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Canterbury Earthquake Information

07 March 2011

LATEST UPDATE 4.30pm 11 March 2011.  Read more for up-to-date information about payments and emergency welfare assistance including Red Cross Emergency Grants.

This page was last updated at 4.30pm on Friday 11 March 2011.

Student payments

If you are currently receiving Student Allowance, Student Loan, Unemployment Benefit Student Hardship or scholarship payments you will continue to receive your payments as normal for the present.

If you are not yet receiving payments but have received an approval letter for your Student Allowance or Loan Entitlement Advice, you will receive your payments as per the letter you have received for the present.

If any changes need to be made to the way we provide support to those who are in need over the coming weeks we will let you know.

If you are unsure, you can check your next payment details online using MyStudyLink.


Christchurch Outreach office closed

StudyLink's Christchurch Outreach office is closed until further notice while the impact of the 22 February earthquake is assessed.

Earthquake Government Helpline

If you need information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service can call the Earthquake Government Helpline on 0800 77 999 7 (0800, double seven, triple nine, seven), 24 hours a day.

The Earthquake Government Helpline is able to provide some emergency financial assistance over the phone.


Emergency financial assistance

If you require emergency financial assistance please call the Earthquake Government Helpline on 0800 77 999 7 or visit your nearest Work and Income or Welfare Centre.

Work and Income Service Centres

Some Work and Income sites are open for emergency assistance from 8.30am to 5.00pm. Please use the below link to view the most up-to date sites and locations.

Additional information for those affected by the earthquake

Recovery Assistance Centres and Recovery Information Kiosks

Recovery Assistance Centres are now open.  Anyone who requires assistance can visit their local Recovery Assistance Centre to access welfare information and services from central, local government and non government organisations. 

Recovery Assistance Centres are open from:

Weekdays:  8.30am to 5.00pm
Weekends:  9.00am to 4.00pm

Recovery Information Kiosks have also opened throughout Christchurch.  These unattended kiosks hold information on the help available to people.

Please use the below link to view the most up-to-date sites and locations.


Red Cross Emergency Grants

The New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission has established two grants for people affected by the Christchurch earthquake: an Emergency and Hardship Grant and a Bereavement Grant.

About the Emergency and Hardship Grant

The New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission will offer an Emergency and Hardship Grant for people living in their homes without power or water or sewerage, or people forced to leave their home because of damage or because they have no water or power or sewerage.

About the Bereavement Grant

The Bereavement Grant will provide $10,000 for the next of kin of confirmed deceased.

How to apply

You can download an application from the Red Cross website.  For grant enquiries please call 0800 754 726


Earthquake Employment Support Package

The Christchurch Earthquake Support Package provides support to employers and employees in Canterbury affected by the February earthquake. 

The Christchurch Earthquake Support Package is made up of two components:

  • Earthquake Support Subsidy - a subsidy for employers who believe they are going to remain in business and want to keep their staff.
  • Earthquake Job Loss Cover - is for employees where the employer has decided not to continue their business and employees are no longer able to work and/or receive a wage.  This applies to those who are unable to contact their employer or the business has closed permanently.

Registering with Red Cross

If you are a Christchurch resident and have moved away, even temporarily, please register with the Red Cross. You should also update your details with the Red Cross when you move from one location to another.

To register or update your details you can call 0800 REDCROSS (0800 733 276) or contact your local council.


Education provider campus closures

There have been a number of evacuations and closures of tertiary providers in the region.

For the most up to date information regarding individual education providers please visit their websites.


Ministry of Education updates

The Ministry of Education has information about closures and accepting students from the earthquake zone for primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary education providers.

There is also information about support for international tertiary students and their parents.

The Ministry of Education has set up a special free phone number for those wanting help and advice, including information for international students. It is 0800 225 580.


Inland Revenue - Student Loan repayments

If you've been directly affected by the Christchurch earthquake and are experiencing hardship in meeting your Student Loan repayments, call Inland Revenue's disaster helpline 0800 473 566. They will take a realistic approach and work with you to sort things out.


Earthquake factsheets

An information factsheet that has been compiled by the Office of Ethnic Affairs, for those affected by the earthquake.


Last updated: 22 March 2014