The Ministry of Social Development is working to identify communities in Whanganui, King Country and Taranaki that may need to access information and support services to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced last week that funding of $41.25 million has been allocated to establish 125 Community Connector positions throughout the country.

"Some New Zealanders have multiple needs – for example unemployment as well as other psycho-social needs such as health-related issues, housing issues, job-training and crisis support that have been compounded due to Covid-19," Sepuloni said.

"Community Connectors will assist people to get the information and access they need from multiple government agencies and service providers, with a wide geographical reach, particularly in those areas not already serviced by Whānau Ora commissioning agencies.


"The Community Connection Service will also work with diverse populations, such as Māori, Pacific and ethnic groups, seniors and people with disabilities or significant health conditions. Supporting people who may be rurally or socially isolated is also a major focus for the service."

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) general manager Pacific and programme delivery Serena Curtis-Lemuelu told the Whanganui Chronicle the ministry will work with its regional leadership team to identify where in the Whanganui, Taranaki and King Country areas a Community Connection Service may be needed.

"Community Connectors will help people and whānau to access information and support services they need to recover from the impacts of Covid-19," Curtis-Lemuelu said.

"We are prioritising existing MSD-funded providers who already have a community presence, and who have the ability to reach out to people with multiple needs immediately."

MSD aims to have as many Community Connectors as possible in place by October 1.