Group of young professionals in a kitchen.

Support for disabled people – affected by North Island floods and Cyclone Gabrielle

As part of the overall Community Support Package, a range of support and funding is available to support disabled people. Disabled people can access this support in a range of ways.

Community Connectors

Community Connectors are employed by non-government organisations and are a trusted service to help people understand the many types of support options available through government agencies or other service providers.

Community Connectors can assist people to connect with the supports and services they need.

Each Community Connector also has access to discretionary funding to support their work on a case-by-case basis.

To find a Community Connector in your region go to the Family Services Directory.

Direct support for disabled people

In addition to the wider Community Support Package initiatives, some disability providers are administering dedicated support and services that are only available for disabled people and their whānau in affected regions.

Select providers can work with disabled people and their whānau to ensure they get appropriate support.

Depending on the circumstances, the provider may be able to assist in funding essential items, such as assist in buying services, devices, or equipment for you.

What can the dedicated funding be used for?

The dedicated funding for disabled people or their households as part of the Community Support Package recognises that disabled people may have additional costs that are different to non-disabled people.

The funding can be used to support disabled people or their households who:

  • have been directly impacted by the North Island floods or Cyclone Gabrielle
  • need essential items or support that are necessary for their well-being.

For example, a person with a physical impairment may need to pay for a cleaner or moving company; they may need repairs to damaged housing modifications or equipment; or a person may need funding to enable their disabled child(ren) to access additional out-of-home support during this time.

Please note, you must apply for the funding before you make your purchase. It is not possible to get refunded for items you have already bought.

What can’t the dedicated funding be used for?

This dedicated funding for disabled people or their households as part of the Community Support Package cannot be used for:

  • Services, devices, equipment or support already funded through other Ministry contracts
  • Support also provided by a Community Connector
  • Ongoing costs, such as subscriptions
  • Reimbursement for items already purchased
  • Food (you can access food through Special Needs Grants from Work and Income or community food providers)
  • Purchasing cash assets (for example, shares, bonds, stocks)
  • Purchasing a vehicle
  • Alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, or vaping products
  • Gambling purposes eg: Lotto products.

How much dedicated funding can I receive?

Funding is limited with each disabled person within a whānau able to apply for up to a maximum of $1,000.

Funding is available through each provider listed, until it is exhausted.

How do I know if I am eligible to access direct support funding?

For the purposes of this funding, the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) serves as the definition of disability. This includes people who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

You do not have to be receiving funding disability support at the moment to be able to access this funding.

The service provider/agency will assess your needs and help determine if you are eligible for this funding.

You can find a list of disability providers who are providing support in your region, here.

The Disability Helpline

The Disability Helpline can also connect you to support and assistance. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call 0800 11 12 13 or text 8988. You can also access this helpline using the NZ Relay Service

The Disability Helpline is run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa - New Zealand Telehealth Services.

The Disability Helpline is also set up to provide support with COVID-19 and other general health concerns.

Support through Work and Income

There are a range of supports available through Work and Income for those affected in the recent North Island floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

These include: