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Extension of support for foreign nationals in hardship

The Foreign Nationals Support Programme | Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri has been extended from September 30 to November 30, 2020.

This extension will continue the support available under the Programme since July 1, 2020, to help visitors in New Zealand who have found themselves in a difficult spot due to COVID-19.

Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, and New Zealand Red Cross have been delivering support across Aotearoa to those eligible and most in need. To date, more than 7000 people have received support from the Programme, helping them access basic needs like food, accommodation and medical support.

"We are really proud to have helped so many, but we know there are still people out there who are struggling, and we encourage them to check their eligibility and apply for support," says Internal Affairs programme director Darryl Carpenter.

"The intention of this Programme is to help people meet basic needs while they explore options to return to their home country or are able to secure alternative means of support for themselves."

Those eligible for support are visitors to New Zealand who are experiencing serious financial hardship, and as a result are unable to meet their own basic, urgent and immediate needs, have exhausted other options and have no current access to a flight home.

"We are very pleased that the Government has decided to extend Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri through to the end of November 2020," New Zealand Red Cross project lead Rachel O’Connor says.

"While some of the people who received support in the first three months of the programme have now been repatriated, found work in New Zealand or alternative means of support, through our work on the ground we know that there are still significant and urgent humanitarian needs being faced by people on temporary visas in our communities. We are proud to be able to continue supporting them."

Much of this assistance is being made directly to third-parties, such as landlords or power companies. No cash payments are being made. In-kind vouchers are also provided.

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