Help with the unexpected

Do you have money put aside for a rainy day? While it's a good idea more often than not we don’t.

This means that when something unexpected happens (a tangi, a broken fridge/washing machine or an unexpected bill) it may seem that there is no other option than to get a loan or use the credit card.

However, there are other options you can check out before doing anything drastic.


It's important not to feel whakama about your financial problems. 
We all need help sometimes.

Help from WINZ

Temporary Additional Support

This is a weekly payment which can help if you can't meet your essential living costs from what you earn or from other sources. You may be eligible if you: 
  • are over 16 years old 
  • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident 
  • have essential living costs that you have no other way to meet 
  • are not already getting a Special Benefit. 
To find out more visit:

Special Needs Grant 

This is a payment which can help you pay for something when you have no other options. You don't usually have to pay them back either.

Whether you are eligible depends on your individual circumstances. Generally, you may get a Special Needs Grant if you: 
  • have urgent and necessary needs 
  • have no other way to meet these costs 
  • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and normally live in New Zealand.
It may also depend on: 
  • how much you and your spouse or partner earn 
  • any money or assets you and your spouse or partner have. 
To find out more visit:

Recoverable Assistance

This is a payment which can help you pay for something if you need it urgently and have no other way of paying for it. This grant is generally paid for items such as appliances, school uniforms or rent arrears. Recoverable Assistance has to be paid back, but may be paid back in instalments. While you have to pay the money back, you don't have to pay any interest. 

You may get a Recoverable Assistance Payment Grant if: 
  • your need is urgent and essential 
  • you have no other way to meet this cost 
  • you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. 
To find out more visit:

Advance payment of benefit

If you are getting a benefit and have an immediate need for something essential you may be able to get an advance payment of your benefit. This is usually paid to the supplier for the goods or services you need (eg appliances, furniture, bedding, rent or school uniforms). 

To find out more visit:

Help from other sources

The Mayor’s Welfare Fund

Can provide assistance for whānau in extreme financial distress. The fund works with other agencies in the city and can provide assistance on a one-off basis where real need can be shown.

The fund is a last resort for when other appropriate sources such as Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) have been exhausted.

For more information please follow the link

Salvation Army

If you don’t have enough money to feed and clothe your whānau the Salvation Army may be able to help. They can also work alongside you to help you in managing your budget and working with government agencies. 

To find out more visit: 

City Mission

The City Mission also provide a number of services to whānau in need and can help you to provide the necessities for a happy, healthy whānau.


0800 Hungry

0800 Hungry is only available in Christchurch. If you are in need of food, you can ring them on0800 Hungry (0800 486 479) or if you are a cell phone user 03 381 2600. You don't need to provide a bank statement or be referred. You also don’t need to be on a benefit. The food will be delivered to your door, but you must provide a $5.00 koha.