COVID-19 Hardship Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated Monday 14 September, 2020


The maximum total amount we can assist with is $2,000. Please do not apply again if you have already received $2,000 in total.


What is considered as hardship for this COVID-19 Hardship Fund?

  • A change in employment status leading to hardship;
  • Costs associated with self-isolation;
  • Additional and unexpected costs for studying off-campus;
  • Increased costs due to supporting whānau or dependents;
  • Hardship related to meeting basic living costs including food/utilities/medical expenses/rent due to COVID-19; or
  • Other unexpected expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What will not be funded?

  • Expenses incurred prior to 23 March 2020 and after 30 November 2020;
  • Expenses that may be considered a luxury item and not essential to the continuation of successful study;
  • Assistance which may be provided by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa through existing services;
  • Payment of any existing Te Wānanga o Aotearoa fees;
  • Payment for any debt or invoice not directly in the name of the grant recipient;
  • Technology such as laptops, computers, iPads and internet connections; or
  • Costs that are not considered as unexpected, or a result of COVID-19.

What are the terms and conditions of the COVID-19 Hardship Fund?

To be considered for funding:

  1. Applicants must be a currently enrolled Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira;
  2. Applications must be completed in full and provide all relevant supporting documentation;
  3. There is a clearly demonstrated link between the COVID-19 pandemic and the hardship and expenses applied for;
  4. Other avenues of assistance and funding have been explored - but you have not been successful;
  5. The eligible period of hardship is between 23 March 2020 and 30 November 2020;
  6. Kaimahi, contractors, and suppliers of services to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa who are also currently enrolled tauira are eligible to apply; they must meet the same criteria as other applicants. Kaimahi applications will be reviewed by Tumukahutaupua;
  7. Successful applicants, must allocate their awarded grant to the item for which they are seeking support, and acknowledge that this may be audited by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa at their sole discretion, and you may be asked to provide evidence of the allocation of the money to your funded item;
  8. Successful applicants acknowledge that any payment received does not represent an ongoing commitment by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to any future payments or assistance;
  9. Applicants understand and acknowledge that the hardship fund is limited and any decisions made for selection of successful applicants will be at the sole discretion of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa based on their funding requirements and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is not required to provide you with reasons if they do not agree to provide funding to you.

Who can apply for this Hardship fund?

Currently enrolled tauira of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.


What does this COVID-19 Hardship Fund grant cover? What can this grant be used for?

Basic living costs that you are unable to meet such as food, utilities, medical expenses, rent or other unexpected costs related to COVID-19.


How will I know if I have been accepted?

Tauira will be contacted by email once the decision has been made, within 10 working days.


How can I access the fund?

You can apply by clicking ‘Apply here’ on our COVID-19 Hardship Fund Application page on Te Matakā, our tauira portal.

To log into Te Matakā, tauira will need their Student ID number for their username and date of birth for their password:

  • Tauira username is the Student ID number @akonga.twoa.ac.nz e.g. 999999999@akonga.twoa.ac.nz
  • Tauira password is their birthdate in this format DDMonYYYY e.g. 14Nov1984

If you are trying to apply and are experiencing difficulty, you can:


How long will the applications take?

You will have a response by email within 10 working days.


How much can I receive from this fund?

The fund provides one-off grants up to $2,000 per successful applicant. If you have previously applied when our cap was $1,000, if you are still experiencing hardship, you may eligible for an additional $1,000 grant if your second application also meets our criteria.


How are the grant funds issued?

Successful applications will receive their grant via a direct credit into the bank account provided by the tauira during the application process.


Will I need to repay any of the funds?

This is a non-repayable grant. However it must be used for the purposes as stated in the application process.


Will the Hardship fund affect my payments from Studylink?

This is the responsibility of the tauira to check. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is not able to provide financial advice to individual tauira.


Will the Hardship fund affect my payments from Work and Income?

This is the responsibility of the tauira to check. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is not able to provide financial advice to individual tauira.


Will the Hardship fund affect my payments from Inland Revenue (Working for Families)?

This is the responsibility of the tauira to check. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is not able to provide financial advice to individual tauira.


Can more than one tauira living in the same house apply for the fund?

Yes, just not for the same item of hardship you are claiming for.


Who decides who receives a COVID-19 Hardship Fund grant?

Our Te Wānanga o Aotearoa National Tauira Services Team are responsible for assessing and making decisions about the COVID-19 Hardship Fund applications and grants.


Will tauira receive less money if your combined household income is high?

All parts of tauira applications will be considered.


Will tauira need to keep receipts for the money spent?

Yes. Successful applicants may be asked for proof of using the grant for the purpose it was applied for.


Can applications be made more than once?

No. Tauira who have had a successful application will not be eligible to apply again.

Contact us

Phone 0800 355 553 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

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