Covid-19 Alert Level 1. United in Recovery

New Zealand is at Alert Level 1.

For everything you need to know and updates visit Unite for the recovery
District-wide information and support is available at United in Recovery.

Welfare and Support

Welfare Helpline - Freephone 0800 725 678

Due to the low call volumes, our Welfare Helpline will no longer be answered by local staff. Your call will now be answered by an automated message directing you to the appropriate agency.

The Freephone number - 0800 725 678 is available from 9am until 5pm, seven days a week.

We encourage you to review the Unite for the recovery website to find out what welfare, financial and health services.

COVID-19 Income Relief Payment

The Government has announced more Ministry of Social Development (MSD) support for people who’ve lost their jobs because of the impacts of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Income Relief Payment will help to ease pressure on people and families under stress from COVID-19 job losses.

In ordinary times, we’d expect many people to quickly find other work or manage their costs without extra support. However with COVID-19, many will be under pressure to find other work quickly and meet their basic costs.

It means more help for New Zealanders with the disruption of COVID-19 – some of whom have never needed our support before.

People can apply online for the Income Relief Payment from 8 June.

It offers support for up to 12 weeks to soften the shock and minimise disruption from sudden unemployment, giving people time to look for other work and adjust their living costs.

At a very high level, it’s for people who:

  • have lost their job from 1 March to 30 October because of COVID-19, and
  • had been working at least 15 hours a week for 12 weeks before they lost their job
  • don’t have a partner earning more than $2,000 a week before tax
  • meet other eligibly criteria.

The Work and Income website has more detailed information to help people understand who can get the payment, and what they can get.

Online applications go live from 8 June. People should apply online through MyMSD – that includes both new and existing clients.

Covid-19 Outreach Programme available

Are you anxious or worried? Or home alone?

Council is supporting local groups Taihape Neighbourhood Support and Combined Churches of Marton to care for the welfare of our community. If you are unable to pick up groceries, prescriptions, walk your dog or if you just need a chat these teams are here to help.

They will be wearing official Rangitikei District Council ID cards.

You may also see flyers in your letterboxes. [Combined Churches PDF] [Taihape Neighbourhood Support PDF]

  • Combined Churches of Marton will be covering Marton, Bulls and Hunterville areas.
  • Taihape Neighbourhood Support will be covering Taihape and Mangaweka.

Please reach out to these people be phone or email:

Taihape Neighbourhood Support - 021 0261 6002 or
Combined Churches of Marton -

or contact our Customer Service team - 0800 422 522 (24 hrs) or

Covid-19 lockdown rules will apply - Physical distancing of 2m and hand washing.

For everything you need to know and updates visit Unite against COVID-19

Other Resources

Whanganui Accident and Medical

Whanganui Accident and Medical (WAM) is still available for after-hours consultation 7 days/week over the phone and can also arrange prescriptions to be collected from pharmacies. Also includes urgent dental care.

For all enquiries phone: 06 348 1300 or email:

Offers free COVID-19 online resource packs to help with anxiety and stress in both children (students) and adults.

St John Caring Caller

Phone 0800 780 780 or visit

Caring Caller is a service that St John provides for people who live alone or feel a bit lonely. Volunteers phone clients regularly to check that everything is ok. This free service is fully funded by donations.

St John’s free Caring Caller service connects people who need a friend with people who have time to listen and chat. While it’s not a helpline in any way, a Caring Caller can also notify the right people – St John – if their chat friend isn’t well or doesn’t answer.