Christchurch Earthquake Support Package Revealed

March 1, 2011 New Zealand Finance

23 February - Visit to Christchurch and LytteltonThe government’s earthquake assistance package are now available to those affected by the earthquake, with payments of up to NZD 500 possible to those who are unable to return to work.

On February 28th New Zealand Prime Minister John Key outlined the initial government support package for businesses and individuals struck by the Christchurch earthquake. It was revealed that the measures will be available immediately, with the first payments scheduled to be in bank accounts by March 2nd.

The Prime Minister revealed that the government earthquake assistance package will run for six weeks and consist of two separate parts, the Earthquake Support Subsidy and the Earthquake Job Loss Cover. The first option is aimed at helping employers and paying their employees’ wages if they opt to maintain their business. The Earthquake Job Loss Cover is intended to support employees whose employer believes that their business will be shut down.
The Earthquake Support Subsidy will provide employers with NZD 500 per week for each full time employee in their business that was affected by the earthquake. Part time workers will receive NZD 300 per week. The payments are to be passed to the employee, and will be taxed as per usual personal income tax rates.

The Earthquake Job Loss Cover will provide NZD 400 for full time employees whose employer believes that the business will be closed down permanently. Part time employees will be given NZD 240 per week. This package will also be applicable to employees who are not able to contact their employer.
Both system will be back dated to the time of the earthquake, and will be administered through Work and Income New Zealand.

On the same day Social Development Minister Paula Bennett revealed that the government will also make available NZD 3.5 million to fund NGOs and support services currently operating in Christchurch.

Photo by nznationalparty