Whakaari / White Island Eruption

Support for Businesses

EBOP Chamber of Commerce and Whakatāne District Council are working together on business recovery for the region. To keep in touch with our regular updates and specific information please subscribe below.

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It is intended that the process, acceptance criteria, and timelines for approving applications will be further advised during the New Year. 

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Whakaari / White Island Business Support line:  0800 999 030

We recognise that the Whakaari / White eruption has caused significant disruption to many businesses in the Eastern Bay region. If you are a business that has been directly or indirectly affected by the eruption and require assistance, please contact us and we will point you in the right direction.

The Chamber of Commerce will be coordinating NZ Business Mentors with businesses directly affected by the Whakaari / White Island eruption. This will include, but not limited to, confidential financial / legal / employment advice enquiries. Please contact us on the Whakaari / White Island Business Support line 0800 999 030 connected with a mentor.

The government has announced a $5million emergency support package to help the Whakatāne and West Coast communities that have been impacted by the eruption and floods. While the details of this package are not yet fully understood, the EBOP Chamber will advocate on behalf of our local needs. Final eligibility criteria is yet to be determined. We expect this to be understood only once cabinet has reconvened in the New Year.


Keep business records
We understand that many businesses are entering peak season and have employed staff and stocked accordingly. The cash flow implications are likely to be significant for many of us. It is important that you keep an accurate record of the impact that you have incurred from the time of the Whakaari / White Island eruption including:

  • Actual revenue vs the previous year, and what you had been budgeting for
  • Staff numbers that you had and if you let any go
  • The value of stock that you were unable to sell through, creating cash flow challenges
  • Direct loss of income
  • Keep track of all times of requests to any government agencies and banks
  • Any examples of long term cancellations or impacts

We realise that this is a stressful time and if you need support with organising your records please contact us to be connected with a Business Mentor/Support person.

Communicate clearly with your key stakeholders:

  • Contact IRD: Inland Revenue understands that for those that have been affected by the eruption that tax will not be front of mind right now. This may relate to any personal or business tax matters, Working for Families Tax credits, Child Support, Student Loans or KiwiSaver. Please contact IRD to discuss your situation. 0800 473 838
  • Talk to your bank manager – ensure they’re aware of your situation. They may be able to assist with low / no interest
  • Creditors: maintain an open dialogue and ensure no surprises that may impact your future lines of credit
  • Understand your obligations around paying staff: Call the Chamber Business HR advice line on 0800 CHAMBER (24 26 23)
  • Fully check and understand your insurance cover, including business interruption insurance.

Well-Being support

It’s normal for you and your family to feel upset and physically drained after events like this. You’re not alone in feeling this way, and you don’t have to cope on your own. If you need support or advice, or have feelings of anxiety, stress, prolonged fear, hopelessness or anger, or you just need to talk with someone, you can text or phone 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor. It is free to call or text.

If you have health questions, phone Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline is staffed by experienced registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Other options:

Te Tohu o te Ora o Ngati Awa - Ngati Awa Social & Health Services – 07 3060096

Contact your GP or local community health centre.

Remember, in an emergency always call 111.


Financial Support

For MSD Business Support Package - Contact programme coordinator Cam Karepa 0296600072

Extra financial support may available to people affected by the Whakaari / White Island eruption. However, we still don’t know exactly what criteria will be used to determine eligibility. The Chamber will providing assistance where ever possible.

In emergencies, Work and Income can help you with costs you don’t have any other way of paying. You do not need to be on a benefit to be eligible and even if you don’t think you qualify, call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 to check your eligibility or visit the Work and Income Office, 24 Pyne Street, Whakatane. There may be other options available and Work and Income can point you in the right direction.

You can find more information (including eligibility criteria) on the Work and Income website at www.workandincome.govt.nz under ‘benefits and payments’. Work and Income can help with:

  • loss of livelihood (where you can’t work and have lost your income because of the Whakaari / White Island eruption); and

Call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 to find out more.

Loss of income

Work and Income may be able to help if you have lost wages because of the Whakaari / White Island eruption. For example, if:

  • you can’t work because your workplace is closed, or
  • you have to stay home and look after family members
Contacting Work and Income

Contact Work and Income if you:

  • would like assistance
  • aren’t sure if you can get assistance
  • are struggling to support yourself, or your family
  • would like more information

Visit the Work and Income website www.workandincome.govt.nz or phone 0800 559 009.