The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Internal Affairs to deliver in-kind assistance to foreign nationals in serious hardship

30 June 2020

Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, is working with New Zealand Red Cross to assist foreign nationals in New Zealand who are experiencing serious hardship as a result of COVID-19.

From 1 July 2020, eligible people can apply for in-kind assistance to help them meet basic needs, such as food and accommodation, under the Government’s Assistance to Foreign Nationals Impacted by COVID-19 Programme, announced earlier this month.

Maria Robertson, Deputy Chief Executive at Internal Affairs says, “There are people in Aotearoa on temporary visas, who are unfortunately unable to meet their own basic needs and have exhausted all other options.”

“We are pleased to be working with New Zealand Red Cross to deliver temporary, in-kind assistance to eligible people across New Zealand, who have found themselves in a difficult position due to COVID-19,” says Maria Robertson.

From tomorrow, people can check their eligibility and apply through In-kind assistance will be made directly to third-parties, such as landlords or power companies. No cash payments will be made.

Internal Affairs is managing the programme on behalf of the Government and is working closely with New Zealand Red Cross on delivery. The online system and processing of applications is administered by Internal Affairs, and New Zealand Red Cross is delivering the in-kind assistance.
New Zealand Red Cross support will include needs assessments, local distribution of in-kind aid, psychosocial support, and engaging the community to ensure support is reaching the people who are eligible and most in need.

This is a temporary and transitional mechanism that will run for three months, with the intention that at the end of this time, people have either returned to their home country or have secured alternative means of support.