COVID-19: information for our tenants, partners and suppliers
New Zealand is in Alert Level 2
New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday May 13.
The latest information is now available on the Government’s COVID-19 website https://covid19.govt.nz/(external link) which also has information in nearly 30 different languages(external link) on Alert Level 2, and will continue to be updated.
Under Alert Level 2, our Kāinga Ora offices are open for appointments from Monday 18 May 2020.
If you need to speak with your Tenancy Manager or would like to make an appointment, please call our Customer Service Freephone on 0800 801 601.
If you request an appointment via our Customer Support Centre, our team will follow up with you to discuss whether a face-to-face appointment is necessary and co-ordinate if required.
All appointments will be conducted in accordance with the Government’s health and safety guidelines.
If you or someone in your household is unwell, please call us before your appointment. We are able to complete most things by phone.
If you are late to an appointment or you need to reschedule, your Tenancy Manager will follow up with you to arrange another time.
The safety of our customers and staff is our priority so if you are unwell, please stay home.
Factsheet on how we are prioritising our tenants during this time - available in
- NZ Sign Language video
- Easy Read versions in both MS Word version and PDF.
Wellbeing checks on our tenants
Kāinga Ora has temporarily changed the way we work in response to COVID-19, but we will always be here to help our customers. To get in contact, please call our Customer Service Freephone on 0800 801 601.
We are calling all of our tenancy customers to check on their wellbeing. During the call, we will chat to them about COVID-19 and how it may be impacting them. We are also working with our partners to connect our customers to support services if they need additional help.
Rent freeze for all tenants
As part of COVID-19 measures, the Government has made changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, including freezing all residential rent increases for 6 months, effective from 25 March 2020.
Approximately 6,000 of our tenancy customers would have received a rent increase letter from us in recent weeks. This is no longer happening so we have been contacting those customers impacted by phone, followed up with a letter, to let them know there will be no rent increase as a result of the recent rent freeze that was introduced.
You can call our Customer Service Freephone: 0800 801 601 to speak to us. There is other information about how to get in touch in Contact Us section of our website.
Moves into Kāinga Ora homes
Ministry of Social Development Housing Register
We are placing applicants on the Ministry of Social Development Housing Register into Kāinga Ora homes. To ensure the health and safety of everyone, all placements will be done over the phone without face-to-face contact unless there is an urgent reason.
Existing tenants moving homes
Existing tenants may need to move to another Kāinga Ora home for various reasons. Your Tenancy Liaison Officer will talk through the process with you over the phone without face-to-face contact.
If you need to move, please call us to talk about your situation, housing needs and what housing options you may have. Under Alert Level 2, our team will be working remotely to help place existing customers into new homes.
Tenants guidelines when furniture movers are helping our tenants move in - available in
Any questions, you can call us on 0800 801 601. Calls are free even if from a mobile phone.
Repairs and maintenance
Your tenancy manager will not visit your home unless there is an urgent reason. Our staff will continue to call all customers to check their wellbeing.
Our maintenance contractors will continue to visit your home to carry out repairs. Before a contractor visits your home, please let us know if you or anyone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, experiencing symptoms or has recently been unwell.
Our contractors will call to make an appointment with you prior to visiting (unless they are considered emergency repairs). On arriving, and before they enter your home, they will check to ensure your situation has not changed. We will respond to all emergency repairs within four hours.
While our contractor is working in your home, please ensure that any other members of the household, including children, practise physical distancing and stay at least 2 metres away from our contractor at all times. Our contractor will wipe all surfaces around the repair before they begin and after they complete the work.
If you need to log a repair, please call our Customer Service Freephone 0800 801 601. We will work with you and our maintenance contractors to ensure the repair is fixed.
If you’ve been affected by COVID-19 there is help available to provide you with additional support.
If you've been affected by COVID-19 Work and Income may be able to provide financial support.
To find out what help may be available you can visit the Ministry of Social Development website and please let us know your circumstances.
Family violence experts and organisations have warned about the increased risk of domestic violence in households during the country’s Alert Level restrictions, in response to COVID-19.
Kāinga Ora is committed to playing a key part in supporting the Government’s co-ordinated response to eliminating family violence.
Now more than ever, we need a co-ordinated response to deal with family violence so we keen keep our families and communities safe. We have gone out to our customers to let them know that help is available if they need it.
Information and help is available through family violence support services nationwide. Remember, if someone is in immediate danger of being harmed or may harm themselves, call the Police on 111.
Access to food and essential items
Most people can access food, medicine and other essentials for themselves and their whānau. People can do this either through their own means or through their community providers or support networks like whānau, friends, iwi and neighbours.
For some people, this is not a possibility and you may need extra help to access the things you need during self-isolation like:
- transport to get essential goods.
If you find yourself in this situation help is available from your local Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group.
For more information on help that is available you can also call your tenancy manager on 0800 801 601.
If you need urgent medical assistance for severe symptoms of any kind, or have a serious injury, call emergency services on 111, or go straight to hospital.
If you are concerned about possible COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, call the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number on 0800 358 5453.
For any other health concerns, call the general Healthline number on 0800 611 116. All calls to Healthline are free and someone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Looking after your mental wellbeing
We know this can be a difficult time. If you need to talk to anyone about how you’re feeling, there is help available through the National Telehealth Service. Call or text for free to 1737 or visit: https://www.1737.org.nz/
It is normal to feel anxious or stressed about COVID-19, or you may feel lonely when you are self-isolating. However, there are lots of things you can do to feel better. The COVID-19 website has more advice on how to look after your emotional and mental wellbeing during this time.
Other tools to help your wellbeing
Getting through together - You can find tips and advice on how to cope with the stress of COVID-19 in the Getting Through Together toolkit, developed by All Right? in partnership with the Canterbury DHB and the Mental Health Foundation.
Mentemia - The Mentemia app provides practical tips and techniques to help you take control of your mental wellbeing. It was created by All Blacks legend and mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan, tech entrepreneur Adam Clark, and an expert team of medical advisors.
Melon - The Melon app provides a health journal, resources and self-awareness tools to help you manage your emotional wellbeing. Melon also provides an online community for New Zealanders to connect and support each other, and daily webinars for health and wellbeing.
Staying on Track - This online course teaches practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption to everyday life from COVID-19. Staying on Track
Scams and frauds exploiting the spread of COVID-19 have been noted overseas and are expected to be seen in New Zealand. They may arrive in the form of an email, text, phone call or through social media.
Information for our tenants
At this time, we are increasingly using text, email and phone to get in contact with you. Remember that Kāinga Ora will never ask you to pay rent or any money over the phone or via email or text. If we do contact you to discuss rent or payment options, we will only discuss how much is owing on the account, understand what has happened, and talk through and agree a payment plan.
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from Kāinga Ora and they ask for your personal bank account information, or you have received an email from Kāinga Ora with a link or request for money, call our Customer Support Centre immediately on 0800 801 601.
Information for our maintenance contractors
Kāinga Ora staff who usually interact with maintenance contractors will continue to work from home through Alert Level 4 and 3, and potentially beyond.
To connect with you in future, we will be using a range of channels, including FaceTime, Zoom, and Teams in addition to the normal channels used prior to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions.
For Zoom meetings between organisations, ensure the connection is secure and include a password requirement and meeting ID number for all group members. This will ensure that only those people invited to the meeting are in attendance.
If you have any concerns about the authenticity of any communication that appears to be from us, contact your Kāinga Ora liaison.
As New Zealand heads back to work, we remind you that if you are going onsite to any of our properties, you are required to present your ID at any time and maintain two metre physical distancing with our customers.
When interacting with our tenants at these properties, be mindful that many of them are in a vulnerable position. We appreciate your contribution to being part of a team that supports our tenants to feel safe and secure in their homes.
For more information on what to watch out for and where to report scams, visit the following websites:
Viewing homes under Alert Level 2
All home viewings must meet Government health and safety requirements. Please contact the developer or agent of the home you are interested in to discuss your viewing options. All available and upcoming homes are on the KiwiBuild website.
You can get in touch with the KiwiBuild team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 521 107 to arrange a call back.
House sale settlements under Alert Level 2
During Alert Level 2, where possible, the physical interactions involved in house sale, purchase and settlement must be done remotely. You may be able to do a final pre-settlement inspection in person as long as all physical distancing and health and safety measures are taken.
Construction under Alert Level 2
Kāinga Ora’s build and developer partners resumed construction after the move to Alert Level 3 on 28th April. With the country now in Alert Level 2, Kāinga Ora staff members who support the work undertaken by our build and developer partners will continue to visit sites.
Our top priority will continue to be health and safety for everyone who works, or visits, our sites. We will ensure our staff and contractors follow Government health and safety protocols designed to keep workers, as well as the community, safe, as we all unite against COVID-19. This includes such things as following guidance relating to physical distancing, hygiene, site entry and exit, deliveries, and visitor protocols.
For information on the new Government health and safety standards and protocols for the industry, visit the CHASNZ website (Construction Health and Safety New Zealand).
Auckland Council to temporarily relax rules around construction noise
Auckland Council has temporarily relaxed the rules around construction noise in the region to support the transition back to site work. Under the new rules, construction work hours can be extended through until 8pm from Monday to Friday. Work is also permitted from 9am to 4pm on Sundays up until 29th May.
For more information, go to the Auckland Council website.
At Kāinga Ora, we are aware that many people need to continue to work or study from home under Alert Level 2. We will work to minimise disruption as much as possible but you may notice some activity on our development sites outside of usual hours in accordance with the council’s temporary relaxing of rules.
The intention is to try to make up for lost time when there was no activity on site and to minimise any potential delays to completing homes as teams work under new health and safety protocols. We thank you for your patience. If you want to get in touch about this you can email us.
Development and construction matters bulletin
Kāinga Ora greatly values its relationships and partnerships with suppliers and build partners. It’s really important to us we keep in regular contact with them to ensure they are kept up to date.
With this in mind, we have created a bulletin – ‘Development and Construction Matters’’ which was initially intended to provide an update on our priorities and actions in response to COVID-19. As we enter a more ‘normal’ phase of business activity, we will use the bulletin to continue to communicate with our partners and suppliers on a monthly basis. You can subscribe to this by emailing us.
MATES in construction
To help ease the transition back to work, mental health and suicide prevention charity MATES in Construction has released an information guide on how deal with the stresses of life after lockdown.
The Mental Health and Support Guide for Induction has information on wellness, anxiety and stress, and highlights ways workers can engage with and support colleagues who may be struggling.
The pack also covers ways managers can talk to their staff about mental health issues and the importance of seeking help when people are doing it tough.
The Government announced New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 May.
Previously, the Prime Minister announced to all New Zealanders that the COVID-19 alert level will move to Level 3 at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April. Alert Level 4 came into effect at 11.59pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020.
For general information, not medical advice visit the https://covid19.govt.nz/ website or you can contact the government helpline on 0800 779 997 between 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
If you are feeling unwell and want medical advice, you should first call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, your doctor or other healthcare provider. Healthline is currently very busy so please be patient.
The Ministry of Health’s website also has information.
Looking after yourself and others
There are some simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Follow the Government instructions and self-isolate
- Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
- Stay home if you're unwell.
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
- before eating or handling food
- after using the toilet
- after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
- after caring for sick people.
Please remember to be kind, be patient, and to look after one another.
He waka eke noa
We are all in this together
Page updated: 2 June 2020