Message from Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
We are aware some international visitors on Temporary Work Visas have finished or will be finishing soon their seasonal work and are unable to return home due to the COVID-19 situation.
Many of these workers are young people a long way from home and may find themselves in difficult, potentially unsafe situations as their seasonal work finishes and they no longer receive income for their basic needs, including accommodation. Anecdotally, some are sleeping in cars as they have nowhere else to go.
As an employer or accommodation provider, we ask that you support those who remain here on a temporary visa as much as you are able – notwithstanding we acknowledge you will have your own circumstances to contend with.
This may be by providing:
- Suitable accommodation;
- On-going employment or support into further employment;
- Access to relevant advice on the situation – www.covid19.govt.nz
If you are unable to support these workers, please help them to connect with our local Hawke’s Bay welfare system by calling 0800 422 923 (0800 HBAY CD). They can talk to someone to work out what they need and how we can help them. This number is for those who have no other options so if you’re in a position to support the workers yourselves, we ask that you do so.
This is a stressful time for many – if people are needing to talk with someone, there is also a free support line they can call or text 1737. If English is a barrier they will do their best to find a support person that speaks their language.
Please note that this is only for Hawkes Bay – those in other regions would need to contact their local Civil Defence Group: https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/find-your-civil-defence-group/