Social and wellbeing support

Last updated 2 February

Last Updated : 02 Feb 2024

To support your wellbeing, the Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Office has established a Community and Social Recovery team which is dedicated to offering a helping hand to all storm affected residents by connecting you with the information, resources and agencies who might be able to support your recovery. 

Various community and wellbeing support is available to you, including free help with processing home insurance claims, rates relief, temporary accommodation assistance, and wider financial and mental health support.

Storm Recovery Navigation Service

We know how much you want to get back on your feet and how overwhelming things can be on your road to recovery.

The Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Office has put in place a team of Storm Recovery Navigators to support individuals, whānau and families impacted by the extreme weather events.

Navigators provide a free and confidential wrap-around service to:

  1. Provide one-on-one support and assistance
  2. Make sure you have the most up-to date-information, while connecting you to other support agencies like Work and Income, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS)
  3. Help you to gain access to specialist services like legal advice and budget advice
  4. Update you on grant applications/financial assistance available
  5. Support you with Housing/tenancy issues/temporary accommodation/resettlement
  6. Help you access other social and health services like counselling services and GP services

How do I access the Navigator Service?

To opt into the service, please either fill in our online referral form or phone 09 884 2070. For general enquiries relating to the service, please email navigators@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or phone 09 884 2070.

Free support for processing home insurance claims

If you would like support and advice on your residential home insurance claim, the New Zealand Claims Resolutions Service (NZCRS) can help.  

The NZCRS is a free and independent service that provides residential homeowners with advice, case management support where appropriate and access to legal, technical and wellbeing services to help them achieve timely, fair and enduring resolution of their residential insurance claims resulting from natural disasters.   

They are there to help whether you're unsure of what your insurer is telling you or have specific questions about either your insurance policy or the process that will be followed to settle your claim.

Do your homework before accepting a settlement.

NZCRS Director, Darren Wright says they are seeing a flow of settlements being presented to homeowners by insurers, and that it's important for homeowners to understand their rights and obligations. He says homeowners should ask their insurer who will manage the repair – will your insurer arrange for the repair work to be done, or will you be responsible?

“If you receive a scope of work and payment from your insurer, it's important to understand this is the insurer's assessment and an interim payment based on what they believe the repair cost and strategy should be. The homeowner needs to engage their own builder to assess the scope and provide a quote for the repair costs. 

“If your builder’s scope is different from the insurer’s assessment, or the money paid by the insurer is not enough to cover your builder’s quote, then get in touch with your insurer. You should clearly set out what is different and what costs are not included. 

“It’s critically important you don’t incur any costs or agree with your builder on any contract until the insurer has accepted the changes and/or the cost variations. If the insurer is going to carry out the repair, it’s still important to check the scope to make sure you agree with it.”

You can contact NZCRS on 0508 624 327, email contact@nzcrs.govt.nz or visit nzcrs.govt.nz

2023/2024 rates relief – how to apply

Auckland Council announced it will be giving a 100 per cent rates relief to all households that are uninhabitable as a result of extreme weather events in the first half of 2023.

We hope this support helps to ease the financial burden for those most severely impacted.

If your house was red placarded as at 30 June 2023, you will receive a 100 per cent rates relief for the full 2023/2024 rating year. A credit will be automatically applied to rates invoices, so you don’t need to do anything. 

Temporary Accommodation Support

If you were displaced from your home by the extreme weather events earlier this year, you may be eligible to receive interim financial support if your insurance payments for rental accommodation runs out. 

The payments commenced from 4 September 2023, but those eligible can receive a lump sum payment covering them from as early as 1 June 2023.

If you would like to apply, there are a few steps you need to complete before you can claim the financial support. This includes registering with Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) and putting in an application with Work and Income (WINZ) which opened on Monday 21 August.

To find out how to apply and for more information including about criteria, visit WINZ. You can also read the government’s 19 July announcement on the Beehive website.

If you are having trouble accessing financial support for temporary accommodation through Ministry of Social Development (MSD) or Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) we would like to hear from you at navigators@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

The Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Office is providing advice to MSD and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) on whether the eligibility criteria is working for Tāmaki Makaurau.

We want to understand how the current support packages are meeting the needs of storm-affected Aucklanders. If you have applied for the North Island Weather Events Temporary Accommodation Assistance (NIWETAA) and been declined, please email us with details of your experience at navigators@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Free counselling support

Trained counsellors are available for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for mental health support following the extreme weather events.

To speak to a counsellor, phone or text Need to Talk? on 1737 for help with anxiety or mental health after an extreme weather event.

As well as this help line, did you know you're also able to receive three free sessions with a counsellor. You’ll just need a referral from your General Practitioner (GP) / family doctor.

Free Wellbeing Apps

Below are some really helpful and free apps to support your wellbeing. You can download these apps for Android and Apple devices from Google Play and the App Store.

The Balance App

The Balance app is a wonderful resource which helps you manage your mental health and improve stress, sleep, mood, and more. This app is free in your first year of using it. Download the app on the Apple Store or on Google Play.

Groov

Co-founded by All Black legend, Sir John Kirwan, Groov gives you the tools to make small daily steps that create big changes for your daily wellbeing. Download it on the Apple Store or on Google Play.

Headstrong

Headstrong is the result of a co-design between the University of Auckland research team and young people. Dubbed as a ‘personal trainer for the mind’, Headstrong’s interactive chat function helps rangatahi feel like they’re texting with a trusted friend.

Crafted especially for New Zealand's secondary school students, Headstrong’s interactive chat function helps rangitahi build resilience, foster a positive mindset, and navigate life's challenges with confidence all while feeling like they’re texting with a trusted friend. Download it on the Apple Store or on Google Play.

Podcasts

What Matters Most’ Podcast - Vol X Looking After Yourself In The Face Of Natural Disasters

Hosted by Jacqui Maguire, a clinical psychologist, and Antonia Prebble, actor and presenter, in this episode Jacqui breaks down the three stages we typically go through following a natural disaster and how we can best look after ourselves – and one another – during these different periods. The pair also discuss what PTSD can look like, plus how to find a new routine, hope and gratitude in the wake of a major event. And, importantly they delve into exactly what we can do to care for and support children who are caught up in natural disasters.

Listen to this chat on Player FM or Apple podcasts.

‘After the Disaster’ Podcast

Hosted by disaster recovery expert, Dr Kate Brady, and with the support of the Australian Red Cross and the University of Melbourne, After the Disaster is another brilliant resource which gives you practical tips and evidenced-based advice on how to find your way through a disaster.

This includes tips for responding to questions like what should you expect? How do you look after yourself and the people around you? Why are relationships, the endless paperwork, emotions and parenting so hard right now? When are things going to feel normal again?

Listen to the podcast on Apple podcasts.

You can also contact:

Support for young people

In case of an emergency, call 111.

For more wellbeing tips, resources, and tools, go to allsorts.org.nz.

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