Getting Help

Covering Costs
People have higher costs for power because of using cloths dryers. Others many have additional health costs.

Clothes dryer, hrv carbon socks (help eliminate stench), air purifiers.

Mayors Welfare Fund

WINZ / MSD – 0800 559 009

The government does have systems to help with emergency situations like this crisis (and more and more people feel like it is an emergency).

WINZ have a benefits called “Temporary Additional Support” (TAS) and “Food Grants”. They can also provide loans for essential items in your home.

TAS and food grants aren’t recoverable, that means you don’t pay them back. Loans are repaid but there isn’t interest on them.

Some people have been looking at putting filters on HRV and DVS systems or installing an independent charcoal filter. These may be considered “extra unexpected costs” and qualify you for extra assistance. It doesn’t cost you anything to ask.

Some people have expressed that they are using their dryer to dry cloths more than normal. While there is a winter energy grant for some, there isn’t for others.

Food grants are often paid when you’ve had to pay food money out for something else. You will be expected to prove you have paid for something else.

The normal process when dealing with a bank is to ask for money before you spend it (like arranging a credit card, a personal loan or over draft). With WINZ the normal process can be that you spend first and then are assessed if that was a reasonable choice which qualifies you for more assistance.

WINZ key measure is “does this situation cause you hardship”. Most people don’t like to admit that they’re suffering hardship, it fly’s in the face of “taking personal responsibility” but we weren’t responsible for this mess and as a community we help each other when disaster strikes.

Having Trouble With WINZ?
Dealing with WINZ on the phone for the first time can be hard. There is a process you have to work through. Try to remember that most of the time the call takers on the phone want to help you, but they’re human too and if they fail to explain something well or get confused (and that happens all the time) then you have other avenues. Your MP’s office is expert at helping to guide you, use their services if you’re struggling.

Where to Start with WINZ
Please try to use the web site first. If you need help then reach out on social media first. There are lots of people who can and will help. The phones are over run at present with IRD and COVID putting lots of pressure on phone resources. Waiting times can be very long.

Health Issues

Your Doctor. It doesn’t cost anything to call your doctor and tell them if you’re struggling. We all save something for a rainy day, but we don’t save for our cities sewer system burning down and causing stench in the air. Your doctor understands this, talk to them.

Health Line – 0800 611 116

Every call you make to Health Line is counted. Government counts this stuff to understand where help is needed. You won’t know what help they can offer until you call. You may not feel like they’ve helped, but that shouldn’t stop you reaching out and making a call.

Looking After Yourself

It’s obvious to say, but easy to over look. When everything stinks, eating gets harder. Cooking gets harder.

Your Council

Everyone gets it… the council feels like the enemy right now, but they’re not. They have welfare resources and people to take your call. Phone them, be polite but sure your frustration.

You also have elected members, both a councilor and community board members. Get to know them, tell them what’s going on. Empower them to best represent you across the table.

Social Media and Main Stream Media

Use social media to share your frustrations and find support. But take care not to be to drawn in.

Yes, it’s important to endorse those who are trying to help, but it’s also important for you to care for your own mind.

Take good breaks away from screens if the messages are impacting you.


Look for friends and family outside of the area. Share with them. Let them host you.

Some of you don’t feel like hosting in your own homes right now. The whole country understands that.

Washing and Drying