The COVID-19 virus has impacted every aspect of daily life, and none perhaps more so than those who are part of our membership. What follows are links to various sites for the latest Ministry of Health Updates, useful information and other resources you can use to help yourself and others.

Remember – be kind, we’re in for a bumpy ride…

UPDATES:

30.3.2020

27.3.2020

NATIONAL EMERGENCY ALERT LEVEL 4 – KUA RĀHUI TE MOTU
0FFICIAL GUIDELINES FOR TANGIHANGA

More updates to come

26.3.2020

  • MSD UPDATES Please share this as far as you can.
    The important information we want to get out there is:

    • Please don’t worry – you’ll continue to be paid your regular benefit payments.
    • MSD has already done a bunch of things to make it easier for now.
    • If you’re already getting Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or Supported Living Payment, you don’t need to provide another medical certificate.
    • If you’re already getting Disability Allowance and Child Disability Allowance you don’t need to do anything – they will continue to be paid.
    • For now there will be no annual reviews or social housing reviews.
    • Special benefits won’t expire.
    • There will be no new obligation failures for now.

Remember, the Work and Income website, www.workandincome.govt.nz is the place to go for the latest information.

  • INLAND REVENUE UPDATES
    1st MessageIn these extraordinary circumstances, ensuring people get their entitlements, including their Covid-19 relief, is an essential service and Inland Revenue’s top priority.We are now required to operate very differently, including how we work with you. Our phone services will be severely limited and the only effective way to contact us, will be online and through myIR.Within Inland Revenue, all front office services in all localities are now closed and all of our staff, except a small number of special exceptions, will be working from home.For those receiving payments – Working for Families in particular – you will be paid.   It may be that some squaring up of over or underpayments needs to be made and that will happen – maybe not immediately but it will happen.If you need to contact us urgently about your entitlement, then online through myIR is the best way.Inland Revenue remains committed to implementing the latest round of our transformation changes in April. Maintaining the pace of IR’s transformation is important and any delay increases the risk that we won’t be able to meet customers’ needs at this difficult time.  By upgrading our systems in line with our current plan, we increase our agility to respond swiftly to situations such as Covid-19 which gives the Government more flexibility to help New Zealanders.Please be assured that the people who work at Inland Revenue will be doing their very best to make sure all New Zealanders get what they need as soon as they need it. That is our top priority.We will be providing more detail on things you need to know as this situation develops. You can find current information at ird.govt.nz/covid192nd MessageIf your business is unable to pay its taxes on time due to the impact of COVID-19, we understand,  you don’t need to contact us right now.Get in touch with us when you can, and we’ll write-off any penalties and interest.It would help a lot if you continue to file however, as the information is used to make correct payments to people, and to help the Government continue to respond to what is happening in the economy.

    The following link is the latest news coming out of Inland Revenue:

    https://media.ird.govt.nz/articles/inland-revenue-updated-advice-to-businesses/

  • Parry Field Lawyers: Covid 19 – Key Legal issues for Charities.25.3.2020
  • Covid19 information in 12 languages
  • CoVid19 Information for Registered Charities
  • Worried about funding? (Thanks to Hui E for this article)
    Give yourself peace of mind and contact your funders early to discuss any concerns you have about not being able to meet your funding obligations. Be upfront about your organisational challenges – changing community needs, cancelled events, reduced project delivery, loss of income, staff changes etc. Most funders are quickly adapting their funding models to cover this period and the following months ahead. Examples include Wellington Community Trust and Nikau Foundation.
  • Information from DIA is here
  • MSD UPDATES
  • CHARITIES SERVICES UPDATE
Kia ora koutou katoa,

You will have received a lot of information about COVID-19 over the last few weeks, and the significant steps being taken by the Government to reduce the spread and impacts of COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We want to assure you that our approach during this uncertain time will be as flexible and pragmatic as possible. We know that charities remain vital in both responding to COVID-19, and keeping us together as a nation.

We have compiled some information based on questions we have been receiving over the last few weeks. You can find it here.

Some of the key points:

·         We are open – from our homes. Staff from Ngā Ratonga Kaupapa Atawhai Charities Services remain contactable. If you have questions please email info@charities.govt.nz – it may take us a little longer to get back to you.

·         We won’t have access to any post that has been sent, so please contact us via email. This will mean that annual returns, cheques and responses to questions that have been posted to us will have to wait until we return to the office.

·         Registered charities have six months after the end of their financial year to submit annual returns and financial statements/performance reports. We won’t be sending our regular reminder emails about annual returns being due, as we appreciate this may cause extra stress for some people. If you are unsure when your charity’s annual return is due, you can find this out by searching for your charity on the online charities register, and selecting the “Annual Returns” tab.

·         If your charity’s annual return is due shortly, but COVID-19 means you won’t be able to file your documents on time, you can ask for an extension. To do this, please email info@charities.govt.nz and let us know how much extra time you need. We won’t be taking action on any late returns during the lockdown period, but we encourage you to get in touch with us if you can.

·         New Zealanders are expected to remain at home over the next four weeks, so your charity will not be able to hold its Annual General Meeting or other meetings if they bring people together physically. We recommend looking at ways of doing this remotely if possible.

·         The government’s economic package to support those impacted by COVID-19 extends to registered charities. Check out the details on the Work and Income website.

·         Please follow the guidelines and updates from the Government’s COVID-19 website https://covid19.govt.nz/. This website is updated regularly and covers all the key information you need to know.

Keep an eye on our Facebook over the next few weeks. We’ll post any useful updates for charitable groups, informative podcasts, and some of the great stories from New Zealand charities. Let us know about your story by emailing info@charities.govt.nz or sending us a message on Facebook.

Ha waka eke noa

We are all in this together.

Stephen Reilly, Acting General Manager Charities Services

20.3.2020

Can NGOs access leave requirement Wage Subsidies.  Page three from MSD info sheet says as long as you fulfill requirements the answer is YES!

Links to Information

First and foremost is the Ministry of Health‘s dedicated page listing the most recent information and updates to hand – Ministry of Health – Covid-19

There also lots of information about what COVID-19 is, what to do if you think you have it and more about self-isolation in the Easy Read Format

 

As the Government implements it’s $12 billion package for affected industries around Aotearoa/NZ here are some wise words from Socialink Tauranga Moana that applies to us all

Advice from CommunityNet Aotearoa on Working From Home

Here is some information for Differently Abled People & Residential Care Providers

Socialink has made its resources available, which includes a Infectious Disease Policy

Transparency International NZ have a Pandemic Response Plan you can adapt to your organisation

Are you aware of your Employment ObligationsDundas St Lawyers have the answers.

What are your

You can also take part in ActionStation‘s survey to help develop a community response plan

From SociaLink Tauranga

We are a resilient bunch – earthquakes, terrorist attacks, oil spills – NZers continue to put their best foe Social Sectorot forward and look out for others. We now have another opportunity to show our care and compassion through checking in on older neighbours,  practicing self care and resisting the temptation to panic buy.

Given the wide ranging impact Covid-19 is having around the world and of course here in the Aotearoa / NZ we wanted to provide you with what we hope is some useful information, both for the people you work with and for your organisation.

We know CoVid-19 may create more demand for your services as it is the most vulnerable that generally get hit first and worst.  At the same time you are probably trying to figure out how to continue your work, ensure staff and client well being and of course ensure funding flows.

The bad news

According to my understanding of the government CoVid-19 response package announced yesterday, charities and incorporated societies are not eligible for wage subsidies or leave payments if your revenue declines by 30% or more.  It is only for businesses registered with the Companies Office.

As far as we are aware no specific financial support is being put into place for not-for-profits at this time.

The good news

Advice from WINZ is still go ahead and apply for wage subsidies and/or leave payments if you otherwise fit the criteria.  If you are declined they should be in touch to find out other ways to assist.

Min of Social Development – Income Support Info

Very important during this time is looking after your mental heath and wellbeing which includes top tips to get through and beyond

By now many of you will have seen the following cartoon, think of it as bingo – try them all!

Some useful links to more info as it comes to hand-

 

And what about social distancing…

We’ll keep you updated with the latest developments and resources to help you.

Photo: Orinoko42