Support for migrants

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Hakatere Multi Cultural Council has been providing support for struggling migrants during lockdown.

Around 25 migrants have been given supermarket vouchers for local shops, as well as some heating supplies.

Most of the migrants are on temporary work visas, which have strict conditions attached.

Hakatere Multi Cultural Council co-ordinator Adi Avnit said some migrants had faced times of hardship over the last two months.

Those who had lost their jobs were struggling to pay their rent, bills and food.

Eight of the 25 helped had come to the district to work in Methven, but winter jobs had been delayed.

He said migrants on temporary work visas were not entitled to claim support from Winz, and their visas were job specific.

If they lost their jobs, they needed to apply for a new visa to be able to secure a different job.

Immigration NZ had been closed for a period during lockdown and for some migrants that had meant delays in getting new visas, said Mr Avnit.

The migrants receiving help hailed from a dozen countries, including the UK, Czech Republic, Fiji, Ireland, India, Jordan, the Philippines, Nigeria and France.

Mr Avnit said those receiving help had been very appreciative.

Funding for the migrant support has come from the Covid-19 Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund, which has distributed $4.8 million nationally.

Mr Avnit said he still had some funds left, and if there was still a need when those funds had gone, he would look at seeking more support.

Migrants in need of support should call/text 027 220 8791 or email to adi.avnit@nullsafermidcanterbury.org.nz.