This page provides information for ethnic communities about COVID-19 and what it means for you, your family and your communities. We will update this page regularly.
Our main priority throughout New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 is to support ethnic communities to ensure they have the information and resources they need.
Office of Ethnic Communities staff continue to work from home and can be contacted by email or phone. If you do not already have a contact person, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We send out a regular newsletter about Covid-19 and what it means for ethnic communities in New Zealand.
We are now at Alert Level 2. For information about what Alert Level 2 means for you, your family, business or community, visit the Alert Level 2 page of the COVID-19 website.(external link) This page has clear information across a range of topics including gatherings, recreation, business, education, personal safety and when to call Healthline or your doctor.
A checklist from the Ministry of Education to help parents talk to their children about returning to school at Alert Level 2 is available in a range of languages(external link).
This section points you to information that will be relevant to ethnic communities throughout the wider COVID-19 pandemic. For information about life at Alert Level 2, please see the previous section.
The Ethnic Communities Development Fund has been re-prioritised to unite against COVID-19.
The new priorities are: alternative means of staying socially connected, employment initiatives, and community resilience and recovery.
Groups from any ethnic community are eligible to apply.
More information about the new priorities for the Fund, and instructions on how to apply, can be found on the Office of Ethnic Communities Fund page.
Civil Defence Emergency Management funding is available for foodbank and community groups providing essential services. This funding is designed to meet any temporary and additional costs groups face in providing food and other essential household items to people who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Contact your local Civil Defence group(external link) to see if your group is eligible for funding.
Gatherings are allowed at Alert Level 2, but there are limits on the number of people, and there are several measures people should take to keep everyone safe. The limit of gatherings is now upto 100 people.
The new limit applies to gatherings at your home, events outside of home and public venues - including church services, weddings and, funerals and tangihanga.
Information about gatherings can be found on the Alert Level 2 page of the COVID-19 page(external link).
Fast and effective contact tracing is essential to stopping any further spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
NZ Covid Tracer app: One way to keep track of your movements is to use the Government’s New Zealand Covid Tracer app, which is like a “digital diary”. Through the app, you can also register your current contact details with the Ministry of Health so they can get in touch if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.
You can download the New Zealand Covid Tracer app on your smartphone through the Apple Store or Google play. If you do not have a smartphone, you can still register online(external link) to share your latest contact information with the Ministry of Health.
Information about financial assistance for business is on the COVID-19 website(external link). There is a range of support available, including:
There is also an online COVID-19 financial support tool to find out what financial help may be available to you. Use the COVID-19 financial support tool(external link).
Further information is available for businesses:
Information for all travellers, student visa holders, migrant workers and employers is on the COVID-19 page of the Immigration New Zealand website.(external link)
Immigration New Zealand also has a COVID-19 Migrant and Refugee page(external link) on its website. This page has information for Settlement service providers.
International students: There are a number of measures in place to ensure international students and the international education community are supported during the COVID-19 crisis. Detailed information can be found on Education New Zealand’s COVID-19 page.(external link)
The Government has established a $1M hardship fund for international students to address urgent, temporary needs arising due to changes to their personal circumstances as a result of COVID-19.
Grants of up to $20,000 are made to organisations that work with international students, such as education providers and community groups. Grants are not made directly to students or their agents. More information about the fund and how to apply.(external link)
Healthcare for people without current visas: It is important that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 call Healthline or their doctor immediately, whether you have a current visa or not. Healthline is free — call 0800 358 5453.
District Health Boards are not allowed to share any information about the immigration status of individuals with Immigration New Zealand. Your treatment will be in complete confidence. Your personal information will not be passed on to other agencies.
Food and accommodation support: If you need support with essentials like food or accommodation, you can contact your local Civil Defence Emergency Management group. There are no visa or citizenship requirements associated with receiving support from these Groups during COVID-19, although foreign nationals should be in touch with their embassy or consulate first to see if they can assist.
If you need an interpreter when calling a government agency or helpline: call the agency you want to talk to, ask for a telephone interpreter, say the language you want, and wait to be connected.
Our team has prepared videos about COVID-19 in a variety of languages for ethnic communities. Please share these with your communities and people that might find them useful.
Translations of key information, including what is required at each Alert Level, are available in a range of languages on the COVID-19 website(external link).
The Red Cross has published information resources in 13 languages(external link) prepared by the community as part of their response to COVID-19.
The Northern Region District Health Boards and Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) have translated COVID-19 related health resources in 45 languages.(external link)
The Government and the Police continue to take family violence and sexual violence very seriously. Violence is a crime at any time.
Racism is not OK. Not now, not ever.
If you or someone you know believe you have been discriminated against, either racially or for another reason, please inform the Human Rights Commission using the form on its website.(external link) The Commission will use this information to see if it can help you, and as a record for its human rights advocacy work. You can also report incidents to Police by calling 105 or by using the online 105 form.(external link) Call 111 in an emergency.
More information is available on the Responding to Racism page of the Human Right Commission website.(external link)
There are a number of ways to get financial help or access to essential supplies if you need it.
The COVID-19 website has information about:
A support and services card is also available in 23 languages.(external link) It outlines key contact numbers and information if you need support or help. The card is available in English here.(external link)