Struggling to find the right support in the mix of so much COVID-19 information? We’ve tried to sort through all of the confusing information and have tried to put all of the information here!  

If you need help finding you way through any of this and you’re in care, contact one of our Kaiwhakamana (Advocates). We’re here to listen and stand beside you. 

Dr. Siouxsie Wiles (she’s a Microbiologist who is qualified to research and factually talk about viruses like COVID!) had a Zoom with some of our care experienced young people. National Youth Council member, Albie, led the session which included all those questions you might still want the answers to! Check it out below.

What we’ll cover: 

Staying Safe at level 2 

Getting lots of different info about what you are and aren’t allowed to do at Level 2? This info is really clear!  

It can be tricky to find out what information is true because there’s so many different opinions and voices out there. Facebook is not a reliable source of information, so here is the ministry run COVID-19 site, where vaccine questions have been answered by scientists: 

If you’d like to hear a scientist answer these questions in person, we recently sat down with Dr. Siouxsie Wiles ones of New Zealand’s top infectious disease scientists and she answered COVID-19 vaccine questions from our care experienced community. 

Getting vaccinated
You don’t have to make a vaccine booking. Here’s a link to walk-in and drive-through vaccination centreinformation or check the location map on the website. 

  • by phoning the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 
  • by contacting your doctor, pharmacy or other health provider directly to see if they are giving vaccines.  

Giving consent  

  • Ministry of Health recommends young people aged 12-15 years discuss the vaccination with whānau or a trusted support person. 
  • At a community-based vaccination (including on a school site) a health professional will discuss the vaccination with the young person before giving the vaccine and can answer any questions. If the young person has a good understanding, they can say yes or no to getting the vaccine themselves. A parent or caregiver can provide consent if preferred.  
  • At a school-based vaccination, the programme will align its policy with previous school-based vaccination programmes (such as HPV) and require written consent from the young person’s parent or guardian for all COVID-19 vaccines administered in schools. 
  • Here’s the policy doc: COVID-19 Vaccine Informed Consent for Young People Aged 12-15 Years Policy Statement 

Disabled people and their carers – call centre support: 

  • Just call the free COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am–8pm Monday to Friday) and push ‘2’.  
  • Get tailored advice and support for booking vaccination appointments, including help with transport to and from the vaccination site and support during the appointment.  
  • Translation services are available in over 40 languages and there’s the option to use NZ Relay Services. 
  • The team members are either disabled people themselves or allies to the disability community across Aotearoa New Zealand.  

Getting a record of your vaccination  

  • go to My Covid Record and create a free My Health account where you can view your vaccine record. By the end of November you’ll be able to download a vaccination certificate (with a QR code) to your smartphone or computer.  
  • At the moment you have to be 16+ to create a My Health account – but you can still request a copy of your record. Instructions for Under 16s are on the same web page.   
  • There’s also work underway to support people who don’t have access to digital tools, don’t have access to ID, aren’t vaccinated for medical reasons, and those vaccinated overseas. This will include looking at other ways to make the service available, such as ordering a certificate over the phone. 


If you’ve been at a place of interest, or have any of these symptoms, you need to think about getting a COVID test. Testing is free, even if it’s at your GP. 

If you are in care, and you or anyone in your household gets COVID or thinks they might have it, Oranga Tamariki will not move you out of your placement unless it absolutely has to. All decisions around ongoing care arrangements must be made in consultation with a health professional. You can find out more about your options here:   

Vaccines and your job: 

If you work at the border, like at certain parts of an airport, or in a managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facility you must be vaccinated. 

Employers can’t make someone get vaccinated. However, they can require that a specific role is done by someone who is vaccinated. 


For 16-19 year olds looking for work:  

MSD offers a number of services for young people to help improve skills through education, training, work or other related activities. This link will take you through to their easy to navigate information page about getting work or training. 

Finding a new job:  

If your job was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can get free advice from a professional career expert. 

Get free career advice | 

What support you can get if you can’t work:  

If you need financial support, you can apply for an unemployment benefit from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).  

Check to see what you might be able to get on the Check website. 

Check what you might get from MSD | link) 

MSD online services for new clients | link) 

MyMSD for existing clients | link) 

If you’re concerned about your student loan, KiwiSaver, or child support or you are wondering about Working for Families payments, you can get information from Inland Revenue. 

Information for individuals and families | link) 

Youth Service can help you figure out the hard stuff so you can focus on what’s important: yourself, your whānau and your future. It has advice on getting back into training or education, and preparing for your next job. 

Youth Service | 

Kura and School (and exams): 

Click here to find out about when schools will be open, or when you’ll have to learn from home. This link also has information about NCEA exams. 

Want Transitioning from Care support? 

No matter what the COVID level is, Transition support is an essential service and can help young people (15 – 25 year olds) who have left care, been in youth justice, or in remand or custody. They can sort out emergency needs and any other issues.  

Disabled young people :  

I.Lead is a youth-with-disabilities movement led by youth, for youth.
I.Lead on Facebook(external link) 

Information about wearing face masks, and what disability services are available at different Alert Levels, is on this website. 

Information for disabled people(external link) 

We also have specialist Kaiwhakamana (Advocates), our Tāngata Whaikaha team, who deals specifically with young people in care with communication needs that can support you and your whānau navigate this tricky time 

Youth Justice   

Youth Court is still operating under the different COVID alert levels. If you’re in a level 3 or 4 region, your hearing will be carried out remotely or re-booked for a later date. But for Levels 2 and under, hearings can be in person with usual COVID safety precautions taken. 

Youth Justice Residences are closed to the public under levels 3 and 4, but staff are available to respond either remotely or in person as needed. In level 2, Residences are open and following new health and safety guidelines. 

More info on Residences and COVID here:  

These are the guidelines when a Youth Justice Residence is in level 4. 

Work and Income have set up this page to help with things such as food, accommodation costs, bills, dental treatment, glasses, medical costs, home and car repairs, bereavement and fire or theft. If you have a cost that’s urgent or unexpected and not listed above e.g clothing or bedding, they may still be able to help you. 

Need to feel better? 

If you’re not in a good headspace right now and need someone to talk to during this stressful time, there is someone waiting to listen and help 24/7 under ‘Health and wellbeing’ here – all these services are free. 

Need help getting food?: 

There are a lot of people and places that are committed to helping people get access to food during these tough times. Most churches have a foodbank that is open to those in need, so ask your local church how to access these. Here are some other options:  

Foodbanks open for BOOKINGS/WALK-INS  


Foodbank NZ
Call 022 045 8184 to find a foodbank near you. Due to high demand, you must reserve a booking 


Auckland City Mission
Call 0800 223 663 for emergency food parcels Due to high demand, you must reserve a booking Operating Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm  

Auckland Council
Call 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week. Callers must meet government criteria for assistance  

Budgeting & Family Support Services Tuakau – Call 09 236 9804
Mangere – Call 09 275 2266
To enquire about face masks and parcels.  

Manukau Urban Māori Authority
Call 0800 686 232 from 10am to make an appointment.  

Papakura Marae
Call 09 2972036 or 0800TAMARIKI between the hours of 9am – 11am (Mon-Fri) All whānau must complete an initial assessment over the phone   

Presbyterian Support Northern
Call 09 309 2054 to check availability. No walk-ins. Collections between 11am – 12pm
Monday to Friday from 8 Madeira Lane, Grafton.  

Rawiri Community House
Walk-In Service for Rata Vine community subject to avilability
Follow for daily pick up times, locations and availability  

Salvation Army Manukau
Call 09 262 2332 to make an appointment or text your name and postcode to 4114 If you text a rep. will contact you within 48 hours. Bookings only!/welfare  

Salvation Army, Red Beach is running its Thursday foodbank 10-12pm as usual, it’s contactless.  

Northgate Church in Silverdale is also providing food parcels. They have a form on their website which needs to be filled out to request a parcel. 

In Tāmaki there are a number of providers offering emergency housing:  

Lifewise provides youth housing options and other support services: 

Want to help spread awareness in your community on staying safe? Here are some great  resources, like posters and videos you can print or share online  

Then please contact us so we can help you find the answers, and we might be able to share the answer on this page to help another young person needing helping too. 

Get involved with VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai