Updates from government agencies

Click here to go to our other COVID-19 pages

Last updated 14 September 2022

This page has links to key government information related to family violence & sexual violence and COVID-19. This includes key safety messages, updates for social service providers, updates about the courts and shared care, where to go for official government information on COVID and additional funding for organisations.

We add new research, reports, guides and policies related to COVID-19 and violence to our library. To find these resources, see our library quick topic search on COVID-19.


Key safety messages

Family and sexual violence helplines are always available.

In a COVID-19 media statement, NZ Police Assistant Commissioner Sandra Venables said:

“We want everybody to know Police will continue to prioritise family harm incidents and we will come when you call. Everybody deserves to be safe, and feel safe. ... Let me be clear, if you are in immediate danger and you cannot call us on 111, leave your house and get out of harm’s way. Your safety comes first. Get to a safe distance and then ask a neighbour, or a passer-by (at a 2 metre distance) to call 111 for you. We also urge neighbours and friends to contact Police if they have concerns. If you think something’s not right, it probably isn’t."

See the full statement Your safety still comes first – Police message to people facing family harm (10 April 2020).

The Joint Venture Work Programme update for September 2021 included safety messages for wide distribution and identified five top line messages:

  • Crisis services are open
  • You can leave your bubble [or isolation] if you are not safe
  • Family violence and sexual violence support lines are open for people to call, email or text
  • If someone is in danger call Police on 111
  • When dialling 111 follow the operator’s instructions if you can’t speak


Updates for social service providers

The Ministry for Social Development (MSD) has a webpage that has guidance and information for all social services (see their previous guidance including information for each alert level) related to COVID-19. This information is regularly updated. MSD provides a regular email update with new announcements for providers related to COVID-19. To subscribe to this newsletter email Community_Information@msd.govt.nz.

MSD has worked with the Ministry of Health to provide information on PPE guidance for essential social services.

MSD has previously published Guidelines for the Family Violence and Sexual Violence workforce for COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and Level 3. The guidance is for the family violence and sexual violence crisis workers who provide support to victims/survivors during COVID-19. It covers how providers should operate during Alert Levels 3 and 4 while meeting health and safety expectations to keep staff and victims/survivors safe. 

If you are a service provider and have specific questions, contact your MSD contract or relationship manager first. You can also email MSD at community_information@msd.govt.nz

See the Oranga Tamariki website for updates and changes to their services. The Oranga Tamariki Practice Centre website has more detailed information about how their work has changed in response to COVID-19 and resources for providers.


Updates on courts and shared care of children  

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has collected all information related to COVID-19 for all court and tribunal users in one place. This includes current access to courts, information for family and whānau, changes to policies, information for legal professionals, information on justice programmes and more. This information is regularly updated.

Courts of NZ has information about protocols for specific courts. This information is updated when things change.

Also find information about the protocols for the District Court including criminal, family and youth courts for all alert levels. 

You can call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) to ask questions.

Shared care of children

See the Ministry of Justice Guidance for managing shared parenting during COVID-19. This page is regularly updated when things change. 

Legal help

Legal Aid services are available. See the MOJ website to find a legal aid lawyer/provider. See the Ministry of Justice for all updates related to Legal Aid Services and COVID-19.

Services are available from Community Law centres.


Where to go for official government information on COVID

See the government's official covid19.govt.nz website for the most up to date information. You can sign-up to receive email updates from the all-of-government COVID-19 response.

On 1 September 2021 Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced that while the covid19.govt.nz website will remain the main source of trusted Covid-19 information for all New Zealanders, Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) website will provide a one-stop source of information on COVID and the vaccine roll-out for Te Ao Māori. You can subscribe to regular COVID-19 email updates from TPK by emailing comms@tpk.govt.nz

John Whaanga, Deputy Director-General, Māori Healthat the Ministry of Health, provides a daily email for the Māori health and disability sector with the latest COVID-19 updates.

Prepare Pacific has information for Pacific Communities about COVID-19. The website is an initiative of Counties Manukau Health, Auckland District Health Board, Waitematā District Health Board, Northland District Health Board and the many essential service providers working to help Pacific people.

The Ministry for Ethnic Communities also provides updates on COVID-19. See their previous email updates and subscribe to their newsletter.

The NZ Human Rights Commission (HRC) has a launched a website to help people Learn about your human rights in relation to COVID-19.


Privacy and information sharing related to COVID-19

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has information on privacy and information sharing related to COVID-19.

As part of the government's COVID-19 strategy, it was previously mandatory for individuals and businesses/locations to record attendance. For more information see the official government information on how to Keep track of where you have been. It is no longer required to maintain records for contact tracing purposes. You can continue to use the government's NZ COVID Tracer app to keep track of where you have been. Using the app is not required. Also see the Ministry of Health for information about Privacy and security for the NZ COVID Tracer app.  


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