Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu announces the closure of the Puna Fund

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu announces the closure of the Puna Fund. The fund was established following the first nationwide lockdown in March 2020 in recognition that for many whānau in a crisis, navigating complex systems to access support was challenging.

During the recent Delta lockdown, demand from whānau for support increased exponentially with over 14,000 applications received over four weeks. This surge in requests has exhausted the fund and has forced us to close the Puna Fund, effective immediately.

“Whānau have shown resilience and fortitude and have been courageous enough to reach out for support.

Whānau Ora came about through understanding that whānau hold the solutions for challenges they may face but there are exceptional circumstances where reinforcements are needed. We have been proud to answer the call and through the Puna Fund do a small part to help lessen the load for whānau,” says Helen Leahy, Pouārahi Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.“We are also heartened by the heroic efforts of so many Whānau Ora Partners, entities and Navigators, who work relentlessly to support whānau to find a way through dire times.”

The Puna Fund was created out of the COVID response and recovery funding and was allocated to meet the immediate needs of individuals and whānau who had been affected by the impacts of COVID-19. “Government funding partners have been very clear that the COVID fund was time-limited, and that once the additional funding for recovery and rebuild was exhausted, the Puna fund would have to close,” says Ms Leahy.

Ihi Research reports show that lockdown restrictions lead to increased stress and require additional support from government agencies for relief and reassurance. It showed that lockdown had a significant impact on whānau and 20% had less work, 32% experienced increased costs, and 34% had less income and more costs.

“The top concern in the Ihi Research report was having enough food to feed the whānau. It was evident then that COVID increased food insecurity. This was further reinforced during the Delta lockdown with over 90% of the applications we received related to whānau experiencing a severe food shortage,” says Ms Leahy.

The Puna Fund has helped reduce stress and, in some cases, improve the wellbeing and health of whānau during times of hardship and distress.

In particular, the report shows that Puna Funding helped whānau support the needs of tamariki, provide kai, pay bills, keep whare warm, attend job interviews, support data needs for tamariki learning, obtain their driver’s licence and take up or continue studying.

Whānau still facing hardship and in need of help can continue to approach Whānau Ora Navigators for support, or Work and Income directly.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


BusinessNZ: Third Snapshot Report Reveals $9.5 Billion Business Investment In Climate Action

Signatories to the Climate Leaders Coalition have committed to invest $9.5 billion over the next five years to reduce emissions from their businesses, as revealed in their third anniversary snapshot report released today... More>>

Digitl: The home printer market is broken
Printers are more of a security blanket that a serious aid to productivity. Yet for many people they are not optional.
Even if you don’t feel the urge to squirt ink onto dead trees in order to express yourself, others will insist on printed documents... More>>

Serious Fraud Office: Commences Enquiries Into Allegations Of COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Fraud
The Serious Fraud Office has commenced a number of enquiries into alleged abuse of the Government’s COVID-19 Wage Subsidy. Director Julie Read said the allegations relate to multiple complex cases of potential fraud that have been referred to the agency following extensive investigations ... More>>

ComCom: Companies In Hot Water For Selling Unsafe Hot Water Bottles And Toys

A wholesaler and a retailer have been fined a total of $140,000 under the Fair Trading Act for selling hot water bottles and toys that did not comply with mandatory safety requirements. Paramount Merchandise Company Limited (Paramount) was fined $104,000 after pleading guilty in the Manukau District Court... More>>

Reserve Bank: Robust Balance Sheets Yield Faster Economic Recovery

Stronger balance sheets for households, businesses, financial institutions and the government going into the pandemic contributed towards maintaining a sound financial system and yielding a faster economic recovery than following previous deep recessions... More>>

Transpower: Releases Independent Report Into Events Of August 9
Transpower’s Chief Executive Alison Andrew has today released an independent report into the grid emergency of August 9 when insufficient generation was available to meet demand, leading to some customers being disconnected... More>>