Recovery media release #4 Welfare and support directory available post COVID-19


3 June 2020


To help support the community post COVID-19, a directory of support organisations and resources is available at


The directory includes contacts for organisations who provide food and essential services, rural and business support, counselling and mental health services and more.


During the response to COVID-19, Civil Defence Emergency Management teams in Whanganui, Rangitikei and South Ruapehu organised welfare needs for people directly affected by COVID-19, but this support is now largely being co-ordinated by existing community groups and government agencies.


Whanganui welfare manager Lauren Tamehana and her team often provided food and essential services to people who couldn’t leave their at-home bubbles during the lockdown, but says the welfare needs in the community are changing.


Hats 1

A bunch of knitted hats donated to the Integrated Recovery Team’s welfare arm to give to homeless people during winter

“People have been affected by reduced working hours, or may have lost their jobs and require extra financial support. Others may need support with how they and their whānau are feeling after the lockdown period, which impacted people in different ways.”


Ms Tamehana says getting support early is really important.


“Whether its support and advice for your business, counselling, budgeting or food, please talk to someone about your needs as soon as you can so the situation doesn’t become worse,” she says.


She thanks the agencies and individuals who supported the welfare team and their communities, friends and whānau during the response.


“A lot of cool stuff happened during the lockdown period and we saw very supportive communities where neighbours looked after neighbours remotely.


“We don’t want that to stop because the world is going back to its new normal. We want communities to continue to care for each other, which will help sustain community wellbeing during recovery and beyond.


“For example, just this week we were donated beanies for some of our homeless people from a generous woman who knitted during lockdown and we will give these out during winter. We know we live in a supportive community but generosity increased during lockdown and we don’t want to lose that.” 


For food and essential services, please contact these organisations:

  • Te Ranga Tupua Collective Iwi Response - for help, advice and support for whānau in the Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Ruapehu, Mōkai Pātea and South Taranaki Region - 0800 202 004
  • Whanganui City Mission (Foodbank) – providing packages to families/whānau - 06 345 2139
  • Marton Combined Churches Foodbank - 022 105 1237
  • Ruapehu District Council - for welfare supporting following COVID-19 - 07 895 8188 or 06 385 8364


For other services, please refer to the directory.


The Integrated Recovery Team is a collaborative group made up of Whanganui District Health Board, Whanganui District Council, Rangitikei District Council, Ruapehu District Council, Whanganui Regional Health Network, Te Ranga Tupua and supporting agencies.