COVID-19 Lock down: week 2

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Welcome to the latest Policy Watch e-newsletter highlighting the latest news, research and policy developments relevant to NZCCSS’ core mission to work for a just and compassionate society in Aotearoa New Zealand.

For Christians around the world, Easter is a time we remember that the Spirit of life, love and hope is stronger than the power of death, hatred, and fear. This message is much needed in these times of Corvid-19, and all the fear, and uncertainty this virus has brought into our lives.

The Easter message is also about sharing and generosity of spirit and we at NZCCSS are seeing this in abundance around the country as NGOs and government agencies have galvanised to support those in need during the lockdown. The provision of food and shelter has been a keen focus of many of our services, alongside supporting older people, and vulnerable families.

We have 2 more weeks of Lockdown and an alert level 4 response to go, and already our experts are seeing this as an effective strategy, but advise we have some way to go yet before we can return to any sense of normality. “Stay home, break the chain, save lives remains the collective goal and most of us are playing our part to achieve this.

This Easter will feel different as we tune into services via livestream, radio or tv but what will remain the same is the sense of hope and renewal that comes from this time of prayer and reflection.

NZCCSS wishes you all a Blessed Easter.

Ngā mihi o Te Aranga ki a koutou katoa

Covid-19 Social Impact Report and Dashboard

The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit is releasing a fortnightly Covid-19 Social Impact Dashboard and to try and record the outcomes of COVID-19 on our nation, but particularly for poorer, vulnerable Kiwi facing serious hardship in this new normal. This is an important resource welcomed by NZCCSS.

COVID-19: Inequality dimension

While we are hearing about many families and whānau enjoying this extended family time, coping with new shopping routines, working from home, and counting teddy bears on walks around their neighbourhoods, NZCCSS remains deeply concerned for families and whānau already living precarious lives in poverty, and in overcrowded or unhealth housing conditions. We also know such pressures can create a pressure point for family violence and abuse. Max Rashbrooke’s recent article on CORVID-19 reminds us that there is a poverty and inequality dimension to this crisis.

Social Services and Food Bank Survey

We need to know how things are going for you!

The impacts of the lockdown on the communities you serve and your abilities to support whanau and families has to be communicated directly to the Government and government agencies developing the policies to respond to the crisis. In order to achieve this, we need to hear from you directly on your experiences, what practices are working for you and what policies and processes from government agencies are helping or hindering your efforts.

Please go to this link to fill in a short survey to make sure we are being kept up to date with what happening with your work and within the communities you work with. Your support with this will really help us provide the best and most effective advice on changes that need to be made.

Trevor McGlinchey NZCCSS Secretariat

Food Banks and Food Rescue from MSD

A reminder that the latest Ministry of Social Development Guidance for Foodbanks and Food Rescue services information on how to continue your services is here. If you are still operating your foodbank or food rescue service this is essential reading.

COVID 19 Food Bank Assistance – Update

Thank you to everyone whose organisations participated in the Food Bank & Community Food distributors survey being run by the Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective & MSD. We have had a great response. We will be inviting people to share their data each week. Organisations are still welcome to participate even if they didn’t share their data last week. Just click this link: Click the food bank survey here

Here is a synopsis of foodbank survey from last week:

  • 52 Organisations participated, 4 not food bank and community distributors
  • 44 are still open
  • 12 out of the 16 Civil Defence regions represented
  • Their Pre-COVID 19 average was 3802 food parcels and 1900 meals = total combined units 5702
  • Week ending 29/3/20: 5531 food parcels and 3458 meals = total combined units 8989. This is up by 57%.
  • In complete data for week ending 5/4/20: 4570 food parcels and 2250 meals = total combined units 6820 with three significant distributors data missing. (estimated to be at least another 2,500 – which would put the week just ended at about 63% more food distributed than pre-COVID 19 conditions)

The Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective & MSD

Post COVID-19 Immediate and Longer-term impact

Already people’s minds are turning to the impact of COVID 19 on the economy, jobs, unemployment rates, and what aspects of life will return to normal and what will be changed forever. Shamubeel Eaqub has produced an excellent webinar about the depth and length of the economic crisis brought about by the Covd-19 pandemic. It is a sobering watch and indicates how heavily many New Zealanders will be impacted and the need for more social services and community supports over this time. It was produced for the Economic Development agencies for local government.

COVID-19 Information Updates

NZCCSS has endeavoured to keep up with the latest information on COVID-19 on the NZCCSS website. Click here to read.

We welcome your feedback on POLICY WATCH and other publications produced by the Council, email:

Ngā mihi nui
From all of us in the team at NZCCSS