All hands on deck to help New Zealanders during COVID-19 - Annual Report 2019/20

MSD adapted existing channels and created new ones to help the higher number of people needing government financial assistance, employment and community support during COVID-19.

When service centres had to close to the public, we asked people to use MyMSD or call us. People also made contact using social media.

We improved MyMSD so more people could use it to apply for assistance and arrange call-back phone appointments. This meant the processing of applications was done at speed.

Managing the increase in applications, telephone calls, social media contact and people wanting work required redeploying people from across MSD to support our frontline service.

The new Wage Subsidy scheme was a very simple application process and one of our MSD people trained 300 others to handle these and get money into the employers’ bank accounts as soon as possible.

Older people generally don’t want to be a bother and it was important to make sure they were okay. MSD and community partners made a friendly telephone call to over 135,000 people. Some people just wanted to have someone to talk to.

To support all this work, our IT team made it possible for employees who needed to work from home to do so by providing laptops. These rolled in from vendors, were checked, built with the relevant software, packed, assigned, and collected and delivered by couriers.

We had to and continue to work diff erently – to adapt and develop – to make it easier for our people, our clients and our communities.

The number of benefits cancelled due to people getting work during lockdown

  • 6,648 in March 2020
  • 3,065 in April 2020
  • 6,080 in May 2020
Kyssiah and Evelyn organising laptop boxes.
MSD’s laptop packers had a role reversal. (L–R) Kyssiah, IT analyst, became the lead packer and Evelyn, IT Information Services Manager, the assistant.

"…[MSD was] incredibly helpful and has saved many unnecessary phone calls by a simple Facebook message." – A Facebook user

Previous page | Next page