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Policy Watch 4 April 2020: Covid-19

“So do not fear, I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” 

Isaiah 41:10

COVID-19 - Lock down: one week on

Welcome to the latest Policy Watch e-highlighting the latest news, research and policy developments relevant to NZCCSS’ core mission to work for a just and compassionate society in Aotearoa New Zealand. A message from Trevor McGlinchey, NZCCSS Executive Officer.

Tēnei te mihi atu ki a koutou katoa,

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services members are at the forefront of ensuring vulnerable New Zealanders’ needs are being met. Our members have always responded to need in our communities by feeding the hungry and sheltering the cold. With the announcement of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Lockdown, we have seen a massive ramping up of our members’ efforts to ensure those with the least have their immediate needs met. This has included a massive effort to house the homeless and feed those with little or no access to food.

In response to COVID-19 our members’ soup kitchens and community lunches have moved to providing take away lunches and to social distancing. Food parcel providers have moved from food banks to food delivery and the demand for their services have skyrocketed as not only the poor seek support but also those who cannot go out to find their own food. Those working with rough sleepers and other homeless people have put in a herculean effort to house people securely during the Lockdown. National and Local Government have been very supportive with resources and are committed to working with the community sector to meet local need. The services provided by our members for older people, tamariki and children, families and those impacted by family violence and mental health issues continues through the dedication of our members skilled and committed staff.

NZCCSS is working at national level to ensure the voices of our service organisations are heard by politicians and within the Public Service policy teams. We have been able to take front line information and ensure that the practical responses that are needed are incorporated into the rapidly developing policy responses to the current crisis. We are seeking you help to ensure we have a good flow of information into the NZCCSS Secretariat to support this work to make the policy responses practical and workable. NZCCSS is working closely with our partners the Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger collective in gathering this information. Please go to the surveys discussed below and tell us the issues you are confronting and the solutions you are finding. I encourage you all to fill this in to relate your experiences of responding to this crisis.

Noho ora mai i raro i ngā manaakitanga o te Atua,

Food Providers

We need to know how things are going for you!
The Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective are working with MSD at this time to support food banks across the country in order that those who are low income food insecure can be best supported through the COVID 19 lockdown.
We are wanting to know who is still operating, how much food you are distributing, what and whether you have enough supply and what ongoing support might be helpful for you and the people you serve.
Help us out by filling in this short questionnaire right now
AND then supply us with an update each week during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Just click on the link and follow the questions, Click here 

The Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective & MSD

Social Services

The impacts of the lockdown on the communities you serve and your abilities to support whanau and families has to be communicated directly to the Government and government agencies developing the policies to respond to the crisis. In order to achieve this, we need to hear from you directly on your experiences, what practices are working for you and what policies and processes from government agencies are helping or hindering your efforts.
Please go to this link to fill in a short survey to make sure we are being kept up to date with what happening with your work and within the communities you work with. Your support with this will really help us provide the best and most effective advice on changes that need to be made.

Trevor McGlinchey NZCCSS Secretariat


The latest MSD Guidance for Foodbanks and Food Rescue services information on how to continue your services is here . If you are still operating your foodbank or food rescue service this is essential reading.

COVID -19 Volunteer Listing – Message from Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers

Over the last week there has been a call for a Volunteer Listing of Social Workers during the Covid-19 Crisis.
This is open to both members and non-members. If you are not a member of ANZASW then the assumption is, that you are registered with the SWRB and hold a current practising certificate.

You search by location. Once you have identified a possible volunteer, you click on their name taking you to their details.
While the ANZASW strives for the highest professional standards we cannot vouch for the services of individuals. If you have concerns regarding the conduct of an ANZASW member please refer to our Complaints Management Process for more information here
If you want to volunteer, please complete this form: Covid-19 Volunteer Listing for Social Workers>>

COVID-19: Key Information [as of 2 April 2020]

There is a lot of information to keep up with as this situation unfolds. The secretariat has collated links to key COVID-19 information and set up a page on the NZCCSS website. New information will be added, so keep a look out over the weeks ahead.

COVID 19 – Official Government Site

Ministry of Health

Visit NZCCSS website for further updates

We welcome your feedback on POLICY WATCH and other publications produced by the Council. Ngā mihi nui, email: admin@nzccss.org.nz

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