A hectic holiday period is having ongoing effects for Rotorua support services.

The city's Citizens Advice Bureau served 150 people between December 27 and January 4, only closing for statutory days.

Manager Jane Eynon-Richards told the Rotorua Daily Post it had been "really quite busy, a lot busier than last year".

"People have been coming for a variety of things: relationship issues, employment, tenancy... nothing goes away."

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Jane Eynon-Richards, Rotorua Citizens Advice Bureau manager. Photo / File
Jane Eynon-Richards, Rotorua Citizens Advice Bureau manager. Photo / File

She said there was no obvious cause for the influx.

"Possibly it will die down as things reopen, as lawyers and other services get back to their offices. We do seem to be the place of last resort when everything else is closed, but we feel it is quite important to have someone open to talk through issues with people even if we can't necessarily solve everything."

Love Soup co-manager Elmer Peiffer said for a lot of the people the charity worked with, the holiday period was stressful.

"Pay times change, with the holiday stat days, so it is a long stretch going without for some people."

He said since Christmas there had been "a big increase in people coming to the meals, and needing the food rescue programme".

Gina Peiffer and Elmer Peiffer, founders of Love Soup Rotorua. Photo / File
Gina Peiffer and Elmer Peiffer, founders of Love Soup Rotorua. Photo / File

"We are still getting the numbers now but it is slowly decreasing as other services are back open and there are fewer stat days.

"We want to reiterate that if people are sleeping in their car, and don't think they will get a benefit or think that their kids will be taken away, they won't. You can find the support you need."

Gina Peiffer and Elmer Peiffer run Rotorua's Love Soup for homeless and rough sleepers. Photo / File
Gina Peiffer and Elmer Peiffer run Rotorua's Love Soup for homeless and rough sleepers. Photo / File

Rotorua Budget Advisory Service manager Pakanui Tuhura said the office had seen "expected demand" for its free appointments in the past two weeks.

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"Normally we get busier in February and March, that's the typical cycle... Usually, they are not coming to us because they've overspent at Christmas and New Year's, it's other reasons, but often if you read behind it, the reason they're having problems with living costs is probably because of the holiday period."

He said "2018 was a crap year" for the service, but "people can always find help if they look for it".

"We have seen a rise in homeless people... accommodation is something everybody needs."

He said people who were not in hardship should be using the service too.

"It's a good idea, even if you are budgeting well, to get a second unbiased opinion on it."

Domestic violence services heavily relied upon

Manager of Waiariki Women's Refuge Paula Coker said the past three weeks had been "an extremely busy time" for her team.

"We are seeing a lot more than we did around the holiday period, when I first started last year."

Waiariki Women's Refuge manager Paula Coker. Photo / File
Waiariki Women's Refuge manager Paula Coker. Photo / File

She said "there were a lot of complexities" behind domestic violence in Rotorua.

"A lot are around meth use and financial hardship, stuff that's been going on for a while."

Paula Coker is the manager of Waiariki Women's Refuge. Photo / File
Paula Coker is the manager of Waiariki Women's Refuge. Photo / File

Rotorua police area prevention manager, Inspector Brendon Keenan, said while many of us looked forward to the holiday period, for others it "only brings a sense of dread".

"Financial and family stress, often combined with the consumption of alcohol, can contribute to an increase in family harm... In the Rotorua area, police responded to 399 family harm incidents in December."

He said it could only be improved by all government, NGO, community and iwi groups working together.

"Do not ignore family violence – your call could save a life."