A million New Zealanders supported through winter

Around a million New Zealanders will be protected from the cold with the 2019 Winter Energy Payment kicking in from today and running over a longer period this year of 22 weeks from 1 May to 1 October, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.

The Winter Energy Payment, introduced last year, helps seniors and families who need extra help to pay for heating during the colder months.

“From today around a million New Zealanders will receive the Winter Energy Payment to protect them over the coldest months and help keep their homes warm and dry all through winter,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The Winter Energy Payment gives New Zealanders that extra bit of financial security to keep the heater on without having to worry about cutting back on other costs like food or Doctors’ visits.

“Too many avoidable hospital admissions are caused by cold damp homes. The Winter Energy Payment sits alongside the home insulation scheme and new rules requiring the insulation of rental properties as part of the Government plan to tackle avoidable child illness and ensure all New Zealand homes are warm and dry.

“We had many people last year tell us what a difference it made, helping them keep their homes warmer, and themselves and their family healthier.

“The Winter Energy Payment is the policy I receive some of the most letters about from New Zealanders, grateful for the extra support the Coalition Government is providing with their power bills.” Jacinda Ardern said. 

This government introduced the Winter Energy Payment as part of last year’s Families Package. This also expanded Working for Families, introduced Best Start for families having a baby, and extended paid parental leave to 22 weeks.

More Information: www.workandincome.govt.nz/winterenergypayment  

Notes for editors

Single people get an extra $20.46 a week or $450 for the 22 weeks and couples and people with dependent children will get an extra $31.82 a week or $700 for the 22 weeks from 1 May to 1 October.

Winter Energy Payment is paid to people getting

  • Jobseeker Support
  • Jobseeker Support Student Hardship
  • Sole Parent Support
  • Supported Living Payment
  • Youth Payment
  • Young Parent Payment
  • Emergency Benefit
  • Emergency Maintenance Allowance
  • New Zealand Superannuation
  • Veteran’s Pension

New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension is paid fortnightly, and people will get their first payment on 14 May 2019.

All other benefits are paid weekly and people will get their first payment in the week beginning 6 May. This will be a part payment because 1 May is part way through the week.