Where to get financial help after Cyclone Gabrielle

If the severe weather has put you in financial stress, there is help available. 

Insurance providers

If you haven’t already, report any damage to your insurance company and review your policies to see what you’re covered for. Insurers will be facing an influx of claims, so the sooner you file the better. 

Make sure to take photos or videos of the impacts and detailed notes about the interactions you have with the insurance company. 

If you need to stay in temporary accommodation due to damage, tell your insurer as some offer emergency accommodation. 

Your bank

Banks and other financial service providers are working with customers who are struggling financially. This could be by restructuring loans or giving access to short-term credit, for example. 

The Government has put in place emergency lending law regulations until the end of March 2023, allowing banks to loan money to flood and cyclone victims without the usual delays. Several banks are offering interest free loans for those impacted.  

Get in touch with your bank directly and explain your situation to understand what’s available.  

Work and Income

Work and Income can help with medical costs, bedding, food, power bills, repairs or replacing appliances or loss of income if you've been directly affected by the recent severe weather. They can also provide other support such as benefits and help with housing costs. 

Everyone’s situation is different, so what you qualify for will depend on your situation. You may have to pay the money back depending on your situation.  

Visit Work and Income for more information or call 0800 400 100 for help with emergency costs from 8am–5pm.

Microfinance providers

There are organisations across the country that offer no-cost or low-cost borrowing solutions to those in need. This is called “microfinance” because of the small loan amounts involved (typically below $5,000, but some go higher).  

Providers include Good Loans and Nga Tangata Microfinance – more details are below.

Steer clear of expensive debt

If you are forced to borrow your way through this, it pays to know what you’re getting yourself in for, including any costs from interest or fees. 

When you borrow, you’ll find your interest rate for your loan on your credit contract, but you may not know if it’s a good one or not. One way to compare is at interest.co.nz, which publishes rates for credit cards and personal loans. Rates can change, and comparing helps you shop around.  

On top of the standard interest charges, there can be all sorts of fees when you borrow: setup fees, annual fees, late fees, default fees (a penalty if you miss payments). 

The key is before you take on any debt, work out how much it will cost you with interest and fees included. Our debt calculator can help.