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


Social issues appearing in lockdown

People around the western Bay are more in need of food during this lockdown, according to the region's social agencies.

SociaLink, the umbrella organisation for the Western Bay's social agencies and charities, surveyed social service providers through its newsletter and at a management forum to find out what they were observing in the community during lockdown.

The number one need is access to food, which has happened earlier than in the previous lockdown. In 2020 it took three to four weeks before demand began to rise, food agencies said. Here To Help U, which has a website and 0800 number for people seeking help, has also begun compiling data about needs, with food being the most common need.

"Social agencies believe this could be due to family members now also needing to isolate if someone in the household is awaiting a test result, or it could be due to families not having recovered from the last lockdown," SociaLink general manager Liz Davies said.

The Foodbank said it was seeing lots of new faces, including those who did not qualify for subsidies or did not have enough money to pay for food. Some families who relied on school lunches and breakfasts to help budget now had to find food for these meals.

Liz Davies said providers Good Neighbour or Food Bank indicated that food supplies were not an issue at this stage.

Social agencies advised that people with illnesses or disabilities had been unable to get priority access to online delivery from supermarkets, but this had now been activated.

Age Concern advised that the Student Volunteer Army grocery service is available nationwide to those in self-isolation or who have no other way to access food.
Other issues showing up are concerns about family harm where victims are living with their perpetrator. They expect to see a spike in demand for family harm services once lockdown is over.

The only ones reported during lockdown are the ones so severe that victim has been left with no choice or is injured so badly that agencies respond. There is increased demand for support from Women’s Refuge, a social agency said.

For those with disabilities, financial struggles, anxiety, loneliness and uncertainty were common concerns. Some families say they are worried they will be stopped when driving a disabled family member to calm them down.

Families are reporting that some disabled young people are loving not going to school and challenging behaviour has decreased. Others are missing home care support, which has been reduced.

Some agencies dealing with children and young people are reporting increased anxiety and a need for activities for children who don't have access to devices.
Follow-ups include investigating a phone crisis line for men who are perpetrators of family violence, and getting permission for those who need to drive to calm a family member. The District Health Board is following up about a reduction in home care.

Parents can pickup devices for students at most schools, and home packs are being distributed with priority for low decile areas.

Davies said there is some difficulty for community organisations in planning longer term given the lack of certainty of the length of lockdown.

"Organisations are reporting to be financially okay, but this could change if the lockdown continues, with for instance a reduction in Gaming Trust funding. Relying on staff from other areas is also no longer possible and staff wellbeing is a concern."

She said there had been upsides to the continued lockdown.

"For some, lockdown means more time for whānau to connect and enjoy each other's company. As with the 2020 lockdown we have seen marae and communities mobilise to support their community, particularly the vulnerable in delivering food, for example, Huria and Hairini marae, and in the Katikati community."

People are exercising outside and getting fresh air in their neighbourhood. The lack of cars on the roads and industry closures is allowing the environment to rest, she said.

SociaLink has held a Zoom meeting for social agencies and will continue to monitor demand for services.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels