As you may have seen, Minister Sepuloni and the PM have just announced a package of supports for providers and community groups to support with the flood response.
You can find the full press release for this here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt-delivers-support-package-ngos-and-community-groups
We know providers and community groups have been working hard to support flood impacted communities and so it is a priority to rollout this funding as quick as possible. This is going to start this week. For any questions, initial inquiries or requests around applications processes please email: Community_Information@msd.govt.nz
The Ministry of Social Development and Employment (MSD) will work in coordination with other agencies to allocate this funding, including with Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Whaikaha, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry for Ethnic Communities. Allocation decisions will be guided by the groups most affected. This will include ensuring that funds are delivered to Māori and Pacific communities and providers (including Whānau Ora), the disabled community, and ethnic community groups.
Please note all of this funding is time limited to until June 2023.
Below is further detail on each of the initiatives included.
Community support fund
This component will support community groups (such as marae, churches or youth groups) to continue providing holistic support to their most vulnerable whānau. We saw the success of this type of fund during the COVID response, where MSD funded community led solutions through the COVID-19 Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund.
This fund will focus on supporting the capability of local community groups, who are not current MSD providers, to continue supporting communities and whānau in Auckland and other regions impacted by recent flooding. Funding will allow community groups to support the wellbeing of their whānau, support them to replace infrastructure needed to maintain operations and flood recovery.
MSD regions will engage with community groups impacted by floods seeking support for community led initiatives that met identified needs.
Up to $2 million will be available for community groups. The amount that community groups can receive under the fund will be capped at $3,500.
Community providers response and wellbeing fund
This funding will provide additional resources for providers supporting affected communities in need. Providers are considered those who already have government contracts in the social sector, including those funded by MSD as well as Whaikaha and Te Puni Kokiri (Whānau Ora). Providers have mobilised quickly to provide flood relief support however this new emergency exacerbates existing pressure on the sector which (especially in Auckland) has not yet recovered from COVID-19 response.
Funding will allow providers to support the wellbeing of their staff and volunteers, support them to address immediate infrastructure needed to maintain operations and flood recovery and help meet the increase in demand due to the flood response. This is not intended to replace or cover insurance related matters, but enable them to continue to keep operating in the flood response.
Funding will be targeted to providers in the most affected communities including Māori, Pacific, ethnic communities and disability communities and will consider cross-agency investment to minimise duplication. This will also include specific targeting toward providers that are working with children and youth, including phone lines/ text services to ensure there is capacity amongst providers. Funding will also be able to be used to increase staff resourcing for providers in the short term to increase capability in the flood response.
The amount that providers can receive under the fund will be capped at $7,000 and will be a total fund of up to $4 million.
The floods have affected some community food providers stock, increased food demand and reduced the amount of donated food available to foodbanks. This component will allow community food providers to refill their stock to meet current demand. This will be up to $1 million and will be distributed using existing mechanisms, for example the New Zealand Food Network, in order to facilitate bulk purchasing of essential items.
Expanding the scope of Community Connectors and discretionary support
Community Connectors were established in June 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are a key part of the welfare component of the Care in the Community welfare response to COVID-19.
Cabinet has agreed to formally widen the Community Connector scope to be able to support people in Auckland and other regions impacted by recent flooding, in addition to their current remit of supporting people impacted by COVID-19 and have the capability to increase the discretionary funding available. This funding in total is capped at up to $4 million and will ensure they have sufficient funding to support flood affected households.
MSD will be in contact with service guidelines to support Connectors.
Addressing the needs of disabled people
MSD and Whaikaha will work directly with disabled people to understand their needs and how to support the disabled community as part of the flood response. This fund will provide up to $0.5 million to assist with identified costs. This could include helping with additional challenges disabled people are experiencing as part of the flood recovery. It could also include meeting additional costs disability providers are facing due to the flooding (e.g. from having to pay staff who are unable to attend work, and employing additional staff to cover them, and providing additional care to disabled people impacted).
Please feel free to pass this on to your networks who may find the information helpful.
Alicia Sudden | Senior Ministerial Advisor
Office of Hon Carmel Sepuloni
DDI: +64 4 817 8293 | Mobile: +64 21 879 085 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org