Press Releases, COVID-19

Covid-19 CID update March 30

Posted on 30 March 2020



Covid-19 Resources and News


FAQs from INGOs

Let us know your questions and we will try and find out answers for you. Email questions to

Here is the latest official advice from MSD (with thanks to the MFAT team for their help) 

  • What should staff or New Zealanders do if still in-country?

MFAT advice at this stage is for people to stay where they are. Individuals who are overseas can still be supported;  NZ Posts are trying to create community networks in-country so that people can support each other. This includes people who are not New Zealand citizens but are employed by NZ NGOs. Consular services are being expanded to individuals of other nationalities whose governments don’t have local post representations.

MFAT needs to know asap from NZ NGOs whether they have staff members stuck abroad. Contact details here.

  • Do INGOs need to enter an NZBN? 

If you’re applying for leave or wage subsidies, INGOs do not have to enter an NZBN (New Zealand Business Number). Please see the note from MFAT (Thanks, Nick!): The NZBN number now no longer a required field – please see the amended application form here.

  • If I’m an employer of a registered charity, incorporated society, non-government organisation, or post settlement governance entity am I entitled to apply for the wage subsidy for my employees?

Yes, you can apply for the wage subsidy if your business has been adversely affected as a result of COVID-19 and you are struggling to retain your employees.

  • If I’m an employer of a registered charity, incorporated society, non-government organisation, or post settlement governance entity am I entitled to apply for the leave payment for my employees?

Yes, you can apply for the leave payment if your employees are required to self-isolate because of Ministry of Health Guidelines and cannot work from home. Employees may not be able to work from home because:

  1. of the nature of their occupation e.g. tradespeople or you cannot provide employees with the ability to work from home e.g. no access to laptops.
  2. they have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  3. they are caring for dependents.
  • Can INGOs be counted as ‘essential services’ so we can continue fundraising and mail outs? 

At the moment this is not clear, but the list of essential services is not fixed and CID will continue to follow up MFAT and others to make the case that INGOs need to fundraise to be in a position to respond in the Pacific. Check the newsletter for updates from MSD. 

  • Are INGOs eligible to access the leave and wage subsidies from the government? 

INGOs can access the leave and sick pay extensions for staff and even contractors – as long as each person is legally employed. All indications are that if INGOs fit the criteria, they can apply for the wage subsidy too (eg they can prove they have lost 30% of revenue compared with the same time last year. Check the CID COVID-19 updates for contacts and links to follow up directly on behalf of your organisation.

Events/Key dates


CID members update - Let us know any updates from your organisation


Staff are working well from home and are well connected to receive any queries and/or communications by email at / Except for on-the-ground tasks in the Pacific, all other work is almost functioning as usual, but remotely.  Their priority right now is ensuring staff remain safe and their well-being is well addressed, to priorities activities that they can prosecute ourselves such as strengthening licensees and linking with Fairtrade International to track impacts on producers and sales.

Global Development Group

Global Development Group has temporarily ceased all non-essential travel – both international and domestic – and all our project administrators and volunteers have cancelled their trips, returned home, or are in the process of returning home to then enjoy two weeks of self-isolation ‘holidays’. Our volunteer staff are continuing to work from home, with connectivity through normal work email, and with back office support from our Australian office. 

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat have developed contingency plans, devised systems that will allow our staff to work from home, and halted all overseas travel arrangements for now. “We have made the difficult decision to cancel all Global Village builds until June and continue to support our regional offices with information and resources,” says CEO Alan Thorpe.


VSA has temporarily paused all overseas programmes and is in the process of bringing all volunteers back to NZ. Most have now returned and are being placed in self-isolation. A full working from home trial was undertaken, and the Wellington office is moving to reduced staffing from next week with a number of staff working remotely. All have connectivity through normal work e-mail.


Hagar staff will be working from home after this week, and programmes have changed to cease person to person contact, and shift to phone and social media contact. 


The Tearfund team will prepare from this Monday to Wednesday to close the office from Thursday 26 March and staff will work from home. “We will spend the next three day preparing to run all Tearfund’s services to supporters largely without the office from Thursday,” says CEO Ian McInnes


Everyone is now working from home and our offices are closed.  "We are working on how we can support social enterprises to be resilient at this time and looking at how we can pivot our immediate priorities towards solutions that keep New Zealand's growing social & community enterprise sector strong,” says CEO Louise Aitkin.


Staff are working from home now.


Cancelled their twice-yearly National Council face to face meeting over this weekend, but held it very successfully on Google Hangouts with 23 attendees from Prague to Christchurch. The office is closed and President Peter Nichols is working remotely from home.

Save the Children

The Save the Children team tested working from home on Friday and will work from home until further notice. "My main goal is to keep staff safe, support our donors in this time, and provide resources for parents (and government) through our website,” says CEO Heidi Coetzee.


Most of the Childfund team are now working from home and by tomorrow the physical office will be closed until further notice. Staff will work from home, and remain in close contact with their partners, in particular their team in Kiribati, and they are preparing for any response in Tarawa.“We’re striving to maintain business as usual. It’s important we remain flexible and resilient including supporting our people (partners, staff, donors, communities) as much as we can.  Our purpose and mission are unchanged.  Our compassion for each other will get us through this uncertain time,” says CEO Paul Brown.


CBM will trial 2 days this week of staff working from home (with some compulsory due to recent travel or medical preconditions). Aim to have no more than 25% of staff present at any one time. The office is not closing. Calls will be redirected to staff phones. Priorities are (1) Staying on top of Covid-19 preparedness (2) finishing submissions for Manaaki and starting other projects (3) fundraising and major donor work before the end of FY.


WWF will be closing their office at the end of today, and all working for home thereafter. Luckily they had instigated a trial 'work from home Fridays' since November last year, with the following platforms up and running to communicate with each other: Zoom, Slack, Asana. From now on they will have a 15 minute morning check-in meeting at 9 am for the whole organisation. And also set up fun Zoom sessions around lunchtimes, eg what to cook, how to play the guitar, meditate or filet a fish!


Counselling Services

Family and Community Services National Directory: 0800 211 211 (This helpline will transfer you to other appropriate services) 
: Call: 0800 376 633 Text: 234 Email:
Or webchat at (webchat available 7pm – 11pm)
The Low Down (support for young people experiencing depression or anxiety) or Text 5626
Lifeline 24/7 Helpline: 0800 543 354
Mental health Crisis team: 0800 754 477
Need to talk: Free call/ TXT – 1737
Samaritans: 0800 726 666
Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 or TXT 4202. Email:
Kidsline: 0800543754
Parent help: 0800 568 856