Advocacy Covid-19 FAQ

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1My Student allowance application still hasn't been processed and I have no money for food or rent.

Study Link: Updates to studylink specific services can be found here and they are still processing during the lockdown but be aware that there may inevitably be delays. Email is the best way to communicate at the moment, huge delays have been reported when calling the 0800 number. You may qualify for support from Studylink and can apply for food grants and other emergency loans should you need it.

2I have lost my part time job due to the business I was working for on a casual basis closing

Loss of Income:If you have lost your supplementary income, you may qualify for support from MSD. Information surrounding the application process for financial aid can be found here.

Casual Employees: Employers are allowed to apply for the wage subsidy for any casual employee(s) that are employed by them at the time they apply and who would have been expected to work during the time you will receive the wage subsidy.

To assess their subsidy rate, the employer should average their hours over the last year. If this average is 20 hours or more, they can apply for the full-time rate, and if it’s under 20 hours they can apply for the part-time rate.

If they have worked for less than a year, the employer should average the hours worked during their total employment period. More information is available here.

It is not allowed for employers to accept the wage subsidy then make staff redundant or not pass the subsidy on to them. The employee should contact Employment NZ for assistance.

3My landlord wants to increase my rent/terminate my tenancy

Tenancy: Information for landlords and tenants during this time can be found here.

There is an immediate freeze on rent increases for 6 months FOR ANY REASON.

There is protection against landlord eviction of tenants for 3 months, except in very limited circumstances. Tenants can still terminate their tenancy as normal, and tenants who have previously given notice can stay in their tenancy if they need during lockdown.

Where previously landlords can terminate tenancy when rent has been in arrears for 21 days, this has increased to 60 days, and the Tribunal will assess if the tenant has made reasonable efforts to pay before making a decision.

4Where can I apply for hardship funds as I have lost all my income and I am not eligible for Student Allowance

UOA Student Emergency Fund: Emergency fund application forms and information around the criteria can be found here.

AUSA Hardship Grant: To apply for the AUSA Hardship Grant please follow the link here.

5I’m nervous about my mental health during the lockdown.

UHCS: The University Health and Counselling Services are still open as well if you need to talk to a counsellor. You can call 0800 698 427 - to make an appointment.

Need to Talk: text or call through 1737 (24/7)

Lifeline: 0800 534 354 or through text 4357 (available 24/7)

Youthline (for people under 25): 0800 376 633, text 234 (phone available 24/7, text 8am - midnight)

Many private mental health providers are still operating, mostly via Skype consultations. Please make sure if you have any problems arranging to see someone we are here to help you and will support you through the process.

6I am worried about my Visa status during the lockdown period

Visa’s have automatically been extended during this period until 25 September 2020. More information can be found here.

7Where can I find more information about Covid19

https://covid19.govt.nz/ is the government’s official website providing information, updates and resources for Covid19.

8What does this mean for university coursework and assessments?

All lectures are going to be recorded and made available online. Your Course Coordinators will tell you what this means for you in your course!

There will be no on-site tests or examinations for the rest of Semester One. They'll instead be replaced by take home assessments conducted online.

Tests now ➡️ Assessments that will be open for 24 Hours.

Exams now➡️Assessments that will be open for 24 Hours (during the Exam Season).

Again, your Course-Coordinators will tell you more about this as we get to Exam Season!

Students with disabilities should get in touch with the Student Disability Services 7 days before assessments take place.

Any questions - ask the Student Contact Centre at studentinfo@auckland.ac.nz OR call 0800 61 62 63.

Online enquiries can be filled out

11How do I stay updated with the University?

Stay updated with the University by checking the latest updates here.

For any University related queries email studentinfo@auckland.ac.nz or phone 0800 61 62 63.

General queries can be submitted here.

12I need groceries but can’t afford them or am in self-isolation so can’t go myself

Auckland Council’s Auckland Emergency Management are available for assistance on 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week. Call them to inquire about getting a Welfare Parcel containing items such as dry goods like pasta and rice, tinned vegetables and meats and basic toiletries.

You can also go to the Student Volunteer Army to get groceries delivered if you aren’t able to go yourself. Visit their website or call 0800 005 902 between 9am and 5pm. They are also assisting with childcare support for healthcare professionals.

13I don’t have a laptop/can’t study well at home

Please contact the Student Contact Centre coronavirus@auckland.ac.nz if you need a laptop. The Connect Team has special dispensation to be on campus to arrange for laptops and/or mobile devices to be couriered to students in need. They can also provide tips if you do not have a suitable study environment at home.

Other Resources

List A-Z of all benefits available from WINZ/Studylink [link]

MSD tool for calculating what you are eligible for [link]

The AUSA class reps system is still operating and you can contact them at classrep.enquiries@ausa.org.nz

You can fill out this form if you have any other queries or requests you’d like help with.

Email AUSA Advocacy on senioradvocate@advocacy.org.nz Or: advocacymanager@ausa.org.nz

Message us on Facebook: here.

BE SAFE - STAY HOME