Wānaka Sun       

Extension of support for foreign nationals in hardship

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 01 Oct, 2020 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

The Foreign Nationals Support Programme | Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri, has been extended from September 30 to November 30 2020.

First launched on July 1, Visitor Care the programme is a joint venture between New Zealand Red Cross and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to support temporary visa-holders who are experiencing serious financial hardship, have exhausted other options and have no current access to flights home. To date, over 7,000 people have received support from the programme, helping them access basic needs like food, accommodation and medical support, while they explore other options.

“We are really proud to have helped so many, but we know there are still people out there who are struggling, and we encourage them to check their eligibility and apply for support,” said Internal Affairs Programme Director Darryl Carpenter.

Nationally, an average of 980 applications are being made each week, of which 13 per cent were from Otago - and mainly the Queenstown-Wānaka area. 

“We are very pleased that the Government has decided to extend Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri through to the end of November 2020,” New Zealand Red Cross Project Lead Rachel O'Connor said.

“While some of the people who received support in the first three months of the programme have now been repatriated, found work in New Zealand or alternative means of support, through our work on the ground we know that there are still significant and urgent humanitarian needs being faced by people on temporary visas in our communities. We are proud to be able to continue supporting them.”

Read edition 994 of thWānaka Sun here.

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