Information for members of the public wishing to support the Covid-19 response



How can I help look after others?


Unless you are an essential worker, the best way you can help others is by staying home and helping people from there.


Kindness is an incredibly powerful way to show you are united against COVID-19. You can make a huge difference by talking to people over the phone or online:
• Checking in on older relatives or vulnerable people to make sure they have everything they need.

• Talking to friends, whānau and neighbours over the phone to see how they are and if they need support.


These kinds of connections and offers of help will go a long way to getting others through COVID-19.


If you are part of an existing or new volunteer group or organisation


If your group would like to support volunteer initiatives related to the Covid-19 response or related community needs, please contact your local civil defence/Council in the first instance to ensure that support is co-ordinated.


It is important to stay at home and only communicate with your group over the phone or via the internet, do not meet in person. Please don’t put any newsletters or notes through letterboxes on a large scale, as any surface can spread the virus.


Delivering essential supplies


COVID-19 can live on surfaces, so any objects which pass between people are potential ways for the virus to spread.


Thank you to everyone who has been involved in helping so far, however, to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is important that only essential services carry out large scale delivery services and other community work.


Unless you are an essential worker, you should only deliver essential supplies to nearby friends, family and whanau, and close neighbours. Do this only if it is absolutely necessary.


You should only deliver to a few people and you must remain loyal to these people for the entire lockdown. The more people you deliver to, the higher the risk.


If you know someone that needs help, then let them know about the help available or enquire on their behalf if they are comfortable with you doing so. If they have an urgent need for essential goods that you can’t get or who need help and don’t have anyone who can assist them. Go to to find out about the help available and your regional 0800 number for essential supplies.


Read more about how to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to those you are trying to help in the section above under ‘shopping for others’.


Connect with your local Volunteer Centre


Go to the Volunteering NZ website to read more about volunteering


There are 17 regional Volunteer Centres around New Zealand. The Volunteer Centre network has mobilised to take expressions of interest from those available to help during the pandemic. Get in touch with your local centre to connect with opportunities to collaborate.


Working in the community


Civil Defence/your local council currently has enough people to carry out our essential services, including delivering essential supplies on a large-scale. If more support is needed, existing accredited welfare organisations will be used to provide essential services. This guidance will be re-evaluated if the situation changes and wider community support is required.


If you have not been advised from official sources that you are part of an essential service and have a letter that you can show to the police, then you must follow the guidelines for staying at home and carrying out deliveries to only a few people who live nearby.


Essential services have someone appointed to look at enforcing strict health and safety requirements in line with Government advice due to the high risk of spreading the virus.


Be a friend on the phone


People need to feel connected with others, but during this time that connection can’t come from being physically close or chatting in person.


Could you spare 20 minutes on the phone to check in and have a conversation?  A way to help is for groups to reach out to their networks and see if members can be a friend on the other end of a phone (or a video call) during lockdown, especially for those who are on their own, elderly or vulnerable.


Anyone can start to feel lonely and most people appreciate a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. It doesn’t have to be about requesting support, it could just be to share some stories and keep in touch.  By staying connected in other ways, we may not be as tempted to burst our lockdown bubbles and can keep saving lives!