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To: Jacinda Ardern, Carmel Sepuloni

COVID-19: Grant Emergency Benefits for Migrants

Migrants on temporary visas are not able to access welfare payments in New Zealand, they have no safety net... Unless the government enacts Section 64 of the Social Security Act (Emergency Benefit: Grant during epidemic in New Zealand).

New Zealand did grant this in 2020, but on 31 August 2021 it lapsed.
When everyone is being told to stay home, how do we expect vulnerable people pay the rent or afford the essentials like food?

We ask that Emergency Benefits for migrants on temporary visas be reinstated, to ensure everyone has support to live and stay safe.

These payments need to be enough to live on. The Emergency Benefit rate must be set on par at the equivalent rate of the main benefit type that MSD would normally grant to a person in their circumstances where they would qualify.

Standard benefit rates are 20% below the poverty line. If Jacinda and her team can find the kindness in their hearts, please lift the benefit rates to a liveable level.

Why is this important?

We are global citizens. Aotearoa NZ must show a good example of manaakitanga. Our migrant community contribute hugely to our society, our diversity, the economy and workforce.

Everyone needs a secure place to live and access to life's essentials at this time.

Migrant communities are at risk of facing severe economic hardship due to loss of employment and the inability to return to their home countries due to travel restrictions around the world and the danger of COVID-19.

If the government does not provide this emergency benefit, people may feel they have to fend for themselves and possibly break lock-down. That's a concern.

We are all in this together and we must all support one another to get through this. Granting benefits to migrants is the compassionate and healthy thing to do.


2021-09-03 14:30:42 +1200

We are having a campaign planning meeting on Monday the 6th of September, at 6pm. Most importantly we want to serve the wishes of the migrant and welfare community on this issue, so if you are affected by this issue or already involved in the mahi, or just interested and want to help, you're very welcome to attend.
RSVP here:

2021-08-31 19:55:53 +1200

1,000 signatures reached

2021-08-31 15:35:21 +1200

On 19 May 2020 we submitted the first version of this petition to Parliament, received by Golriz Ghrahman of the Green Party. Here are the associated documents:

We are pleased that the petition request was granted, but are very concerned now that it has lapsed. People still need support. Section 64 (Emergency Benefit: grant during epidemic in New Zealand) is still relevant and needed.

Thanks for your continued support or for getting involved at this point!

Auckland Action Against Poverty and Federation of Aotearoa Migrants put out this statement about it this morning:

2021-08-31 14:24:08 +1200

The Government did grant this petition request last year (awesome!)... But today, the 31st of August 2021, Emergency Benefit support for migrants has lapsed.

Auckland is still in Level 4. Most of the country will be in level 3 soon. How are people expected to stay at home if they can't afford food and rent!?

We need the Government to urgently re-instate Emergency Benefits for migrants, so are reactivating this petition.

The Ministry of Social Development had received 525 applications for the Emergency Benefit by April 2021 - people still need this support.

If you've already signed, send it to a friend who hasn't yet. We are all in this together, Emergency Benefits for migrants are essential, so we can ALL stay safe.

2020-04-21 13:32:18 +1200

500 signatures reached

2020-04-07 22:20:12 +1200

100 signatures reached

2020-04-07 21:21:26 +1200

50 signatures reached

2020-04-07 20:57:27 +1200

25 signatures reached

2020-04-07 20:39:26 +1200

10 signatures reached