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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard

Question No. 7—Social Development and Employment

7. TERISA NGOBI (Labour—Ōtaki) to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: Fa’afetai tele, Mr Speaker. What recent announcements has the Minister for social development made about supporting beneficiaries and superannuitants through their winter months?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI (Minister for Social Development and Employment): Last week I announced that 1 May would mark the beginning of the Government’s winter energy payment. This means that over 1 million New Zealanders receiving either a main benefit or New Zealand superannuation will get more money each week through the winter energy payment. This year the winter energy payment runs from 1 May until 1 October, delivering $20.46 per week for single people or $31.82 per week for couples and single people with children.

Terisa Ngobi: Why is the winter energy payment important?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Because winter is coming. We all know that having a warm home is a key part of preventing illness and supporting people’s wellbeing through the winter season. Many New Zealanders struggle with the increased power costs, particularly those on low incomes, and over the winter months children and superannuitants are most at risk of being hospitalised due to respiratory illnesses. This payment supports them in covering the cost of energy bills and removes the barrier of costs to heating their homes.

Terisa Ngobi: How can beneficiaries and superannuitants access the winter energy payment?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Anyone getting a main benefit, New Zealand superannuation, or a veterans pension is eligible to receive the winter energy payment. They don’t need to do anything or apply. If they’re eligible, they will get the winter energy payment automatically.