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Community Connection Service

On 23 July 2020 the Minister of Social Development announced that 125 Community Connectors positions are being established within communities across Aotearoa ($41.25 million over the next two years).

The positions are being funded out of the Government’s COVID Response and Recovery Fund, which is focused on cushioning the blow from the pandemic, supporting businesses and workers, and positioning the economy for recovery.

What is the Community Connection Service?

The Community Connection Service takes an active approach to ensuring individuals and whānau are able to access the support and services they need to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 by establishing 125 Community Connector positions across Aotearoa.

This will increase the support available to individuals and whānau to access information and services from multiple government agencies and service providers.

How does the Community Connection Service support the COVID-19 response and recovery?

The Community Connection Service will facilitate support to individuals and whānau as part of the psycho-social response and recovery plan for COVID-19.

It is expected COVID-19 will cause an increase in psycho-social and employment needs, particularly among those with multiple needs and in complicated living situations. The Community Connection Service recognises that individuals and whānau impacted by COVID-19 will require a range of supports and services to get back on track.

When will the Community Connection Service be operational?

We will be working collaboratively with MSD regional leadership teams to determine where the need is and will contract providers as appropriate. We are aiming to have as many Community Connectors as possible (up to a maximum of 125) positioned by 1 October 2020.

We are prioritising existing MSD-funded providers that can stand up this workforce immediately and have the existing capability to deliver the Community Connection Service in line with how they currently operate.

Where will the Community Connection Service be available?

Community Connectors will be positioned in locations where it is identified that extra help is needed to support individuals and whānau. Community Connectors are not intended to overlap or overwhelm sufficiently resourced areas, rather they will be complementary to what is already there, ensuring that connections and support is more accessible and available to individuals and whānau.

Who should I contact with questions?

Please email Community_Information@msd.govt.nz with the subject line ‘Community Connection Service’ with any questions.

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