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Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out.

Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni.

A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced.

From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced.

The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19.

From tomorrow farmers and growers affected by drought in the Northland region and parts of the Auckland region will have access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs), Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced.

Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage.

The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing.

The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.

The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.  

"Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.

Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $327,721 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

The government wants to break down the barriers to employment for disabled New Zealanders and better support them into work, says Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni.

The first stock-take of the Government’s Families Package shows families are getting real support to raise their children after a decade of being left behind,” Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. 

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill.

The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport.

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week.

A surge in the number of registered social workers will contribute to improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families, Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said on New Zealand Social Workers’ Day.

The Government joins the New Zealand Deaf community in celebrating International Day of Sign Languages, the first day of the International Week of the Deaf each year.

Samoa and New Zealand have released a Report from the Women, Peace and Security Summit co-hosted by the Samoan and New Zealand governments, 22-23 August in Apia.

An innovative, grass-roots approach to addressing financial hardship in our most vulnerable communities has been officially launched by Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.