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Financial Help Tool to support all Kiwis

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The Department of Internal Affairs and Catalyst build a vital tool in response to the pandemic


The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) strives to respond to, and support, Kiwis by providing highly accessible informative platforms.


In response to the increase in phone calls and increased telephone traffic to the Ministry of Social Development's call centre, Catalyst and DIA sought to build a highly accessible tool that would make it easy for Kiwis to locate financial advice and guidance regarding COVID-19.


With the support of the Ministry of Social Development and National Emergency Management Agency, DIA and Catalyst collaborated to build and deliver an accessible financial help tool in just six days.

This easy-to-use platform provides Kiwis with financial clarity and provides DIA with the option to add more information in future – as Kiwis’ needs evolve.

The usability of the site was a key outcome: complex financial information needed to be easily digestible and accessible for people in a stressful situation. The team are proud of the fact that the average time on this page was 4:30, compared to a 2:00 minute average across the COVID19 site, with an impressively low bounce rate (1.03%, compared to over 7% for the rest of the site).

Becky Cassam, Life Events Services Manager at DIA, said: “We have a genuine desire to develop digital tools that meet the needs of our users.”

The DIA and Catalyst teams reused elements from previous Life Events websites such as SmartStartDeath Documents and Te Hokinga ā Wairua - End of Life Service. Users are presented with multiple choices and after selecting the applicable options, they are then presented with their entitlement information and recommended next steps.

Becky adds, "We will continue to do our best to provide digitised services that make it easier for our people living in Aotearoa.”

To see the Catalyst and DIA teams collaborate so quickly to build an accessible easy-to-use COVID-19 resource in New Zealand's time of need is a testament to the relationship we have built over the years.

Sanjay, Project Manager, Catalyst