People hit by Covid-19 flock to Queenstown service

People affected by the economic situation created by Covid-19 have today been seeking support and advice from a Queenstown Lakes District Council run community hub.
The pop up is running today and tomorrow at the Queenstown Events Centre, and features sessions attended by various agencies and groups that both Kiwis and migrants can seek advice from.

Those looking to offer support and advice are immigration officers, lawyers, travel agents, along with community organisations such as the Salvation Army.

People can also have one on one advice with the various agencies. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council corporate services manager Meaghan Miller said they are fully booked for today and tomorrow.

"So there is a huge need for this service.

"Having this mix of agencies will provide great independent advice."

For people who do not want to attend, or are unable to, sessions will be available on YouTube.

"People can still get the information they need without having to actually rock up and that’s really important because we know that not everyone will feel brave enough to come and have these conversations," Ms Miller said. 

"There will be some who may receive information they may not want to hear, and there will be others who get the answer they need. Ultimately everyone has options, it’s just working through what those options are."

An immigration adviser present, Megan Wallace, said the morning session ensured people that Immigration New Zealand was going to be "flexible" and "understanding" with migrant workers.

"We don't know how they are going to do that at the moment but they are dedicated to being flexible with each individual situation. All they are asking for is communication, they just want migrants to be proactive with telling them their situation and looking for other options.
hugh.collins@odt.co.nz.

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