The COVID-19 pandemic means that Orange Sky, along with our communities, is operating in a world where things are changing daily, but what remains the same is the commitment of our team to continue innovating and supporting our friends on the street.

Orange Sky continues to be agile in our response to the pandemic across our New Zealand services. In these challenging times, we ask for your trust and support as we face this ever-changing environment.

Our mission to positively connect communities is as important as ever right now; and we remain focused on ensuring we can deliver our service to friends and volunteers in safe environments.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions and contact our team on the details listed below, should you be requiring any further information that is not covered below.

Service Partners and Operations

The best place for the most up-to-date information on whether shifts are operating is via the find a shift page. The ‘latest updates’ section below also provides the most recent COVID-19 information for our services across New Zealand.

Orange Sky has put in place a COVID-19 Management Plan in line with public health measures issued by the Ministry of Health to create the safest environment possible with the changing circumstances. We regularly liaise with service provider partners to ensure that the shift environment is as safe as possible.

Keeping the community safe is one of Orange Sky’s highest priorities and we take this seriously as an organisation. We have created a COVID-19 Management Plan consisting of multiple controls to support keeping the community safe. While several of these will be in place for the foreseeable future, other control measures are activated based on the current risk levels. The controls consist of the following: 

  1. Social distancing (2m) and encouraging others to do so as well.
  2. Face masks are available in the vans and must be worn at all times whilst on shift, when mandated by the relevant authority.
  3. Prioritising vaccinated volunteers on shift when risk levels increase
  4. If volunteers are unwell and experiencing cold and/or flu-like symptoms, they must not attend shift.
  5. Hand hygiene is promoted throughout the shift including washing hands regularly with soap and water and/or using the hand sanitiser in the van.
  6. Increased cleaning during and at the end of shift including touchpoints, orange chairs, tables, door handles, washing baskets etc.
  7. The use of PPE including disposable gloves, masks, and safety glasses.
  8. A cordon designed to help control the flow of people to ensure we can continue to socially distance safely.
  9. If you have a smartphone please check-in via the QR Code at shift (Wellington only)


We are continuously monitoring the changing COVID-19 environment, and will communicate any further changes in our operations promptly. 

Yes, Orange Sky is considered an essential service as part of New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and recovery framework. Alongside other housing and social support providers, we play a critical role in supporting some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable individuals and whānau to stay connected during this difficult time. It is a priority for us to continue supporting our friends and provide our service to those who rely on us.

Orange Sky is classified as an essential service in New Zealand, meaning we can continue to operate. Decision making around continuing or pausing a shift is based on a set of key principles, the current advice made available by the New Zealand Government, as well as the operations of service provider partners we work alongside.

Shift operations are assessed against the current advice made available by the New Zealand Government and against our current risk framework including:

  1. Duty of care: based upon current information acting in the best interests to safeguard our staff, volunteers, friends, service providers and the wider community;
  2. Maintaining community trust: delivering a service that has a low/acceptable risk to ensure the safety of our community is upheld where possible.

Orange Sky will pause services in a lockdown if we deem (according to our risk framework) it is not safe to proceed or additional consideration is needed. 


Generally, Orange Sky shifts are delivered in collaboration with another service provider (offering food, health care and other essential needs) – this is a key component of our operating model. If another service provider partner is pausing operation, this will result in us temporarily pausing a shift for safety reasons, or we may consider alternative ways to operate that still meet our high safety standards. 


Where possible, we strive to ensure our shifts aren’t impacted and do what we can to continue to operate with the approved COVID-19 safety controls in place to support our friends. 

Unlike many other service providers, Orange Sky operates a minimum two hour shift where multiple people are stationary in a location for an extended period of time. Whilst we are very confident in our COVID-19 Management Plan, we do need to take extra precautions that other more ‘rapid’ service delivery models may not.

Shifts will have a QR code check in available to capture volunteers and friends attending each shift. It is important we are able to track this information and provide it to relevant authorities if required. Having accurate data from the shift is an additional control measure in reducing the spread of the virus.

Orange Sky recognise the importance of collaborative partnerships and wrap-around services to support people experiencing homelessness and to those who are most vulnerable in our community. There are many service providers who act as third party community service outreach providers alongside an Orange Sky shift.

The majority of our shifts operate on shared grounds and we manage relevant permits, risk factors and other requirements with local governments and service providers when establishing these shifts, for Orange Sky services only.


Should you wish to operate alongside us, you can refer to our locations tab on the Orange Sky website to see where we operate, and then please get in touch via for further information regarding next steps.

Using our Service and Shift Information

To keep our community safe, we would appreciate it if you don’t utilise the service whilst experiencing any cold and/or flu like symptoms. We understand this is a hard time for many. Doing what we can to minimise the spread of the virus will ensure that our orange vans can continue to show up each week to deliver free laundry, warm showers and genuine conversation.

It is currently not a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend an Orange Sky shift. However, we encourage our community to follow the government health advice.

If you’re currently experiencing homelessness, support is available. The Ministry Of Housing and Urban Development has pulled together a list of relevant resources.


The Ministry of Health’s website is the key place to go for information about precautions to take while on shift and at home. There is also a central portal for all information on COVID-19. Healthline has a dedicated COVID-19 number for the public to access – 0800 358 5453. It’s free to call and available 24/7.  


Another resource is Āwhina, which is an anonymous website that connects people in need with everything from housing, a meal, financial help, domestic violence support, counselling and more, with thousands of services around the country.


You can also visit Lifeline, who can provide information and advice about managing your mental health during the pandemic, or find a health professional for you to speak to.


Our team works as quickly and transparently as possible with localised teams as soon as new information around COVID-19 requirements, restrictions and lockdowns  become available. Where possible, we work hard to ensure that shifts keep operating to ensure we can support our friends doing it tough.


The Orange Sky Operations Team communicates with Local Leadership Teams, Team Leaders and Service Providers, who will then communicate to all volunteers via your pre-determined group chat as soon as possible about whether a shift will be operating.

After extensive consultation with our volunteer community, we have reviewed and updated our COVID-19 Risk Management Framework to consider how and when vaccinations may be required across each of our service locations. Orange Sky Aotearoa strongly recommends that all volunteers are vaccinated to attend shift, and vaccinated volunteers will be prioritised on shift. Government controls and mandates will always supersede Orange Sky controls.

Upload to keep us on the road!  By uploading your vaccination status, you help us ensure that services can be reliably delivered to our friends, in the safest possible environment. 

Volunteers can complete their vaccination declaration when signing up to Volaby. Alternatively, you can email a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination certificate or Vaccine Pass to 

Orange Sky has a responsibility to provide a safe shift environment for friends, volunteers and service provider partners. By understanding the rates of vaccination within our volunteer community, we can make informed decisions when reviewing risk management policies and processes; as well as being able to easily prioritise vaccinated volunteers on shift when required. By uploading your vaccination status you will be helping to keep our vans on the road, providing meaningful connection and services to our friends.


The information can also help our team identify shifts or regions that may be at-risk of being non-operational if a vaccine mandate is implemented by the government, if not enough vaccinated volunteers are rostered.

Once you have completed the COVID-19 Vaccination Declaration, a member from the Orange Sky operations team is required to sight the records and confirm the process has been completed in full. Once this is done there will be no further views of your vaccination information unless requested from relevant authorities. Service Leaders, Team Leaders and volunteers can not access vaccination documentation. The only indicator will be a symbol visible in the Portal confirming vaccination status.

Whilst it is currently not a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend an Orange Sky shift, it is strongly recommended and vaccinated volunteers will be prioritised on shift. However, if the government mandates vaccines for a specific region, or industry, then it may be a requirement and you will not be able to attend shift.

Service Leaders and Service Coordinators will see which volunteers have completed the optional COVID-19 Vaccination Declaration. Utilising this information, they will attempt to fill each shift by rostering volunteers who have completed the declaration in the first instance. Prioritising vaccinated volunteers ensures that we can support teams to deliver our service to friends in the safest possible environments.

If you’re feeling unwell, please make sure you stay home and get tested. Please notify your Team Leader as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a shift.

Orange Sky offers a free VESP program to all volunteers which provides a free and confidential mental health support service. The program is designed to help you overcome any issues impacting your mental wellbeing related to your time and experience volunteering with Orange Sky. The program allows volunteers to access up to three support sessions per year. You can book a free session via the Portal.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with via our contact us page or by phoning +64 9 887 0566 during business hours. 

Friends accessing our services

To all of our wonderful friends who use our service; we are thinking of you at this extremely difficult time. To find out if there is a shift near you, click the find a shift button below to access our updated shift location page. We hope to see you all on our orange chairs really soon.


Service providers

If you are a service provider, please keep us updated of any changes to your service provision or environment that may have consequences for us partnering with you at your location in the future.

Contact Us

Latest Updates

Kia Ora Whanau,

It’s been just over three weeks since we made the tough decision to pause our services during Alert Level 4 lockdown. With the entire country (except Auckland) now at Alert Level 2, it’s been great to see all of our Wellington shifts back up and running this week. For anyone looking to use our services in Wellington, please keep an eye on our schedule as some shift times may vary by an hour or so to accomodate new meal times of the service providers we’re working alongside. We hope to have the majority of our Auckland shifts online again once Alert Level 3 is announced. As soon as we know a shift is going ahead, we’ll update the schedule. If you have any further questions on this please get in touch via our contact us page here.

Take Care,
Orange Sky team.

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand, Auckland and Wellington are currently under mandatory, level 4 restrictions. Although Orange Sky remains an essential service, we’ve made the difficult decision to pause all shifts across Auckland and Wellington. We will take this time to ensure that we can support shifts operating in a safe environment for our friends, volunteers and the greater community. Our thoughts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the recent COVID-19 outbreak – especially our friends doing it tough. We hope to be back out there operating again soon. If you have any further questions on this please get in touch via our contact us page here.

If you’d like more information, please click the link below to get in touch.

Contact Us


Follow our socials for up to date information on how Orange Sky is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as some positive news stories about our community

Ways to Support

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