Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri is a financial assistance programme managed by the New Zealand Red Cross for the Department of Internal Affairs. It has been set up to help people on temporary visas in New Zealand who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Support provided can include assistance with rent and expenses (eg. electricity or gas bill), food vouchers, and warm clothing. The Red Cross reassures that applying for assistance through the programme will not affect people’s current or future visa status. However, at this stage the support is only available until the end of September 2020.
A set of eligibility criteria applies, including:
- Must have a temporary visa that was valid on 23 March 2020
- Must be in serious financial hardship (less than $1,100 left, not including any money set aside for flights back home).
- Must have exhausted all other avenues for financial support first, including those available at the University of Canterbury
Please note: while information on the DIA checklist indicates that applicants must be ready and willing to return back to their home country as soon as flight options become available, international students in the middle of study are exempted from this requirement and do not need to seek a flight home before applying for this support.
If you are unsure whether you would be eligible, the Red Cross strongly encourages people to contact them on 0800 RED CROSS (733 276 – option 1) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.