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Welfare Helpline set up for Cyclone Assistance

Screenshot 2023 02 17 at 6.21.11 PM

A free-call helpline has been set up for people in the Hawke’s Bay region, including Wairoa, to access the welfare services they need in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle.

The service has been established by Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management.

The number is 0800 117 672. It will operate every day, from 8am – 8pm on weekdays and from 8am to 4.15pm at weekends. It is specifically for welfare needs such as health and wellbeing including mental health, accommodation needs, ongoing food, household goods and services support, animal welfare and rural support.

Since the cyclone hit, civil defence had focussed on delivering immediate relief to those who needed it, airlifting essential supplies to isolated areas and providing emergency shelter to communities.

The supply drops were continuing alongside continuing efforts to restore road links and restore power and communications. But civil defence now had capacity to take a more individualised approach to people and their whanau, and the 0800 number would achieve that.

Calls will be answered on behalf of Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management by Whakarongorau Aotearoa’s call centre. The call centre is supported by a range of organisations to ensure that it is accessible to people from every diverse group, including providing services that reflect te ao Māori. Translation services are available.

People who are already having their needs assessed and met through a local marae, welfare centre, or other service, should continue to go there. This 0800 helpline is an additional service, not a replacement of existing ones.

The helpline is not for accessing financial support – in those cases, people should continue to contact the Ministry for Social Development directly.

Where life or safety is at risk, people should always call 111.

For more information about our Cyclone Gabrielle response, please click the button below.

Cyclone Gabrielle

6 March 2023

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