COVID-19 Support Information


​​​​​​​​​He pō, he pō, he ao, he ao. Ki te ​​whai ao ki te Ao Mārama​

From darkness comes light and the dawn of a new day

The COVID-19 global pandemic has created serious social and economic hardship for large sections of the community in Rotorua. While we cannot fully predict the scale of the impact, we do know that the pandemic will have social and financial impacts across our community for some time to come.

On 25 March 2020, Rotorua Lakes Council agreed to adopt a strategy similar to the Government in response to combatting COVID-19:​ Rotorua’s Build Back Better economic recovery plan​.

Read more about Rotorua's Economic Recovery Plan

Council agreed to the following approach:

  1. Fight the virus
  2. Cushion the social and economic impacts; and​​
  3. Position our District for recovery.

Rates Def​erral Scheme

In adopting this strategy, Council agreed to target its response packages to those in most immediate need. Council's commitment is to cushion the economic impacts for those most directly financially impacted by the pandemic, using a rates deferral scheme to lessen the burden on businesses in the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors, and individuals who have been made redundant or had their hours reduced.

To be eligible for the 20 May 2020 rates deferral, ratepayers must meet the following criteria:

For businesses:

  • A​re in one of these three affected sectors (tourism, retail, hospitality).
  • Have a letter from your bank confirming a mortgage repayment holiday has been undertaken.
  • Have a letter from a financial advisor indicating that relevant tax relief and Government support has been sought.

​For residents:

  • Are an employee who has been made redundant or had reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.
  • Have a letter from your employer confirming you have been made redundant or have had reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.
  • Have a letter from your bank confirming a mortgage repayment holiday has been undertaken.

If the ratepayer satisfies these criteria, they can then apply to Rotorua Lakes Council to either:

  1. Defer the 20 May 2020 rates instalment into the first quarter of the next financial year, to be paid in August 2020; or
  2. Defer the 20 May 2020 rates instalment and spread the payments over the next financial year (1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021) under a payment arrangement.

*Businesses not in the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors or residents that do not satisfy the criteria above but are experiencing financial impacts from COVID-19 can contact Council to discuss their situation and establish alternative payment arrangements.

Find out more and apply at the Rates Deferral page

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Local business support

Council's Rotorua Economic Development team are working to support local businesses through this challenging period. The team is available to help local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a confidential, case-by-case basis they can:

  • help with employer to employer connections to try and redeploy staff
  • help to navigate access to the Government relief package
  • connect businesses with other resources to try and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
  • Contact them at if your business needs assistance.

Regional b​usiness support

If you are a business owner and you want your business to grow and innovate, the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network can help. You can find support to help with HR, Business Continuity Planning and Finance and Cashflow Management Support.

Find out more at the Regional Business Partner website

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Iwi supp​ort

A group of hapū, iwi and organisations across Te Arawa have come together to combine resources, information and contact details to ensure no-one falls through the gaps and that whānau have the help and support they need.​

Find out more on the Te Arawa-COVID 19 Facebook page

Welfare Support

If you are in need of advice or support please use the following services:

If you are an existing Work and Income New Zealand client or a New Zealand resident needing financial support: please call Work and Income on 0800 559 009.

If you can no longer live at your home due to COVID-19 and need support to find short term temporary accommodation, please call the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment 's Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.

If you are a foreign national in need of support and have been unable to access help from your embassy please contact the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880 and ask to speak to the Civil Defence Welfare team.

If you're not sure what help is available or don't know who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 999.​​

If you have concerns about Council services phone 07 348 4199 or email and a friendly Customer Advisor will be able to help you.  

More information about Welfare support is available in these documents:​​

Government support

The NZ ​Government have a variety of financial help and support options available if you are experiencing financial distress.

Find out more at the NZ Government COVID-19 Financial Support page

​Work and Income

Options in relation to Support for families, KiwiSaver, Student loans and income tax support in light of COVID-19.

Information about wage and leave subsidies, income and provisional tax, temporary loss carry-back, R&D tax credits and GST responses to COVID-19

Options for those who have had their income or business impacted in light of COVID-19, in relation to filing and paying, penalties and interest and treatment for 31 March 2020.

Kia hāneanea te noho

May you live comfortably​​

Page reviewed: 04 Jun 2020 8:01am