24 February 2021

Aotearoa New Zealand update | February 2021

Kia ora

COVID19 – again!

The New Zealand office is open and fully up and running again after another COVID-19 lockdown that meant the team were predominantly working from home.

When this new lockdown occurred, I thought it would be helpful to see what some of the tips to get by are. We all know COVID-19 and the lockdown can cause anxiety and other problems such as isolation, fear of uncertainty and separation syndrome (from family). 

It has been reported that many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety. However, it has also been stated that there are lots of things that we can do to look after our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care.

I found these tips on a medical page and they seem quite helpful to me. They are primarily about work from home.

  • Keep informed. Listen to advice and recommendations from your national and local authorities. Follow trusted news channels, such as local and national TV and radio.
  • Have a routine. Keep up with daily routines as far as possible or make new ones. 

- Get up and go to bed at similar times every day.
- Keep up with personal hygiene.
- Eat healthy meals at regular times.
- Exercise regularly.
- Allocate time for working and time for resting.
- Make time for doing things you enjoy.

  • Minimise newsfeeds. Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed.
  • Social contact is important. If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels.
  • Alcohol and drug use. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink or don’t drink alcohol at all. Don’t start drinking alcohol if you have not drunk alcohol before. Avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom and social isolation.
  • Don’t discriminate. Be kind. Don’t discriminate against people because of your fears of the spread of COVID-19. 

New team member

One of our long-term team members, Michelle Vui, is leaving the New Zealand team to take up a full-time position in the IT sector.  We wish her all the very best for her future and we will all miss her a lot.

I am delighted to announce that Awatea Mita will be joining us as the Restorative Justice (RJ) NZ administration manager. Awatea has extensive experience in the RJ field and is currently doing her Master’s Degree in Criminology at Victoria University.

Farm Debt Mediation (FDM)

The FDM scheme is now well established with over 30 mediators accredited under the FDM Act. The Ministry of Primary Industry recently release some interesting statistics about the scheme.

For the period 1 July to 30 December 2020:

  • There were 17 mediations with 12 being resolved by agreement.
  • These were spread across New Zealand.
  • Five of the mediations were in relation to debt exceeding $10M.
  • Budgeting was listed as the most common mediation trigger.
  • None were COVID-19 related.

I hope you have a wonderful March and kia kaha.

Kind regards,