125 Community Connector positions are being established within the community and throughout the country to focus on
helping people connect with the services they need to support recovery post COVID-19, announced Social Development
Minister Carmel Sepuloni.
“Some New Zealanders have multiple needs – for example unemployment as well as other psycho-social needs such as
health-related issues, housing issues, job-training and crisis support that have been compounded due to COVID-19.
“Community Connectors will assist people to get the information and access they need from multiple government agencies
and service providers, with a wide geographical reach, particularly in those areas not already serviced by Whānau Ora
“The Community Connection Service will also work with diverse populations, such as Māori, Pacific and ethnic groups,
seniors and people with disabilities or significant health conditions. Supporting people who may be rurally or socially
isolated is also a major focus for the service.”
Carmel Sepuloni said the positions will be based within existing NGOs who are already working to provide social services
to vulnerable communities, and the model is a holistic, strengths-based initiative that builds on already successful
navigator models in the social services sector.
“As a Government we aim to lift people out of vulnerable situations by focusing on an individual or family’s specific
needs, with a view to support them back into employment,” she said.
MSD intends to work with existing contracted service providers to establish these positions with a focus on providers
that have the existing capability to set up the service quickly and in line with how they currently operate.
“The Government investment in the Community Connectors Service is $41.25 million over two years and creates 125 new
positions. It’s part of a Community Wellbeing package that supports the sustainability and effectiveness of social
services delivered by non-government organisations to vulnerable New Zealanders,” Carmel Sepuloni added.