Welfare support will continue for those in need

Western Waikato residents in need of welfare support can rest assured help will still continue during Alert Level 3.

With demand increasing each week for food parcels and other essential items, food banks throughout the districts of Waipa, Waitomo and Ōtorohanga are geared up and have prepared for the long term.

Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre controller David Simes says the EOC has financially supported local food banks since the onset of Level 4 lockdown four weeks ago, and will continue to do so while there is the need.

“Statistics show demand for food and essential items is growing as the non-health consequences of COVID-19 continue to emerge. Last week alone, Te Kuiti Food Bank provided 161 parcels to its community, an increase from the week before,” he says.

“We know the effects of COVID-19 will be felt for many more months to come because there is so much uncertainty around employment and incomes in particular.

“Financial pressure is hitting our communities in unprecedented ways. If you are struggling to provide for your family, please call our welfare helpline, support is available.”

Since it was first established on 31 March, Waikato’s 0800 800 405 welfare helpline has provided assistance to more than 1500 people throughout the region.

To request assistance, please phone 0800 800 405 between 7am and 7pm.

Other helpline numbers

MSD (WINZ) – 0800 559 009

Mental health - Phone or text 1737
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
Anxiety NZ - 0800 269 4389

Lifeline - 0800 543 354

Alcohol & Drug Helpline - 0800 787 797
Family Violence Helpline - 0800 456 450
Victim Support - 0800 842 846
Women’s Refuge - 0800 733 843
0800 HEY BRO (439 276)

Rural Support - 0800 787 254

LGBTQAI+ Helpline - 0800 688 5463
Asian Family Services - 0800 862 342

Kia mauri tau. Kia ngākau aroha. E noho ki te kāinga. Tiakina te tangata.


Be calm. Be kind

Media contact:

Public Information Manager - Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre

027 382 3218 | [email protected]