FACT SHEET TO HELP NEWCOMERS IN CHRISTCHURCH AFFECTED BY THE EARTHQUAKE
In stressful situations new migrants and other newcomers can find it really hard – they may not have the friends or family support that most of us automatically turn to.
This fact sheet tells you about services and support available in Christchurch to recover from the Canterbury earthquake. Please call the following number if you need urgent support.
The central Government Earthquake Help Line number is 0800 779 997
Settlement Support New Zealand can provide additional support for people who have recently moved to Christchurch and who are unsure where to go or who to speak with.
IF YOU ARE A RECENT MIGRANT OR NEWLY ARRIVED IN CHRISTCHURCH AND NEED SUPPORT AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE YOU CAN CALL SETTLEMENT SUPPORT NEW ZEALAND FREE ON:
0800 776948 (0800 SSNZ4U) BETWEEN 7.00am -10.00pm OR EMAIL email@example.com
YOU ARE NOT ALONE AT THIS TIME.
WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH SUPPORT, ADVICE, AND LINK YOU TO SERVICES THAT YOU NEED. WE CAN ALSO GET HELP IN YOUR LANGUAGE IF YOU WANT IT.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ESSENTIAL CONTACTS
Public telephones across the city are free for local, national, and mobile telephone calls.
Call 111 in the case of an emergency.
Call Earthquake Government Help Line – 0800 779 997 for information about all government services and support.
Please call 0800 733 276 (0800 RED CROSS) if you are concerned about the wellbeing of friends and relatives in Christchurch.
There is also a website to register missing or found people:
People outside of New Zealand can call +64 7 8502199
Call the Earthquake Commission (EQC) – 0800 326 243 (0800 DAMAGE) for information on EQC’s insurance cover, cleaning up and making a claim.
Call Christchurch City Council customer services – 03 941 8999 for assessment of major structural damage to your home or business premises or for help with essential council services such as water supply or sewage disposal.
CIVIL DEFENCE ADVICE FOR RESIDENTS
For regular updates contact: http://www.canterburyearthquake.org.nz
Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold on. Help those around you if you can and look after neighbours friends and
family. Only go to the hospital if absolutely essential. For other injuries, contact
your nearest after hours medical centre.
People are asked to avoid all non-essential travel. We recommend that people stay home, no work or school for 3 days following the earthquake and please keep travel to absolute minimum.
Damage to the water supply system means there will not be enough water to meet demand in the coming days.
If it rains, residents are asked to collect water in buckets if possible.
Residents are advised to conserve water. Do not shower, take baths, or flush your toilet.
Boil drinking water for three minutes. Portable toilets will be available – however this may take some time.
Drinking water is available from these primary schools by 11am:
Redcliffs Phillipstown South New Brighton Shirley Wainoni Lyttelton Main
Please bring your own containers to fill up.
LISTEN TO THE RADIO FOR ADVICE, INFORMATION AND REGULAR UPDATES.
HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL CENTRES
HEALTHLINE (24 HOURS): 0800 611 116
The service is staffed by registered nurses who will assess your health needs, and give information and advice to help you decide on the best level of care.
Medical resources are being deployed and activated to manage the number of injured.
Christchurch hospital is operational. DO NOT GO to A & E (accident and emergency) at the hospital unless absolutely essential.
For other injuries, contact your nearest after hours medical centre. The 24 hour surgery on Bealey Avenue is open.
Emergency triage centres for the injured are operating at Latimer Square, Canterbury University and the Sanitarium Building in Papanui.
Hospitals in other areas are prepared to receive patients if required.
Department of Labour – If you have questions about your employment and how it’s been impacted by earthquake events you can get information at http://www.dol.govt.nz. If you have specific questions about expectations of you, your employer, or an employment issue you can call 0800 209 020.
Immigration NZ – Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ’s) visa processing centre in Crystal Plaza in Cathedral Square is closed until further notice following Tuesday’s earthquake. People whose visas are about to expire should call the INZ contact centre (0508 55 88 55) for advice as to where to send their applications. People whose passports are being held by INZ in Christchurch pending extension of a visitor visa or other visa and who now wish to leave New Zealand should call the contact centre.
SSNZ (Settlement Support New Zealand) – If you are a recent migrant or newly arrived in Christchurch and need support after the Earthquake you can call Settlement Support New Zealand FREE on: 0800 776948 (0800 SSNZ4U) between 7.00am-10.00pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide you with support, advice, and link you to services that you need. We can also get help in your language if you want it.
Working for Families – If your income has dropped and you have children, you may want to check if you qualify for Working for Families payments. Working for Families includes tax credits, an accommodation supplement and childcare assistance.
To find out more, go to http://www.workingforfamilies.govt.nz, or call 0800 227 773 for more about tax credits, or 0800 774 004 for more on the accommodation supplement and childcare assistance.
Inland Revenue – If you have trouble making child support payments please call Inland Revenue on 0800 221 221. If your income has changed because of the
earthquake you may need to re-estimate your income to adjust the amount of child support you pay.
Housing New Zealand – If you are a Housing New Zealand tenant and you have any concerns at all, you can call Housing New Zealand anytime on 0800 801 601 or you can call into either the Linwood or Papanui Neighbourhood Units.
If you are not a Housing New Zealand tenant and need assistance with temporary housing, phone the Government helpline on 0800 779 997.
ACC – If you have any questions regarding current injury claims you may have with ACC, please contact us on 0800 101 996.
Education – The Ministry of Education has a helpline that will be available until 8:00pm – Phone 0800 225 580. Updates are also available from their website: http://www.minedu.govt.nz/.
OTHER SERVICES Counselling and Support – If you need support or counselling services, you can
call Right Service Right Time on 0800 777 846.
Refugee Services Aotearoa – If you need to contact Refugee Services you can call the Christchurch Office, which is operational, on 03 3390483. If no one answers, you can leave a message and someone will respond to your call as soon as possible.
Postal services – Mail and courier deliveries are suspended for at least two days for the Christchurch metropolitan area but other areas serviced by the Christchurch mail centre will also be affected. The mail centre’s closure will affect mail deliveries to other parts of the South Island while alternative sorting arrangements are made. PostShops are closed for staff to attend to their families and for buildings to be checked for damage. Damage has been reported in several PostShops. Check for updates http://www.nzpost.co.nz.
Phone services – Power has been cut to cell sites so many mobile phone users are without coverage. Do not overload phone lines with non-essential calls. Civil Defence is asking for the public to keep cellphone use to a minimum, especially voice and data. If you must use your cellphone, text. Christchurch’s 111 service has been diverted to Wellington, but network damage, overloading and power blackouts could affect connections. Telecom says payphones in the Christchurch area will be free to use.
Roading – The NZ Transport Agency has closed Lyttelton Tunnel. Damage and rubble have closed many roads in the city. NZTA asks motorists to make essential trips only. State highways are open but the Chaneys on-ramp to State Highway 1 north of Christchurch is closed.
Plunket – Plunket New Zealand says Christchurch families concerned about their child’s health or wellbeing should call 0800 933 922.
Business helpline – Information for business owners call 0800 42 49 46
VISITORS TO CHRISTCHURCH
Any visitors to Christchurch who want to leave the city should make their way to collection points at the Burnside High School welfare centre, corner of Memorial Avenue and Greers Road or the welfare centre at North Hagley Park.
You can also call Christchurch International Airport – 0800 568 369 for information about travel, tourism and accommodation.