Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Phone Lines Run Hot For Welfare Assistance

Around 3000 requests for food parcels have been received by an Auckland Council call centre in the first week of its operation, says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

Auckland Council has set up a food distribution centre at Spark Arena at the request of the government to help people needing assistance due to the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown.

The government is meeting the cost of the food, while Auckland Council is operating the contact centre to respond to calls for help and coordinating the supply, packaging and delivery of food.

“In particular we are trying to reach out to those who have suffered job losses because of the lockdown, to tide them over until their applications for income support are processed by state agencies,” Phil Goff said.

“We are also assisting groups such as the elderly and the disabled, who are unable to access supermarkets.

“Yesterday we dispatched 800 food parcels and today we will deliver an estimated 1500 packs to those in need. On average we expect to be delivering around 500 packs per day in the immediate future.

“Council workers at our telephone contact centre have been redeployed to take the calls, determining how the callers can best be helped, including with food support and referral to other agencies for specific help.

“Our staff have reported that many of the calls they have received are from people who have not asked for this sort of support before.

“It is really important that every family is able to put food on the table for their children at a time when unexpectedly they are facing financial hardship,” Phil Goff said.

“This is a practical expression of our commitment to help each other as we work through the crisis that our country faces. We are all in this together.

“I acknowledge the work that our council and Auckland Emergency Management staff and our partners at Countdown, Spark Arena and New Zealand Couriers are doing on the ground, and the support of the government for providing the financial means to make this possible,” the mayor said.

Auckland Emergency Management Group Controller Kate Crawford said the service is responding well, despite high demand.

“Pulling an operation of this size together in such a short space of time has been a logistical challenge, but one that the team has risen to.

“Although call volumes have been high, we are committed to helping Aucklanders who require our assistance at this time,” says Kate.

As of 7pm on Monday 6 April, approximately 3000 Aucklanders had contacted the service to request assistance. In addition to requests for the welfare parcels, the service has also fielded calls related to accommodation and the need for other government support services.

The basic food packages are available for Aucklanders who are unable to afford groceries or are in self-isolation with no access to other support networks. Those applying for the package will be assessed for eligibility when they phone in.

Auckland Emergency Management has worked with Countdown to source the contents of the parcels, which include tinned fruit, vegetables and fish, pasta, rice and basic toiletries. New Zealand Couriers is distributing the parcels to households across the Auckland region.

Our contact centre representatives are specially trained to talk to people about sensitive topics like (among other things) income, family or other support. If the person can explain that they are unable to shop for grocery items for one or many of these reasons, and that their need is for food items, their request will be processed.

Aucklanders who need to access the service can call the Auckland Emergency Management helpline on 0800 22 22 76. The helpline is open between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The George Floyd Protests

Poverty, discrimination and repeated acts of police brutality all help to explain the rage being expressed on the streets of American cities right now after the death of George Floyd but there is a more immediate cause as well: Decades of research on police shootings and brutality reveal that officers with a history of shooting civilians, for example, are much more likely to do so in the future compared to other officers... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Government Must Explain Why We’re Still At Level 2

The Government needs to explain to New Zealanders why it won’t consider a move to Alert Level 1 for another week, Leader of the Opposition Todd Muller says.
“Kiwis have made enormous sacrifices to flatten the curve, but if their efforts still aren’t enough to move to Level 1 then the Government must explain why.... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels