Latest update from NZDSN 26 August 2021


We have been concerned about the lack of certainty being provided to members from MoH on surety and extraordinary payments so have been chasing the MoH.  Here’s the latest:

Ensuring clear information and communication on this matter and other COVID related issues is a top priority for the Ministry of Health. We know how important it is to get this right. You will appreciate we need to work right across the health and disability system so that we take a joined up and coherent approach.

We anticipate the MoH may not have this issue clarified until early next week, and will keep the pressure up meanwhile.


New World and PaknSave.  A priority online ordering line for elderly or vulnerable customers has been set up from 9am Wednesday 25th August. Customers can call 0800 363 977 between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, to book a priority slot at selected New World and PAK’nSAVE stores that have opted into the service.

Countdown have a priority online shopping service for older people, people with disabilities, people with chronic health conditions and people who are self-isolating.

I understand that some members may be increasingly frustrated by issues around access to priority grocery supplies from the major supermarkets.  We have been in touch with both Foodstuffs (New World, Pak’n’Save) and Countdown.

Countdown have responded so far.  As you may know, a number of Countdown supermarkets have had to close due to a high number of their staff being required to self-isolate.  This has placed significant pressure on their ability to handle priority orders.  Countdown were quick to assure me that their priority clients remain their priority, and apologise for any delays or frustration their customers may experience at this time.

I’ll let you know when I hear from Foodstuffs and any further update.

Anxiety Support

Explore is providing a new service to support disabled and autistic people manage anxiety and stress related to the COVID-19 vaccination. We already have an eLearning module for support workers and whanau available online and we are now working with MoH to provide a 1:1 virtual service to disabled people, whanau and support workers who need additional support.  For more information, go to: