Our clients

Find out what supports are available to you at different alert levels and other useful updates.

Food and essential costs supports

Food support in Easy Read format

Published 8 September 2021

The COVID-19 website has lots of information and advice in Easy Read format about COVID-19 and food support during lockdown. Check it out.



Vegetables at a market

Priority shopping for people with disabilities 

Published 26 August 2021

Countdown has a priority online shopping service for older people, people with disabilities, people with chronic health conditions, and people who are self-isolating.

For New World and PAK'nSave, customers can call 0800 363 977 between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday only, to book a priority slot at selected stores. If you call outside the priority operation times, you will not be able to access the priority services. Note that this service is not available in all areas. New World can do deliveries and PAk'nSave only provides Click and Collect. If the priority slots are fully booked, people will be referred to SVA.


Person delivering food

WINZ food grants and other urgent costs support

Work and Income NZ (WINZ) may be able to help you pay for food if you’re on a low income or a benefit.

  • You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for this help.
  • You don't have to pay the money back.

If you're struggling to meet other living costs, or if you get an unexpected bill, WINZ might be able to help you, even if you're working.


Published 14 May 2020

Food parcel

Help with essential costs

If you’ve lost your job or can’t work at the moment, you may be able to get a benefit or some other financial help from the Ministry of Social Development. 


Published 28 April 2020

Hands holding a ceramic heart

For foodbanks, priority grocery service and free counselling service, visit our Information Hub

We have a list of social care supports available to you all year round, like SVA's priority grocery service for tangata whaikaha/people with disabilities, your nearest foodbank, and free counseling services so you can reach out to during challenging times.

This list keeps growing so be sure to check it regularly for any updates. 


Published 15 February 2021

Person delivering food

Financial support

What is the Wage Subsidy Scheme and when can I apply?

Published 23 August 2021

Applications for the Wage Subsidy Scheme open nationally from 9am on Friday 20 August 2021, with applications initially open for two weeks. You can apply to contribute to the wages of your employees, or yourself, if you are self-employed, over the next two-week period.

You can apply on the Work and Income website, here, and find more detailed information on eligibility criteria.

The Wage Subsidy August 2021 is a payment to support employers, so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses affected by the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.

The Wage Subsidy will be available to eligible businesses, organisations and the self-employed impacted by the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.

To reflect higher wage costs since the scheme was first used in March 2020 the payments have been increased to:

• $600 per week per full-time employee
• $359 per week per part-time employee.



Wheelchair user closing her laptop.jpg

Leave Support Scheme

Published 23 August 2021

If you, or your staff have been told by a health official to self-isolate and cannot work from home, you can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who meet certain health criteria, eg they have COVID-19. This is also available if you’re self-employed.

This support will be paid as a lump sum covering two weeks (you can reapply if required) of $585.50 per week for full-time workers and $350 per week for part-time workers. From 24 August 2021, the payment will increase to $600 per week for full-time workers and $359 per week for part-time workers.

You can apply for the Leave Support Scheme on the Work and Income website, here.



Two young people working on a laptop

Financial support for families and employers

Published 6 September 2021

If your income has been affected by COVID-19, you may be able to apply for financial support.



Hands holding a ceramic heart

For people employing a support worker: COVID-19 leave support scheme 

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who need to self-isolate and can't work from home.

This means your workers:

  • can't come into work because they are in one of the affected groups and have been told to self-isolate, and
  • can't work from home.

Find out who can get the Leave Support Scheme

Anyone who is unwell should call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or talk to their doctor or health provider. Employers should encourage their employees to do this if they're unwell.


Published 1 March 2021

Employer talking to a staff member.jpg

Using your current supports

How to use your Carer Support

Last updated 15 September 2021

You can use your Carer Support more flexibly so that:

•    during lockdown, you can pay family members who you live with to provide you with a break
•    relief care can be used when you are doing your other paid work (even if you are working from home)
•    you can continue to use your Carer Support funding to buy things that will provide you with respite if you stay within your total budget. Examples are art and craft supplies, books, or DVDs.
As it is up to you to choose what support or service to buy, it is your job to make sure the respite is good quality and covers all your requirements. In most cases, if you run out of Carer Support, you will not get additional funding.
You cannot use your Carer Support for the following:
•    illegal activities, gambling, or alcohol
•    to pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, usual household items etc.
To claim your Carer Support, please send in your Carer Support claim forms as usual and, if applicable attach receipts for any goods you have purchased. If you have not received any relief care, you do not need a signature from a relief carer on your Carer Support forms. Payments will continue to be made in half days or days as usual.

You will be able to email Carer Support claim forms in over Alert Levels three and four shortly.  For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website
Support worker with client

Behavioural support during lockdown

Reviewed 23 August 2021

People who are eligible for disability support services from us can get immediate wellbeing and behaviour support advice, support, risk assessment and safety planning from Explore Specialist Advice

Please call Explore on 0800 000 421. Don’t wait until things become unmanageable or unsafe--call them earlyYou don’t need a referral from us to access these services, but you will be asked to identify your NASC. 

Explore is open Monday to Friday from 9am- 5pm.

Additionally, you can continue to contact your mental health service provider if this is available to you. 

Hands holding a ceramic heart

Individualised Funding flexibility

Last updated 15 September 2021

During lockdown, you can use your IF flexibly. 

These rules only apply if you are allocated IF through the Ministry of Health (not your DHB). Please contact your DHB for information about other supports.


  • you must work within your current funding allocation
  • you cannot use your Individualised Funding for the following:
  1. illegal activities, gambling or alcohol
  2. to pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, usual household items etc.

As it is up to you to choose what support or services to buy, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the support or service is of good quality and covers all your requirements.

Remember that you must continue to honour any employment contracts that you have. You can find out more about terminating an employment agreement at: www.employment.govt.nz/ending-employment/.  



A person helping a child eat food

Carer support: Taking a break during lockdown

Did you know that you can use your Carer Support funding more flexibly during lockdown?

What does ‘more flexibly’ mean? 

  • Resident family members can be paid as relief carers
  • Relief care can be used whilst at work (even when working from home)
  • People can use the funding to purchase things that will provide respite for them, whilst staying within budget.

Some key things to keep in mind when using your Carer Support during this time:

  • A resident family member includes parents living with you in your bubble during lockdown.
  • Although there’s more flexibility around using your funding, the purpose of Carer Support remains unchanged: it’s funding for full-time carers so they can take a break, while the person they care for is looked after.
  • The Ministry provides clarity on their website on how you can use your Carer Support allocation during this time. It can't be used for things like food, gifts, rent, household items, etc—please read the guideline.
  • It’s important that you manage your funding sensibly so you don’t run out, as you may not get extra if you use it all during lockdown. 
  • You can download a Carer Support form and then email it to csclaims@health.govt.nz. You can also take a clear photo of a completed paper form and email it to the address above. 

If you have questions about Carer Support, please give us a call.

Finally, if the person you’re caring for or supporting is not coping well and you’re concerned about their behaviour, there is a phone service available and we encourage you to use it. Explore Behaviour Service has a specialist available Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm. Please call them on 0800 000 421. Don’t wait until things become unmanageable or unsafe, call them early.


Published 16 April 2020

Family with child on a wheelchair

Face covering and PPE 

New rules about wearing face covering

You legally must wear a face covering on public transport, on flights, and if you're a taxi or ride-share driver. Passengers are also strongly encouraged to wear one.

Everyone is encouraged to wear a face covering and keep 2 metres distance from others when leaving home. Especially if it is difficult to maintain physical distance from others. 

Some people are unable to wear face coverings because of their disability or specific health conditions. Find out more about face mask exemptions on public transport, in schools and tertiary education, and getting face exemption cards for people who need visual cues and other situations. 

Make a mask 

Face coverings like scarves, bandanas or other fabric masks are acceptable forms of providing protective physical barrier to help keep people safe.

Here's a step by step instruction on how to make a face covering in 10 seconds.  

Here's a video from the WHO on how to make a fabric mask at home.

How to put on a mask

Using and handling disposable and reusable masks play an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

Download this Easy Read (PDF 1.75MB) version on how to put on face masks. 

Or read Government advice on how to use and dispose masks, which includes an instructional video on putting on masks.  

You can also print out this colourful PPE guide and show it to young members of your whanau if they're unsure about how to use face masks and coverings. 


Published 19 August 2021

Two young women wearing fabric face masks

Do you need PPE?

If you need access to PPE, please contact your provider or IF host to find out if you can still be supplied with free PPE under Alert Level 2.5. 


Reviewed 8 September 2020

Published 28 August 2020

Face mask.jpg

How to make WHO's recommended 3 layer fabric mask

At Level 3, it is strongly encouraged to wear a mask when you are out and about.

The advice on wearing mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 was changed to reflect the more recent recommendations of the World Health Organisation on it. WHO findings show that wearing a mask can reduce the risk of infected people spreading COVID-19.

You can use a non-medical grade mask for each person in your household or make your own fabric mask. You can also use scarves or bandanas to cover your mouth and nose when going out--please do your part to beat the spread of COVID in your community. 

Here's a video from the WHO on how to make a fabric mask at home


Published 12 August 2020

Two young women wearing fabric face masks


Advice for family and whanau with children with learning support needs

Last updated 15 September 2021

Check the Ministry of Education website for information on what families can expect around distance learning during lockdown. 

Schools should be in touch with families to find out how they can continue to support your tamariki under any alert level. Feel free to contact them too if you have difficulty accessing online learning or can't pick up your child's school learning pack. 

If you need respite care, please contact us and we'll work through it. 



Child colouring in

Transitioning students with disabilities back to school

Watch this Ministry of Education resource for parents and whānau of children and young people with disabilities, high health needs and learning and behaviour difficulties.  
It focuses on wellbeing and transition back to early learning services and schools for young children and school students and will include a panel made up of the following people:

David Wales National Director, Learning Support
Mark Potter, Principal, Berhampore School
Frian Wadia, Parent of three boys
Sonja Macfarlane, Practice Adviser Māori, Ministry of Education
Roseanne Gibson, RTLB Cluster Manager
Michelle Wood, psychologist, Early Intervention, Ministry of Education


Published 20 May 2020


Good to know

Your right to choose who supports you in your own home  

Published 26 August 2021

Disabled people who receive support in their own homes are entitled to confirm and ask for evidence that a support worker has been vaccinated. If this information is refused, the person has the right to manage access to their home and refuse support from an individual who does not meet those requirements. Please get in touch with us for further information regarding the availability of alternative support.  

MBIE has updated information here: Vaccines and the workplace » Employment New Zealand  



Support worker

Parents' Zoom meeting: managing anxiety

Disability Connect regularly holds Zoom meetings for parents/carers of disabled peopled on how to manage anxiety. Check out their website to find out how you can join. It's a good place to deepen your understanding of anxiety and discuss strategies that may help manage it. 


Published 2 June 2020


People chatting on video conference

Autistics' Zoom group lockdown experiences

When: Friday 22 and 29 May

Altogether Autism is providing Zoom groups for people with Autism who want to talk about their lockdown experiences.

The Zoom group is a place for safe sharing, connection, and understanding. The group is run by and for autistics. Teens and adults are welcome to join for free. 

There are limited spaces available so register now. Find out more information by going to the Altogether Autism website


Published 5 May 2020

People chatting on video conference

Community testing centres in Auckland

If you are not feeling well or if it's likely that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please take a test. There are several testing centres in Auckland you can go to. These tests are free.  

Community testing centres are drive-thru so people can maintain physical distancing and be safely tested.

If you’re unsure if you need to be tested, please call your family doctor or phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

To get a COVID-19 test outside these hours, please contact your GP or visit your local Urgent Care Clinic.


Reviewed 26 August 2020

Published 13 August 2020

A Covid-19 mobile testing unit

Paerangi: An online resource created to better inform Maori on COVID-19

Paerangi is an online directory of supports and services available for Maori communities in Tamaki Makarau in the COVID-19 environment. They provide information in te reo and English, and even access to NZ interpreting service. Some of the information they've collated are around where to get:

  • mental health support
  • medical services
  • housing help
  • money help, and others

Check out their website now


Reviewed 13 August 2020

Published 20 April 2020

Paerangi website

Supporting Pacific communities to fight COVID-19

Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa Lahi Atu, Fakatalofa Atu, Halo Olaketa, Kia Orana, Mālō e Lelei, Mālō Nī, Noa’ia, Talofa Lava, Taloha Ni, Tēnā Koutou Katoa.

Prepare Pacific

Check out Prepare Pacific for information that can help our Pacific communities battle against coronavirus. Information, updates and advice are available in Pacific languages.

Prepare Pacific features the very popular Talanoa with Dr Api Talemaitoga, where he shares regular updates about the coronavirus and answers questions and concerns from a Pacific perspective.

You can also view Pacific Panel discussions on Covid-19 and how to keep Pasifika families safe and healthy. Best of all, these discussions are provided in several Pacific languages. 

You can also follow them on Facebook


Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP)

The MPP website also features the latest key messages on Covid-19 in New Zealand in many Pacific languages. The videos are also available on MPP’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter account, LinkedIn.


Pacific health support 

Visit http://pacifichealth.org.nz/covid-19-support/ for more information on how you can get Pacific focused health support. 


Published 13 August 2020

Prepare pacific

Build your bubble

Right now people in at-risk groups need to do everything they can to stay away from anyone with the COVID-19 virus. This means being careful and making a plan. An important part of this plan is to build your bubble.

So, what is a bubble and how do you build one? Watch this video from the Ministry of Health on how to build your bubble for COVID-19 self-isolation


Published 27 March 2020

Build your bubble

Level 4

Here's how our work at Taikura Trust will be impacted while we’re on Level 4


We will continue to process referrals. It will greatly help if you can provide as many details as possible on your referral so we can process your application as soon as possible. We recommend that you use our online referral form to help us decide on your eligibility to receive disability support. 


As a precautionary health measure, we’re moving our assessments to phone calls. We’ve been offering this option since last year and this has been well-received by our clients. We can also offer video assessments via Skype or Zoom or another VOIP app of your choice, if this is preferred. 

We’re also going to have an ongoing relationship with you, so when we get back to our regular work routine, when it’s safe for us all, we’ll certainly be able to meet you and your family in person.

Service coordination 

We will continue to confirm your Ministry of Health disability support package either through email, or post. 

Changes to your disability needs  

As per usual, if there are any changes to your disability needs, please contact us anytime and we’ll work on it together. 

Work hours

Our work hours will remain the same, from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

Response times 

Due to the nationwide lockdown, there will be an increased reliance on email and phone communications between us and the people we support, our employees and our communities. We are committed to respond to urgent requests as soon as possible. For non-urgent requests, it may sometimes take longer than usual to connect and we appreciate your patience throughout this exceptional time. 

Call centre

Our call centre will remain open 24/7. 

Office access 

Our Mt Wellington office will be closed to the public until further notice. 

We will provide you with more updates in the coming days, so watch this space.

In the meantime, please stay safe.


Published 18 August 2021



Unite against COVID-19

Disability Services Operating at Alert Level 4

  • If services can be provided (including digitally) within alert level restrictions, they are contractually required to do so. 
  • Aged residential care and disability residential care are essential services and must continue to be available.  
  • Essential personal care services, such as toileting, washing and feeding, should be provided as usual.
  • Essential home help, such as house cleaning, is or should be available where appropriate PPE is used.
  • Planned respite services will be suspended, but urgent respite care may be provided. We can provide some flexibility for paying secondary carers for respite.
  • Essential supported living services can continue.
  • Support persons are permitted under right 8 of the Health and Disability Code. 
  • For aged residential care, hospices and disability residential care, family visits are not permitted.
  • Under Alert Level 4 there are no exemptions for end-of-life visits.


Reviewed 19 August 2021

Published 18 August 2021

Support worker with client

Alert Level 4 guidance for people with personal budgets 

This is the latest guidance for people who are on Individualised Funding (IF), Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF), and Enabling Good Lives / Mana Whaikaha personal budgets who employ their own support workers. 


Published 20 August 2021

Wheelchair user using a laptop.jpg

What are considered essential services under Alert Level 4

There's a 'checklist' that helps Government determine if a service remains available during Alert Level 4.

Those providing disability supports and services, like us, Taikura Trust, are essential so we're still available during lockdown. Visit the Ministry of Health website to read what are essential health and disability services during this time


Published 30 March 2020

Taking blood samples

Childcare for Workers of Alert Level 4 Businesses or Services Scheme

Published 23 August 2021

If you're an essential worker and your children need access to childcare providers while you're working, here are the 32 approved home-based education and care providers across New Zealand.

Capacity is limited so the scheme covers childcare for children aged 0-13 years in instances where there are no other adults in the household able to care for the child. Each carer is limited to supporting one household. In this situation, the carer becomes a part of the household ‘bubble’.

Find carers providing childcare under the new scheme on the Ministry of Education website.

This includes childcare for workers in social service and community-based organisations continuing to operate at Alert Level 4.

More information about social service and community-based organisations that can operate at Alert Level 4

Two young boys studying at home

Level 3

A reminder of how level 3 affects your disability supports and services

  • Disability residential care will continue as usual. 
  • Any visitors will need to discuss with disability providers. Controlled visits with agreed and named family and whānau and close friends are allowed. A maximum of one visitor at any one time may visit the disabled person in their home. 
  • In aged residential care, only family visits for end of life / palliative care residents will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Family visits for residents in a hospice are allowed, but on a case-by-case basis, subject to public health direction and the hospice's assessment. 
  • Planned respite services will be suspended, but urgent respite care may be provided. 
  • Essential personal care services, such as toileting, washing and feeding, will be provided as usual. 
  • Some home help, such as house cleaning, may be available. 

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website. For the most up to date rules on Alert Level 3, go to covid19.govt.nz.


Reviewed 1 March 2021

Published 15 February 2021

Unite against COVID-19

Level 2

A reminder of how level 2 affects your disability supports and services

  • Disability residential care continues under all alert levels. All services will follow COVID-19 risk screening and infection prevention control, physical distancing measures, and record people’s details to enable contact tracing. PPE guidance is to be followed.
  • Extra consideration will be given to how at-risk resident’s health will be protected.
  • Level 2 also allows limited opening of facility-based respite services for disabled people. Facilities will contact disabled people and families and whānau to let them know how they will operate following Alert Level 2 rules. Flexibility for respite paid for under Individualised Funding remains under Alert Level 2.
  • Essential personal care services, such as toileting, washing and feeding, will be provided as usual.
  • Home based personal care services, such as showering and feeding, and home help, such as cleaning, are available. Infection prevention and control measures must be adhered to for essential care services that require close physical contact. Staff movement should be minimised between homes and household management activities should maintain physical distancing where possible. All equipment and modification services are now available following Alert Level 2 rules.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website. For the most up to date rules on Alert Level 2, go to https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-3/.


Reviewed 8 March 2021

Published 18 February 2021

Unite against COVID-19

Alert Level 2 guidance for disabled people

Here's what our community can expect under level 2:

Individualised Funding (IF) - Increased flexibility continues throughout all levels. These purchases must be within your allocation, and your budget needs to last for your whole allocation. 

Flexibility for respite paid for under Individualised Funding remains under Alert Level 2.

Respite - Alert Level 2 allows for limited opening of facility-based respite services for families of disabled people where urgent respite care is required, so long as public health measures are in place. 

Carer support - There is flexibility for carer support under Alert Level 2. That is, the disabled person, and/or their family have choice around how relief is provided to the disabled person’s carer, and what the disabled person does while their usual carer is given a break.

Please note that this flexibility is for Carer Support paid through disability support services only (i.e. not through DHBs).

Find out more about Health and Disability services at different alert levels.


Reviewed 6 September 2021

Published 14 May 2020

Unite against COVID-19

Level 1

Health and disability services at Alert Level 1

Health and disability services will be running as normal under Alert Level 1 but some precautions will be in place to protect people who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19 from exposure to the virus.

This will include:

  • strict adherence to infection prevention and control protocols
  • and screening on entrance to medical facilities, where staff may ask you if you have been overseas recently, had contact with anyone who has been overseas recently, or had any potential recent exposure to COVID-19 such as being a close contact of a confirmed or probable case. 

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website.


Reviewed 6 September 2021

Published 9 June 2020

Unite against COVID-19