A new helpline has been launched by Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management to ensure no-one is left without support during the Covid-19 situation.
The new 0800 number is for people needing urgent help accessing food, medication or other household goods and services.
Group controller Craig Campbell-Smart says the region's doing a great job of wrapping its arms around those who need help and Civil Defence wants to make sure no one falls through the cracks.
A week into Alert Level 4, there has been a lot of amazing work done in the region by individuals and essential services to help others get through the Covid-19 crisis, he says.
"As expected, we're seeing an increasing number of people needing support during this period and it's great to see family members, friends and neighbours stepping up to help those close to them."
When family and friends can't help, there are also other services that are able to step in, he says.
"Sometimes it's not possible for that support to come from family or friends, and there are many services provided locally and nationally to help in those situations, such as Healthline, lifeline, and local essential services like Meals on Wheels and Food Bank."
Craig says the new helpline is not intended to serve as a replacement for the resources already available, but is to make sure everyone can access the help they need.
"This new phone number is not a replacement for those resources but is available to ensure that no one misses out on the essentials during this period."
When people are looking for help and support for themselves or others, Taranaki Civil Defence is asking people to follow three steps in order.
Firstly, check if a family member or friend is in a position to give that support.
If that isn't an option, call the dedicated government helpline on 0800 779 997 to find out what support is available from the essential social services operating during Alert Level 4.
If th above two options can't help, then Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management can assist with any urgent needs via the new helpline. They can be contacted on 0800 900 077 between 7am and 7pm daily.
Craig says, "We have seen some amazing support around the mountain in the last week, including iwi authorities looking after their Kaumātua and vulnerable whānau, community groups reaching out to their members through email and phone, and other essential services working hard remotely to support their clients. We encourage everyone to continue using these networks where possible. Our 0800 number will be there as a 'safety net' to ensure no one is left without the necessities during this time."