Our community

What's up in our community

Auckland Council rates payment options

Published 8 September 2021

If you are worried about paying your rates, there are rates payment options available to you to make life a bit easier. Read about rates postponement, flexible payment options, rates rebates or call Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.



Employer talking to a staff member.jpg

Getting help with essential costs

8 March 2021

If you need help with essential costs, Work and Income may be able to help you, even if you’re working. Perhaps you can’t work at the moment, have lost your job, or are working fewer hours. Perhaps you’re sick or need time off work because of Covid-19. 

You don’t need to be on a benefit to get help, it’s also available to people on a low income.

So, even if you don’t think you qualify, call 0800 559 009, 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm, Saturday, to talk about your situation. 

Or you can also visit workandincome.govt.nz and click on Check what you might get.

Information is available in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese.

If you are required to self-isolate and can’t work from home, you are encouraged you to check the Work and Income website and talk to your employer about the government support you may be eligible for.



Hands holding a ceramic heart

Financial support

Last updated 4 September 2020

Help is available if you're experiencing financial distress including help for businesses and foreign nationals in NZ.

Visit covid19.govt.nz to find out more.



Funding support.jpg

Support when you're self-isolating

Last updated 15 February 2022

Self-isolating will be a tricky time for some. Here's a form people can use if that’s the easiest way for them to tell MSD about the help they need. People don’t need to be MSD clients to apply.

People who are self-isolating can use the form to:

  • apply for one-off financial assistance for immediate and essential needs (eg food)
  • tell us if they need support dropping off essential items, and
  • if they need to be linked in with community support.

This is just one way people can get in touch with MSD about their self-isolation needs. Their free COVID Welfare Line, 0800 512 337 is also available for people self-isolating





Man carrying essential supplies.jpg

Community connection service: Additional support for people who are self-isolating

Last updated 3 February 2022

What will happen to people and whānau who need additional support when they're self-isolating? The Ministry of Social Developed created the community connection service to support the welfare needs of individuals and whānau while isolating at home/in the community.

Community Connectors will navigate and connect individuals and whānau to various services available during self-isolation. Their service will focus on: 

  • assisting families, through advocacy and information, with accessing their longer-term income entitlements and other wider services (i.e. housing, education and employment)
  • addressing immediate hardship, especially where someone may not be entitled to receive MSD support, and to support them to access wider services and resources
  • access food and essential items during self-isolation
  • access health and safety programmes, including mental health, addiction services, anger management or family violence services
  • access supports to improve their ability to self-isolate at home.

Find out more by visiting the MSD website.



A guide flashing a bright torch at night.jpg

Health, safety and wellbeing 

Advice for disabled people who do not feel safe

Last updated 15 September 2021

During lockdown, you may be at home with family and whānau, friends, flatmates, support workers or people
you don’t know very well, or you may be at home alone.

Spending a lot of time inside either alone, or with others, during COVID-19 can make you feel stressed.

You might feel unsafe because:

• you are alone a lot of the time

• someone you live with frightens you

• someone you live with is verbally abusing you, for example yelling or using unkind words

• someone you live with is financially or emotionally abusive, for example forcing you to give them money or talking to you in a way that makes you feel bad

• someone is physically or sexually abusing you, for example hitting or touching you when you do not want to be touched

there are many organisations that you can call to talk to about how you feel the list is on this page.

Abusive experiences like these are never ok. If you have experienced one or more of these things, or you are afraid they might happen to you because of how someone is acting, please ask for help.




Hands holding a ceramic heart

Feeling stressed, worried, scared or depressed?

Last updated 12 August 2020

We recognise that the constantly changing circumstances are challenging, making many of us feel anxious, sad, alone, scared or confused. We encourage you to reach out to any one of the free and confidential support lines listed here. They will take you seriously, listen to you and support you.




Young adult Maori male

Are you still reaching out to your GP for your health concerns?

Last updated 24 March 2022

Although this is a busy time for our health system, please look after yourself before your health concerns become critical. This means staying on top of any existing health conditions that you may have and reaching out to your GP if you're unwell. 

For general guidance on COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has good information and resources on how to stay safe: www.COVID19.govt.nz.



Nurse swabbing a patient's mouth

Asian Family Services to support your Mental Wellbeing

Last updated 4 December 2021

Asian Helpline helps Asian people in New Zealand to access appropriate counselling support. Their counsellors provide helpful information and services to those who are experiencing gambling harm or COVID-19 related mental distress, such as depression and anxiety.

Find out more by visiting Asian Family Services. 



Group of East Asian men.jpg

Getting Through Together

Last updated 14 April 2020

We're all doing our part to protect our family, whanau and communities from COVID-19. But we also need to take time to protect our mental wellbeing during these times. 

Getting Through Together is a national mental health and wellbeing campaign brought to you by the team at All Right? and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. It's a really cool online and NZ-focused resource with heaps of great ideas, activities and articles that are all about looking after ourselves and whanau during these unprecedented times. 

Some of our favourite Getting Through Together ideas:

  • Downtime Dice - it's powered by you! 
  • Parenting guides - includes how to keep kids calm and help kids with differences & diagnoses.
  • Strengths finder - a 15-minute online test that helps you discover your character strengths. Using your character strengths can have a positive impact on your happiness, relationships and life satisfaction. 

Check it out now.



"Isolation not isolated"

Essential items 

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

Last updated 15 February 2021

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. 





Person delivering food

Where to get food parcels

Last updated 18 August 2020

Go to foodbank.co.nz for a list of foodbanks in Auckland. 

There are currently plenty of community organisations providing food parcels in Counties Manukau

You can also call the phone directory on 018 to find out the contact number for your local foodbank. 

Whanau Ora agencies are supplied with health and hygiene packs, and some are also providing food parcels. There is high demand for these items, so please call the service nearest you first to check if you can pick up supplies. 






Food parcel

Medicines delivered to your home

Last updated 4 March 2021

Pilldrop.co.nz is a full service digital pharmacy. They offer free medicines and delivery for standard prescriptions for children 0-14 years old, 65 year olds and up, and under 65 year olds with 4 regular medications. 

You can also look into Zoom Pharmacy to deliver your medicine to you for free. 

Pilldrop and Zoom currently provide FREE COVID KITS that include essentials like throat lozenges, digital thermometer, ibuprofen, paracetamol, sanitiser wipes and vapour rub.

They just need a request from your doctor/medical centre or other healthcare provider. Talk to your GP or nurse for more information on how their services works. 

Note that many Pharmacies across Auckland (and not just Pilldrop and Zoom Pharmacy) can provide free COVID essentials support like medicines for management of fever/pain and dehydration. Please ask your GP to organise this FREE option for you. 





Support for older people 

Support for older people 

Published 23 August 2021

Age Concern Auckland is providing additional Emergency Response Service for older people. This includes support for:

  • Shopping and delivering essential groceries, including pet food
  • Delivery of face masks
  • Collection and delivery of essential prescriptions
  • Welfare calls for those who need a friendly chat
  • Asian services 

Anyone needing support can call them on 820 0184 or email ageconcern@ageconak.org.nz.

Discretionary Fund Available to Assist Older Adults

Age Concern Auckland has a discretionary fund available for essential items or services for older people. If you are working with anyone that might need help, please contact Rebekah Preston on 820 2711 or rebekahp@ageconak.org.nz to discuss. The fund so far has helped with things like food, clothing, linen, transport, bills, EPOA costs.



Elderly woman talking with a younger woman.jpg

Family and parenting 

Activities you can do at home

Last updated 1 March 2021

We have compiled a list of things people of all abilities can do at home. Why not give these activities a go now! 

If you have other ideas or suggestions on how to keep people entertained, active or relaxed during lockdown, please email us at communications@taikura.org.nz and we'll be happy to share it here.



Woman playing bongo drums

COVID-19 in our community 

Join the COVID-19 surge workforce

Last updated 20 April 2021

The Ministry of Health is seeking expressions of interest from health and care support workers who are looking for paid work, or health organisations who need to employ extra workers as part of the response to COVID-19.

Training will be provided by your employer, and there are a number of roles available including contact and non-contact roles.

So far, the Ministry has had applications from:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Medical Laboratory Scientists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Health care assistants
  • Care workers

Visit the Ministry website to register your expression of interest, or to log a workforce request




A picture of a nurse

Golden rules for everyone at all traffic lights settings 

Last updated 4 December 2021

Under all traffic light settings, there are some Golden Rules we should all follow to help prevent the spread.

  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  6. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  7. Keep track of where you’ve been, when and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  8. Wear a mask. 
  9. Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  10. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up alert levels if we have to.
  11. People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

Being vaccinated will give you greater protection.

Visit the Ministry of Health website for more information.



Unite against COVID-19

Traffic level settings advice in more than 40 languages

Last updated 4 December 2021

Covid-19 factsheets are available in many languages, providing guidelines about vaccination, wearing masks and financial supports. 




Unite against COVID-19

Support for Māori 

COVID-19 Māori Health Protection Plan

Last updated 5 January 2022

This plan provides an updated framework that is informed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi to protect Māori communities from the impacts of COVID-19. It will help guide health and disability system actions for Māori through the next three to 12 months of the COVID-19 response, by focusing on two key outcomes: protecting whānau from the virus by increasing vaccination coverage and building the resilience of Māori health providers and whānau Māori. You can read the plan online here. If you have any pātai, please feel free to get in touch with me or my team at Māorihealth@health.govt.nz


Māori and tracer app.png

Posters and resources in te reo

Last updated 5 January 2022

COVID19.govt.nz has many resources in te reo like:

  • traffic light system info 
  • health and vaccine info
  • COVID-19 posters for the marae
  • How to travel safely, and others. 



Marae poster.JPG

Kaimanaaki Services region wide initiative

Last updated 17 August 2020

There are a number of essential services and Maori health providers operating across Auckland, who will be here at all alert levels to support you and your whanau. You will be able to find them all online, as well as information on how to access them.

If you’re struggling financially, and the pressure of things are getting to you, they also have a number of whanau ora providers across Auckland who are here to help you and your whanau.

You can find them on the Te Puni Kokiri website. Please make use of these services whanau, they’re there for you if and when you need them.

Kaimanaaki work supplements health and social support services by identifying and responding to the needs of whanau. They provide a central and coordinated response and connection to health care providers with additional clinical oversight. The service also leverages common priorities between DHBs, Maori providers and iwi partners.

CM Health service providers include:



Young adult Maori male

Covid-19 advice for Māori

Last updated 1 May 2020

Uruta.maori.co.nz provides information and resources specifically for Māori about the COVID-19 pandemic. This information has been developed by Māori medical experts for whānau Māori.



Young adult Maori male

Vaccines - how safe and effective are they?

Last updated 15 September 2021

Many experts say that the vaccines provide a significant layer is protecting people from COVID-19. But some members of our community may still feel anxious about vaccinations, especially when they don't have the right information about it. 

There are some very relevant kōrero on Te Ao with Moana (Māori TV) on vaccines. In this story, clinical immunologists Dr Anthony Jordan and Dr Maia Brewerton join Dr Rawiri Jansen and Moana to explore why some whânau are nervous about COVID-19 and the vaccination.

There are lots of information out there about vaccines. Remember: vaccines are medicines. If you have any questions about them, talk to your GP or specialist. It's also important to look for information from credible online sources like the NZ Ministry of Health website, Immunisation Advisory Centre and the World Health Organisation





Support for Pacific communities 

Fale Pasifika Women’s Refuge

Fale Pasifika is still operating as an essential provider to Pasifika women and children experiencing domestic violence. 

Call their crisis line on 0800 733 843 or 09 622 0723.

What will happen next?

  • If facilities are still available, they will organise to isolate you in a motel for three days. During that time, you'll need to get a COVID-19 test. 
  • When you have a negative result, you will then be transitioned into a Safe House. Screening is conducted before people are accepted into service.

Other options:

If you meet the criteria for Whānau Protect Services, Women's refuge can also provide Security Alarm systems where an alarm will be installed if you are experiencing family violence during level 4.

For more information, email admin@falepasifika.org.nz.

Office line is 09 622 0572 still operating during level 4



A woman relaxing

Ministry for Pacific Peoples COVID-19 updates

Last updated 22 April 2020

Weekly COVID-19 updates can be found on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Facebook and YouTube pages. 



Ministry of Pacific Peoples bulletin

Good to know  

Mask exemption application

Last updated 31 May 2022

For some people wearing a face mask is unsuitable. Go to COVID.govt.nz to find out where a mask does not need to be worn, who does not need to wear one. To get a Mask Exemption Pass go to the Ministry of Health website. 



Two young women wearing fabric face masks

Isolation period reduced from 10 days to 7 days

Last updated 11 March 2022

The isolation period for COVID-19 cases and their household contacts will be reduced from 10 to 7 days.

Household contacts will need to have a rapid antigen test at day 3 and day 7 of their isolation period. If they become symptomatic they should also get a test, and if the result is positive, they are required to isolate for seven days from that point.

If a person is isolating and still has symptoms after 7 days, they are advised to stay home until 24 hours after symptoms resolve.

For more info, go to COVID.govt.nz.



Thumbs up for staying inside your home

How to self-manage in Phase 3

Last updated 25 February 2022

Aotearoa New Zealand is in Phase 3 of the response to Omicron from 11:59pm on 24 February. How we manage COVID-19 in the community has changed. Traffic light settings remain in place. Here are the key things about Phase 3:

  • Only confirmed cases and their household contacts will be required to isolate. A household contact is someone who lives with you. 
  • Household contacts will need to isolate until the person who is positive in your house completes 10 days of isolation. 
  • Household contacts will need to test on Day 3 and 10, or if symptomatic.

Here's a map 

What you need to do:

  • You and your whānau should watch for symptoms.
  • If symptoms develop, get tested immediately.
  • Then, stay at home until you receive the result.

Phase 3 is heavily reliant on a trust-system, so please do the right thing to reduce the spread of COVID and protect people who don't have the ability to fight off illnesses. 

Find out more by visiting covid19.govt.nz.

Read some tips on how to prepare for isolation.




MicrosoftTeams-image (6).png

An approved COVID-19 drug that can treat and prevent COVID-19

Last updated 22 December 2021

Medsafe approved a new COVID-19 medicine Ronapreve that can both prevent and treat COVID-19 though it is not a substitute for vaccination and its effectiveness against the latest variant of concern is yet to be demonstrated.

Ronapreve is a monoclonal antibody drug that mimics the body’s natural defences for fighting disease. The clinical advice is that it is a significant advance, because it reduces the severity of COVID-19 by keeping more cases out of hospital and shortens the duration of symptoms and infectious period which in turn reduces the risk of patients passing the virus on to other people.

Ronapreve is approved for the treatment of COVID-19 for people who are badly affected by COVID-19 and who are at increased risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 disease.  

Ronapreve is not approved for use in children.

The medicine is also approved for preventing COVID-19 for people who have been exposed to the virus and have a medical condition that makes them unlikely to be protected by vaccination.

Ronapreve is known to be effective against the Delta variant and research is now focusing on its effectiveness against the Omicron variant. Medsafe will continue to evaluate that information when it becomes available.

For more information visit the Ministry of Health website.



A person's palm with medicine on it.jpg

How the traffic light system will be used moving forwar

Last updated 22 December 2021

When Omicron arrives in our communities, health experts expect it’ll spread fast. To slow that spread, the Red traffic light setting will be used early on, to slow that spread. That will give us the best chance of minimising the need to return to something more restrictive

Cabinet does not intend to move to lockdowns unless that is absolutely necessary, such as in the event of a widespread outbreak where our health system comes under considerable strain and the overall health risk becomes too much to bear. Even then, Cabinet has indicated their strong preference is for any lockdowns to be highly targeted.

In that event, we will continue to support you remotely and use our existing channels like phone, Skype/Zoom or email to ensure you continue getting your disability supports and to check in on you. 




Traffic light.jpg

The new Traffic Light system will replace the Alert Level system

Last updated 19 November 2021

The new Traffic Light system is designed to work with the protection vaccination provides to people and communities. Under the new system or framework, there will be three settings Green, Orange and Red.

More information is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.



Traffic light.jpg

Information and advice for the deaf community

Last updated 13 August 2020

The NZ Relay Service and the Video Interpreting Service can be used to contact the Healthline COVID-19 telephone service - 0800 348 5453, or +64 9 358 5458 from overseas SIMs. If these systems don’t work for you, and you are with a hearing person that you trust, Healthline staff will work with them as your advocate.

For non-urgent concerns:

  • Healthline COVID-19 advice can be accessed by e-mail on ops@homecaremedical.co.nz 
  • fax on 09 377 6247 (e-mail and fax are monitored round the clock, but you may not get an immediate response)
  • use Facebook Messenger to reach Healthline through its Facebook page (monitored 7am – 11pm every day).

Please note that there may be a delay in responding to non-urgent requests.

Feeling down? Anxious? Overwhelmed?

You can text to 1737 if you are experiencing distress or anxiety. It’s available 24/7 and a webchat option is also available.

As always, in an emergency situation, use 111. 

Deaf Aotearoa video resources

Deaf Aotearoa website has a rich collection of videos that can support deaf people through these challenging and changing times. 




Sign language

Healthline contact links for the deaf community

Last updated 13 May 2020

The deaf community can continue to contact Healthline for COVID-19 health information and support. 

Here are the ways you can access their service: 

  • The NZ Relay Service and the Video Interpreting Service can be used to contact the Healthline COVID-19 telephone service - 0800 348 5453, or +64 9 358 5458 from overseas SIMs. If these systems don’t work for you, and you are with a hearing person that you trust, Healthline staff will work with them as your advocate.  
  • Fax on 09 377 6247 (e-mail and fax are monitored round the clock, but you may not get an immediate response).
  • Facebook Messenger through their Facebook page (monitored 7am – 11pm every day). 

Watch this video from Healthline for more information. 



Healthline logo.png

How do you talk about COVID-19 to people with intellectual disabilities?

Last updated 3 April 2020

How can you support people with intellectual disabilities to understand what is happening and to cope with the sudden changes in their lives? Open Future Learning gives five hints and tips.




My COVID-19 record 

Proof of vaccination 

Last updated 6 October 2021

Visit the Ministry of Health website for more information about COVID-19 vaccine certificates and to request for a written vaccination confirmation if this is what you prefer. 




QR code

COVID-19 tests 

When do you need to take a test and where to get FREE RATs

Last updated 4 March 2022

Here's a handy guide (PDF 107KB) to help you find out when you need to take a COVID test. The main things to remember is that if you have symptoms, you should get a test. If you don't have symptoms but you live with someone who is COVID positive, best that you get tested too. 

Here's how you can get a FREE Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

  • Through your DSS provider
  • By ordering your free RATs online with the new RAT requester
  • At community testing centres. There is no need for the entire whānau to go to receive RATs, 1 or 2 members will be acceptable
  • Supervised RATs testing for disabled people will be provided by selected community and disability health providers. Locations offering supervised RATs for priority populations can be found on the HealthPoint website

PCR testing will be reserved for people where it’s clinically indicated they need it. Note that if you get a positive RAT test, you don't need to take another PCR test to check if you really do have COVID. 

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website.


Rapid antigen test kit.jpg

Rapid antigen testing available to the public at pharmacies 

Last updated 15 December 2021

In New Zealand there are 3 types of tests for COVID-19:

  • a swab of the back of your nose — this is often called a nasopharyngeal test, or PCR test
  • saliva testing — this testing is available for border workers and workers crossing an Alert Level boundary
  • rapid antigen testing —  after some trials at some hospitals and business sectors, this will be available to the public on 15 December and can be bought at pharmacies. 

From 15 December 2021 until the end of January 2022, COVID-19 rapid antigen testing will be available at no cost from participating community pharmacies throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. This testing is free for unvaccinated people over 12 years and 3 months who DO NOT have COVID-19 symptoms, to meet domestic travel requirements over the holiday break from 15 December 2021 to 31 January 2022.

The Ministry of Health strongly recommends taking the test as close as possible to the time of travel, preferably within 24 hours before departure. Test results are typically available in around 15 minutes.
You can find community pharmacies offering a rapid antigen testing service on the Healthpoint website. Bookings are recommended.

Unvaccinated workers who are already part of a testing regime for crossing the Auckland boundary can continue with their current regime – other unvaccinated workers can use the negative test within 72 hours. People who are unwell and have COVID-19 symptoms are advised to stay home and get a PCR test.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website. Here are some news articles about rapid antigen tests from Stuff and RNZ. 



Nurse swabbing a patient's mouth

COVID-19 tests in your home or facility

Last updated 17 November 2021

In-home or in-facility testing can be facilitated through Northern Region Health Coordination Centre.

Call Healthline's COVID-19 hotline on 0800 358 5453 or email NRHCCtesting@adhb.co.nz to talk about mobile COVID-19 testing. They will triage your request and book a time that suits you. 





Nurse swabbing a patient's mouth

COVID-19 saliva testing programme

5 January 2022

For information about saliva testing programme for NZ's workforce, visit this website. 



Nurse swabbing a patient's mouth

Testing text scam

Published 27 August 2021

There are reports that some people have received text messages saying they have tested positive for COVID-19. Please note that a phone call notifies all positive test results. Only negative results are notified by text message. If you receive one of these text messages informing you of a positive test, please ignore it.  

In addition, if you haven't received your test results within five days, please call your GP or the testing centre where you were swabbed.



Nurse swabbing a patient's mouth

COVID-19 testing

Published 25 August 2021

It’s essential that people get tested if they are a contact of someone with COVID 19, have visited a location of interest at the specific dates and times, or have cold and flu symptoms.

Note: When contact tracers call you on your mobile phone, their number will appear as "Unknown number". Please answer this call. 

If you have visited a location of interest at the same date and times listed here, you need to call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 to let them know.

There are many testing options for people in metro Auckland. Please call your GP where you are enrolled to see if they offer COVID-19 swabbing. You can also go to a designated GP taking non-enrolled patients or an Urgent Care Clinic (UCC). COVID-19 testing is free wherever you go.

You can find all GPs and UCCs that offer testing on the Healthpoint website. The website includes information for GPs and UCCs and you can filter by area or suburb within Auckland (eg. South Auckland or Mangere). You can also filter by ‘anyone can access’ to show your options if you are not enrolled at a GP.

We understand that it is an anxious time and there are significant waiting times at some community testing centres (CTCs). If you have concerns about your ability to access a test please contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Note: Have you tried Time in the Line? It will show you all the wait times at testing sites closest to you. 



A Covid-19 mobile testing unit

A website that tells you the wait time at different sites

Published 23 August 2021

Here is a great initiative to help people find a supermarket or testing station with the lowest wait time closest to them. Visit Time in the Line and type in your location and it will show you all the wait times at each supermarket/testing site closest to you. It does rely on the supermarkets and testing stations to regularly update the wait times. However, it gives you the option of perhaps driving a little further for a quicker visit.



Time in the line app.jpg

Mobile COVID-19 testing service

A mobile COVID-19 testing service is now available to those that have difficulty accessing Community-Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) or designated practices for COVID-19 swabbing.

Phone 0800COVIDVAN or 0800 2684 3826 for mobile COVID-19 testing service. 

The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am-3pm, Saturday 9am-1pm. 

Referral Criteria

  • A person who fits current case definition with symptoms (other household members who are asymptomatic will also be offered swabbing)


  • A person who is unable to access a CBAC or other testing site OR
  • A person who is a resident at an Aged Residential Care facility/Hospice and the usual primary care provider is not able to provide a swabbing service OR
  • A person referred by a Māori or Pacific provider OR
  • A person referred by Kainga Ora (previously known as Housing NZ) OR
  • A person referred by IMT Welfare due to identified need

To get the latest primary care communications updates, sign up to Medinz. 


Published 22 April 2020

A Covid-19 mobile testing unit

Who should get assessed for COVID-19

People with any of the COVID-19 symptoms who are close contacts of confirmed cases, have recently travelled overseas, or been in contact with recent travellers, should get assessed.

If you have symptoms but are unsure if you have been exposed to COVID-19, ring Healthline or your GP for advice. Over winter there are many other viruses about can cause you to feel unwell and have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • A cough;
  • A high temperature (at least 38 degrees Celsius);
  • Shortness of breath;
  • A sore throat;
  • Sneezing and a runny nose; and
  • Temporary loss of smell.

Find out more.


Published 21 August 2020

Nurse swabbing a patient's mouth

Tracer app and contact tracing

Tracer app: what happens when you get a notification

Last updated 5 January 2022

If you have scanned in somewhere that someone with COVID-19 has been at the same time, you will see a yellow alert on the app dashboard. A yellow contact alert will tell you if you are a Casual Contact or a Casual Plus Contact and what to do.

If there is a 'Send my details’ button, this enables you to send your contact details directly to Healthline, who will then call you back with advice about what to do.

A contact alert is a simple way of making you aware of this risk. However, you might not have come near the person, and if you did, it might not have been for long enough to present a significant risk of exposure.

Contact tracers are real people who will get in touch with you directly if you are identified through the contact tracing process as having a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, for example if you were seated in close proximity to the confirmed case (or are considered a Close Contact).

For more information about the tracer app, visit covid19.govt.nz. 



Māori and tracer app.png

Get your NZ COVID tracer booklet

If you can't use the tracer app, the NZ COVID tracer booklet can help you keep track of where you've been and who you’ve seen.

The NZ COVID tracer app is the fastest way of responding to the virus. But if you don’t want to use the app, it is encouraged you use another method that works for you.

If you use the booklet, you should still sign contact tracing registers when you visit places like shops.

Email the COVID-19 response team if you'd like some booklets.

Or download and print your booklets. Print whichever booklet you like most. You may need to adjust your printer settings to print as many of the blank pages as you want.


How to use the COVID tracer booklet

  • Keep your booklet with you so you can record your movements whenever you leave your house. The booklet can fit in your pocket, handbag or backpack.
  • Write in the booklet where you have been, what time you were there, how you got there and who you met there — if you met someone you know.
  • Use your booklet when you come into contact with other people, like in a shop, or when you cannot keep 2 metres away from others.


Published 4 September 2020


Unite against COVID-19

How contact tracing for COVID-19 works in New Zealand

Last updated 5 January 2022

When a COVID-19 case has been identified, the Ministry of Health and district health boards track down people who may have been exposed to the virus through a process called contact tracing.

Health services use contact tracing to find people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease. There are two types of ‘contacts’ – close contacts and casual contacts. Health services give advice to both of these contact types on what they need to do. Find out more.



NZ covid tracing app.jpg

NZ COVID Tracer app

Last updated 5 January 2022

NZ COVID Tracer helps you protect yourself, your friends, your whānau and your community by enabling faster contact tracing.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says the government's new coronavirus contact tracing app will not force people to part with sensitive information.

People who download the app will enter information that will be stored on the user's phone.

They can then choose to release it to health agencies, but they will not be compelled to.

The app has a feature that scans QR codes when people enter businesses, but nothing is released automatically.




NZ covid tracing app.jpg

Advice from the Ministry of Health on contact tracing

Last updated 29 April 2020

COVID-19 is still a threat and it's important not to be complacent. There are a few ways you can help contact tracers.
  • Keep a log of your daily interactions -- who you've gotten close to, places you've been.
  • Make sure your GP or primary care provider has your updated contact details so contact tracers can easily reach you.
  • If you get a call from 09 801 3010 or 09 302 0408, make sure you answer. These are numbers contact tracers and Healthline will use to get in touch.



Phone app