Key COVID-19 information
16 March 20
Reading time: 3 minutes
The global spread of COVID-19 and New Zealand’s efforts to slow its reach in this country bring up many questions. Here’s where to turn for information and advice:
Government advice and directives
For government advice and directives regarding health, travel, education, business and community, see covid19.govt.nz.
If your business has suffered a 30% loss or more in revenue due to COVID-19, or if you need to self-isolate, the government will subsidise wages, to be paid out by employers at $585.80 per week for full-time workers for up to 12 weeks, and $350 per week for part-time workers.
The Prime Minister sat down with Chief Science Advisor Juliet Gerrard and science educator Dr Michelle Dickinson to clear up some of the questions around COVID-19.
Winter energy payment increase
This year's winter energy payment will double to $1,400 for couples and $900 for singles, which will help 850,000 people.
Support for beneficiaries
There will be a permanent increase of $25 a week in main social welfare benefits, which will help 350,000 low-income families.
KiwiSaver balance ups and downs
Many KiwiSaver funds are invested in the sharemarket, which has fallen due to the effects of COVID-19. Here are some FAQs.
Using your KiwiSaver money in the next 3 years?
If you intend to use your KiwiSaver money to either retire or purchase your first home within the next 3 years, it’s important to consider whether you’re in an appropriate KiwiSaver fund to ensure the money will be there when you need it. These 3 questions can help you decide. It's also a good time to contact your provider or financial adviser for advice.
Mortgage or loan concerns
The New Zealand Bankers’ Association is urging affected customers to speak with their bank as early as possible. The sooner you contact your bank, the better placed they are to help you through financial stress.
Depending on your circumstances, support may include:
- Reducing or suspending principal payments on loans and temporarily moving to interest-only repayments
- Helping with restructuring business loans
- Consolidating loans to help make repayments more manageable
- Providing access to short-term funding
- Referring individual customers to budgeting services.
Aged care facilities and rest homes come under the auspices of HealthCERT, District Health Boards and the Health and Disability Commissioner. If you're concerned about an outbreak of coronavirus at an aged care facility or rest home, contact the operator of that facility, their local DHB or the Aged Care Association.
If you’re unsure where to contact for the help you need, there’s a free government helpline on 0800 779 997.
Information in more languages
Here’s where to find government information relating to COVID-19 in many languages.