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WELFARE | Household goods distribution programme for those in need

BACKGROUND

In line with the welfare directive announced by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to help people experiencing hardship as a result of the lockdown, the council’s Auckland Emergency Management department has set up a system for Aucklanders who may be suffering because of job losses or hardship and struggling to access basic household supplies.

Starting from Wednesday 1 April, Aucklanders who are unable to afford groceries or are in self-isolation with no access to other support networks can call Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week.

Anyone who meets the government’s eligibility criteria will be couriered a welfare parcel containing items such as dry goods like pasta and rice, tinned vegetables and meats, and basic toiletries.

The first courier parcels are expected to be dispatched at the end of this week. A distribution centre is currently being set up with staff being trained in health and safety provisions for warehousing work, under COVID-19 guidelines.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the Auckland Emergency Management packages?

These are one-off welfare packages available free of charge for Aucklanders who are unable to afford groceries or are in self-isolation with no access to other support networks. They contain items such as dry goods including pasta and rice, tinned vegetables and meats and basic toiletries.

How are you ensuring these get to those who need them?

Anyone applying for the package will need to meet the government’s eligibility criteria.

What’s the criteria?

The packages are available for Aucklanders who are unable to afford groceries or are in self- isolation with no access to other support networks. Those applying for the package will be assessed for eligibility when they call Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 96.

How can people access the Auckland Emergency Management packages?

Starting from Wednesday 1 April, Aucklanders can call Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week.

FAQ_31 March 2020

Can I arrange for packages to be delivered to eligible Aucklanders in my ward/LB?

So that we’re able to track demand and ensure the process is robust, Aucklanders who think they are eligible for the service should access the Auckland Emergency Management phone number directly.

Is the Auckland Emergency Management phone number the only way to access the packages?
Yes, at the moment the freephone number is the only way to access the packages. Having one registration system has allowed us to rapidly stand up the service using existing infrastructure.

Is the Auckland Emergency Management number able to handle calls from people who don’t speak English?
Yes; Auckland Emergency Management call handlers have access to a translation service.

What will be in an Auckland Emergency Management package?

We are working with suppliers to source a range of staple items that will fulfil basic family food needs. The package will include items like tinned baked beans and spaghetti, tinned vegetables, soup, tinned fruit, tinned meat and fish; a spread, like jam, peanut butter or honey; flour; sugar; teabags; rice; pasta and cereal.

How are you ensuring the correct COVID-19 protocols are followed?

All staff involved in the packing and distribution of the packages are given health and safety training and all work is carried out under strict COVID-19 guidelines. Delivery will be zero contact.

How are the packages delivered?

Packages will be delivered by courier. Where this isn’t possible (e.g. Aotea / Great Barrier Island) we will use existing transport networks. All deliveries will be zero contact.

If someone orders a package tomorrow, when will delivery be made?

We expect demand for this service to be high and packages will be sent based on priority of needs. We ask that people are patient during this busy time.

How long do the packages last?

The package includes basic pantry staple items which will last a small family approximately one week.

Are the packages available to Aucklanders on Waiheke and Great Barrier Islands?

The packages will be available to all Aucklanders. The delivery time and content of packages to these destinations may vary. These will delivered by courier companies, so additional time for rural delivery should be expected.

Do you have enough call centre staff to handle demand?

We have an initial team of 40 Auckland Council staff who will handle the calls. We expect high volumes and ask that people are patient. We will upscale the operation as required.

Who is paying for these packages? Is this a ratepayer-funded initiative?

The Government will reimburse Auckland Council in full for any goods or services provided under these arrangements.