COVID-19 Hardship Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated Friday 20 August, 2021


The maximum total amount we can assist with is $1,000.


Hardship Fund application

The limited COVID-19 Hardship Fund provides temporary financial assistance for enrolled tauira, who are facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support the continuation of their study. The eligible period of hardship is between 1 July - 30 November 2021.


Hardship categories

Applications can be submitted for one of the following categories of hardship, due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • 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.

Terms and conditions to be considered for funding:

  1. Applicants must be a currently enrolled Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira;
  2. Kaimahi, contractors and suppliers who are also currently enrolled tauira are eligible to apply and must meet the same criteria as all other applicants.  Kaimahi applications will be reviewed by Tumukahutaupua;
  3. Priority will be given to tauira who are experiencing hardship, due to the raise in COVID-19 alert levels in their region;
  4. Applications must be completed in full and provide all relevant supporting documentation;
  5. There is a clearly demonstrated link between the COVID-19 pandemic and the item of hardship and expenses applied for;
  6. Other avenues of assistance and funding have been explored - but you have not been successful;
  7. The eligible period of hardship is between 1 July and 30 November 2021;
  8. 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 grant to your funded item;
  9. Successful applicants acknowledge that any grant received does not represent an ongoing commitment by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to any future grants or assistance;
  10. 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;
  11. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa reserves the right to amend the terms and conditions of this fund, at any given time;
  12. In extreme circumstances and at the discretion of Tumukahutaupua, the value of the grant maybe increased above set limit. 

What will not be funded?

  • Expenses incurred prior to 1/07/2021
  • 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;
  • The cost of overseas travel including any costs for Managed Isolation and Quarantine; or
  • Costs that are not considered as unexpected, or a result of COVID-19.

Frequently asked questions


Who can apply for this Hardship Fund?

Currently enrolled tauira of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, who have experienced hardship due to COVID-19.


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.


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.

If you are trying to apply and are experiencing difficulty, please feel welcome to contact your local Student Support Advisor or call our friendly Tatau Pounamu contact centre on 0800 355 553 between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.


How long will the applications take?

You will have a response by email, within 15 working days of receiving your application in full.


What do I need to provide with my application?

You will need a bank verification which include; the bank logo, the account name - being in your name, and the account number in full. You will also need to provide evidence which verifies/supports the item of hardship you are applying for.

*Please note, any applications that do not have sufficient supporting documentation, will not be considered.


How much can I receive from this fund?

The fund provides a one-off grant of up to $1,000, per successful applicant.


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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