.

Call Healthline for health advice and information.

Financial Support.

Support is available if you are experiencing financial distress.

Our communication lines are still open.

Call our friendly team on 0508 NW Ōrākei (0508 6967 2534).

Email us at info@nwo.iwi.nz

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Stay connected – Click here to update your details.

To help Ngāti Whātua Orakei understand the impact of COVID-19 for whānau, a household survey was developed canvassing health, education, housing, employment and finance. The response from the Whānau Survey was overwhelming and the insights that we have gathered are significant in shaping how, what and why does support look like for our whānau through these unprecedented times.

Click here to view the Whānau Survey Insights.

Frequently Asked Questions .

What should I do to keep safe?

  • Wash your hands often with soap. Then dry them. Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • If you are sick, stay at home and quickly seek advice from your usual doctor or Healthline about getting a test. There is no stigma to COVID-19.

Updated as at 19 June 2020

Can I go out for a walk or take other exercise?

Yes, there is no restriction on going out or on exercising – getting fresh air and exercising are good for you!

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

What do I do if I’m unwell or can’t get out?

You can call your own doctor or the free Healthline (0800358 5453) to ask if they can help with any health issues. You can also order products on-line for home delivery, ask others to pick up supplies for you, or call 0800NWOrakei (0800 6967 2534) if you need help.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can I travel within New Zealand to return home, visit a sick friend or family member or to attend a tangihanga, wedding or social event?

Yes, there are no restrictions on any of these activities – remember to practise good hygiene!

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

What do I do if I’m not safe at home?

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call the Police on 111. Otherwise, call the sexual harm helpline on 0800 044334 or your local women’s refuge – call 0800 743 843 to get the number of your local refuge. The Government has good information on who to contact for help: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/family-violence-and-sexual-violence-prevention/

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Health.

What are the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus?

The symptoms include a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sneezing or a runny nose. These symptoms are also often a sign you have a cold of the common flu. This table, produced by the team at The Spinoff, is a useful guide to COVID-19 symptoms:

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

What do I do if I think I have the virus?

If you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms you should call your regular doctor or, if you don’t have a regular doctor, call the free Healthline on 0800 358 5453, and self-isolate. There is good guidance on self-isolation on the Government’s COVID-19 information website:
https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/self-isolation-if-youre-unwell/

Call 111 immediately if you or someone in your household is having a medical emergency.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

How can I get a test for COVID-19?

If you think you need to be tested for COVID-19, call your regular doctor. If you don’t have a regular doctor, call the free Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Either your regular doctor or the Healthline will be able to give you a referral to a testing station for a test.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can I get a flu vaccine?

Yes, you can now get a flu vaccine whether or not you are in a priority group:

  • if you are eligible for a funded vaccine you can still get one for free; and
  • if you are not eligible for a funded vaccine, you should be able to purchase one now (it will be free if you have Ngāti Whātua Health Insurance), please get in touch with your usual healthcare provider in the first instance and follow any protocols they have in place.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Where can I get help if I’m struggling to cope?

Reach out to your regular support people such as family, friends or your Church elders and check out the awesome resources on the NWO Whānau Hub: https://ngatiwhatuaorakei.com/nwo-lockdown/. Otherwise, you can call or text 1737 for free, anytime (24/7) to talk with a trained counsellor.  There is good guidance on keeping mentally well on the Government’s COVID-19 information website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/looking-after-your-mental-health/

If you are employed, your employer may be part of the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which provides free counselling sessions for employees. Your employer will be able to provide you with their EAP details.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

What do I do if someone in my household dies?

Contact your funeral director for guidance as usual. There are no restrictions on tangihanga in level 1.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Housing.

Do I have to pay my mortgage?

Yes, you still need to pay your mortgage unless your bank has agreed to give you a mortgage holiday: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/renters-and-homeowners/

If you are unable to pay your mortgage you should ring your bank as soon as you can to ask for a mortgage holiday (noting interest will still accrue while on “holiday”) or to discuss a payment plan. It’s best to be honest with your bank about the situation and see if you can agree a payment plan.

  • Mortgagee’s Power of Sale: The Government has extended the original 20 working day notice period before your bank or other mortgagee can exercise its power to sell your home for unpaid mortgage payments to 40 working days. This will provide some breathing space if you have a mortgage.
  • You could also get in touch with budgeting services, Work and Income, or other agencies to see what support is available. You can call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 (Monday to Friday 7am–6pm, Saturday 8am – 1pm). For further information see their website: https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Do I have to pay my rent?

Yes, you still need to pay your rent. If you are unable to pay your rent, you should ring your landlord as soon as you can to discuss a payment plan. Your landlord is not allowed to increase your rent during this period. https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/renters-and-homeowners/

It’s best to be honest with your landlord about the situation and see if you can agree a payment plan. If you do agree a plan, you may want to formalise it using the FastTrack resolution process: FastTrack resolution process.

You could also get in touch with budgeting services, Work and Income, or other agencies to see what support is available. You can call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 (Monday to Friday 7am–6pm, Saturday 8am – 1pm). For further information see their website: https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can I move house during Level 1?

Yes, you can – there are no restrictions on moving house in Level 1.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can I be evicted?

No, you cannot be evicted during this time, but you must continue to comply with the obligations of your tenancy agreement. Until June 25 (this may be extended by the Government), your landlord may only terminate your tenancy for certain specific reasons – not paying your rent for 60 days (without putting an alternative plan in place), substantially damaging the property, or threatening or causing significant harm to your landlord or others.

It is still illegal for your landlord to discriminate against you as a tenant or prospective tenant when deciding whether to continue, extend, renew, amend or end your tenancy. Discrimination includes your landlord making any of these decisions on the basis of your race, nationality, or disability (including physical illnesses such as Covid-19).

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

What if I live in a boarding house or a campground

You must follow the protocols put in place by the boarding house or campground manager.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

What can I do if I am homeless?

Contact your usual shelter or support agencies for assistance, many are providing additional help to those who are homeless. Work and Income will be able to help if you need emergency housing, you can call them on 0800 559 009 (Monday to Friday 7am–6pm, Saturday 8am – 1pm). For further information see their website: https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

Call 0800NWOrakei (0800 6967 2534) if you can’t access the help you need.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Work and Financial Support.

Check your employment agreement - your employment agreement and the usual employment law rules still apply.

The Government’s Employment website is the best place to go for up to date advice on your obligations and rights as an employee: https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/other-types-of-leave/coronavirus-workplace/

Community Law has put together an excellent flow chart to help you understand your rights as an employee: 

If you need financial support, contact Work and Income for support: https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

See the section below for business owners for information on the wage subsidy. If your employer is accessing the wage subsidy, its details will be published: https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/2020/covid-19/covid-19-wage-subsidy-employer-search.html. If in doubt, get legal advice.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

What do I do if I’ve lost my job or can’t make ends meet?

Contact Work and Income as soon as you can to talk about whether you are eligible for a benefit or other assistance. You can call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 (Monday to Friday 7am–6pm, Saturday 8am – 1pm). For further information see their website: https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

You could also get in touch with budgeting services, your Church, and other support agencies for further help or call 0800NWOrakei (0800 6967 2534) if you need emergency help.

Finder also has some useful guidance on what to do if you’ve lost your job:

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can my employer make me come into work?

Yes, there are no restrictions in level 1 but do talk to your employer about the measures they’ve put in place to keep you safe (these may include social distancing, enabling good hand hygiene, frequently cleaning your workspaces, and possibly PPE where appropriate). If you are unwell you should stay at home.

If you are in a vulnerable group talk to your employer and about your plans to come back in to work, if you’re not sure if you’re vulnerable, talk to your doctor, they may be able to give you a medical certificate if you need one to stay home (and your employer will have to pay for it if they require you to come into work and you think you’re vulnerable). If you don’t think your employer’s health and safety measures are enough to keep you safe, keep talking to your employer about them and then talk to your health and safety rep, union, or WorkSafe.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Does my employer have to pay me?

Yes, any changes or reductions to hours, tasks or pay outside your employment agreement need to be agreed with you and recorded in writing.

If you can’t agree, your employer must go through a fair and proper process to restructure your hours, tasks or pay in consultation with you.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can my employer make me take annual leave?

Yes, but only if you have accrued the leave (check your payslip) and only if they give you two weeks’ notice. You can agree another arrangement with your employer, but you must treat each other with good faith.

Your employer can’t force you to take leave while it is receiving the Government’s wage subsidy for you.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can my employer make me redundant?

Yes, but only if they follow the usual proper process which requires them to consult with you before making a decision.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Can my employer fire me or force me to resign?

Not, they can’t force you to resign and they can only fire you for the usual reasons.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Business Owners

The Government’s Employment website is the best place to go for up to date advice on your obligations and rights as an employer: https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/other-types-of-leave/coronavirus-workplace/

Work and Income: You can talk to Work and Income for advice by calling their Employer Line on 0800 778 008 or checking out their employer support services online: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

Mentoring: Business Mentors are offering FREE mentoring services to businesses during the COVID-19: https://www.businessmentors.org.nz/

Business Advice: You can also access business advice through Manaaki: https://www.manaaki.io/. If in doubt, get legal advice.

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Is there any other government support available for businesses?

Yes, the Government has set up the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme in partnership with some banks to provide loans (either new or increases to existing loan limits) for small – medium business. The Government will guarantee 80% of the risk of the loans. Check the Government’s website for more information on the loans and on your business’ eligibility: https://www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/business-finance-support-and-mortgage-holidays/#e-20794

Loan Repayment Holiday: Small – medium businesses can also access a 6-month loan repayment holiday from their banks, for more information check the Government’s website:

https://www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/business-finance-support-and-mortgage-holidays/#e-20800

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Work and Income

You can talk to Work and Income for advice by calling their Employer Line on 0800 778 008 or checking out their employer support services online: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Business financial difficulties/insolvency

The Government has also temporarily changed legislation to help businesses facing financial difficulties or insolvency by:

  • giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency duties under the Companies Act.
  • enabling businesses affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until they are able to start trading normally again.
  • allowing the use of electronic signatures where necessary due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • giving the Registrar of Companies the power to temporarily extend deadlines imposed on companies, incorporated societies, charitable trusts and other entities under legislation.
  • giving temporary relief for entities that are unable to comply with requirements in their constitutions or rules because of COVID-19.
  • For more information check the Companies Office website: https://www.companiesoffice.govt.nz/about-us/what-we-do/insolvency-relief-for-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/
  • Commercial Lease Rent Payments: The Government has announced it will extend the current 10 working day notice period before a commercial lease can be cancelled for unpaid rent to 30 working days and require Landlords and to provide many commercial tenants with rent relief. This will provide some breathing space if you lease commercial premises. 
  • Tax relief measures: The Government has announced some tax relief measures including:
  • Reinstating depreciation deductions for commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Increasing the threshold for first year low-value asset write offs.
  • Increasing the threshold for paying provisional tax.
  • Bringing forward broader research and development refundability rules.
  • Increasing Inland Revenue’s powers to remit interest on late paid tax.
  • IRD now has discretion to extend taxation due dates and timeframes (for example, for filing or returns).
  • Changes to the treatment of tax losses, including a tax loss carry-back scheme, which may allow your business to access your previous tax payments as cash refunds.

Contact your accountant or check the IRD’s website for more information: https://www.ird.govt.nz/Updates/News-Folder/covid19-business-changes

Updated as at 19 June 2020.

Do I have health and safety obligations to kaimahi if they’re working from home?

Yes, you still have the usual health and safety obligations to your kaimahi while they are working remotely. WorkSafe has some excellent guides on your health and safety obligations to your employees and on keeping employees safe during this period: https://worksafe.govt.nz/

Updated as at 19 June 2020.