Community Support Service To Open Next Week
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is partnering with government agencies to set up a community support service in Queenstown, with services linking into the Wānaka Community Hub. The services provided will evolve over coming weeks, but will initially focus on information and advice in relation to immigration and local social services more than just welfare information.
QLDC Recovery Team Community Lead Marie Day said the service will initially open at the end of next week with assistance from Immigration New Zealand (INZ), but will expand to include other services.
“We will run a range of workshops with some one-on-one meetings with immigration advisors,” Ms. Day said.
“To safely manage access during Level 2, meetings will be via appointment only. We also plan on filming the workshops and providing online meeting options for those who are unable to attend.”
INZ will be on hand to help temporary migrants understand their immigration options, which will include helping co-ordinate information, engaging with employers and providing information on options to depart Aotearoa New Zealand if temporary migrants have no pathway to remain in the country. INZ will be available at the community support service for three weeks. Details on how to register for an appointment will be shared early next week.
Other services which will be available include immigration lawyers and justices of the peace, along with travel advice and repatriation options.
“Council’s role in the service is to support and facilitate partnerships with agencies and community organisations to help make the process for support easier for our community. The aim is to limit stress by providing one place to come to where you can be directed to the help and support you need,” Ms. Day said.
“We are also working alongside many of our local social services to ensure people can be easily referred to other support services they may need.”
Civil Defence will continue to provide general welfare support needs. People can continue to apply for support for food, accommodation and household goods and services via the welfare form on the QLDC website any time, with requests processed during business hours, Monday to Friday.
The Otago Helpline (0800 322 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org) will continue to operate 9.00am to 5.00pm daily for urgent requests. If people need help paying rent, power or gas bills they can apply for help at Otago Civil Defence online.