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Community Connection Service

The Community Connection Service (now known as Community Connectors) was established in June 2020 as part of the Ministry of Social Development’s psycho-social responses and recovery plan for COVID-19. Community Connectors primary focus was on people with COVID-19 or impacted including those directed to self-isolate and close contacts who required a welfare response. Community Connectors complement the wider welfare approach by providing short-term support to people and whānau, advocating and helping people access a range of services including welfare, social, mental health services and employment.

Community Connectors have been critical to the COVID-19 pandemic response, they help ensure that New Zealanders who are not accessing government supports and services receive early engagement and holistic and culturally anchored support in a trusted setting.

In May 2023, Government announced Budget 2023 funding to fund 100 Community Connectors (of the existing 500 Community Connectors) for two years. These Community Connectors will support approximately 50,000 households per annum for two years. In addition, funding was approved through the North Island Weather Events (NIWE) package for 65 Community Connectors to be retained for one year in regions impacted by the January floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

What do Community Connectors do?

The scope of Community Connectors from 1 October 2023 is to provide short-term support to individuals, families and whānau, to prevent and minimise the impacts of hardship.

This may comprise of:

  • Supporting individuals, families and whānau who have been impacted by the January floods, Cyclone Gabrielle, or COVID-19.
  • Walking alongside individuals, families and whānau, advocating for them until they are connected with supports and services that work for them.
  • Providing a broad range of supports to individuals, families and whānau in hardship including ensuring people can access physical and mental health services, supporting direct provision of food, assisting access to culturally appropriate services such as kaupapa Māori supports, and helping people to access employment.
  • Identify opportunities for early intervention, helping reduce the prevalence of persistent disadvantage.

Where is the Community Connection service available?

Priority has been given to existing Community Connector provider hosts. They are delivering a quality service and are already part of the community of practice that has been developed between Community Connectors/providers and public service agencies, improving the social sector’s capability to plan for and respond to current and future community wellbeing priorities. Consideration was also given to where the need for community support is greatest, Regional socio-economic deprivation statistics and which populations may benefit more from having Community Connectors support their wellbeing (eg Māori, disabled peoples).

For providers: Community Connector guidelines

Download the Community Connector guidelines (PDF)

These guidelines were most recently updated in October 2023 (Version 2).

Who should I contact with questions?

Please email

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