Hawke's Bay recognised seasonal employer (RSE) workers are set to benefit from a new programme to help temporary New Zealand visa holders experiencing hardship as a result of Covid-19.
The Department of Internal Affairs is working with New Zealand Red Cross to assist foreign nationals in New Zealand suffering serious hardship.
From July 1, struggling foreign nationals can apply for assistance to meet basic needs including food and accommodation.
New Zealand Red Cross project lead Rachel O'Connor said the temporary assistance will meet "urgent humanitarian need" across the country.
The programme will run for three months.
Hawke's Bay Growers Association president Ben James said the new programme will help keep RSE workers in the region "fed and sheltered".
"This is a kind and timely reminder of basic humanity," he said. "This will help ease some pressure off some of the RSE workers who have found themselves stuck here due to flight restrictions and Covid-19 with minimal work for the winter.
"The majority of these people have come here to work or have a working holiday and therefore pay tax in to our system."
James added: "Longing to return home to their families, this should go some to easing their stress levels."
Internal Affairs is administering the online system and processing applications, while Red Cross will deliver the assistance.
Internal Affairs deputy chief executive Maria Robertson said the assistance will help those who have found themselves in a difficult position in New Zealand.
"There are people in Aotearoa on temporary visas, who are unfortunately unable to meet their own basic needs and have exhausted all other options," she said.
New Zealand Red Cross support will include needs assessments, local distribution of in-kind aid, psychosocial support, and engaging the community to ensure that our support is reaching the people who are eligible and most in need.
At the end of this time, Internal Affairs hopes that people would have either returned to their home country or have secured alternative means of support.
People can check their eligibility and apply through www.foreignnationals.services.govt.nz.