An Invercargill police officer is delivering televisions and teddy bears to local refugee families to ensure they're keeping well during the alert level 4 lockdown.
Community Constable Reuben Boniface acts as a liaison to help refugees settle in the city. Part of his job is meeting with new families to help them understand how the New Zealand Police operate and how interactions with them here could be different to what they've experienced.
"A lot of that time once I've done the orientation and I've met them, I don't have a lot of contact with them again for quite some time, if at all. But during this lockdown period, I started thinking about some of these families and reflecting on the fact that they are actually more isolated than the majority of our people in town, because they're so far away from their own homes," he told Newshub.
Boniface started delivering activity packs to young children, but found when he dropped them off a lot of families didn't have a television, books or toys. He then contacted colleagues and found a number of unused televisions that were "waiting for homes to go to".
"It changes things for them at home. The last family I delivered a TV set to, which was the family that was pictured [on the New Zealand Police Facebook page], they were absolutely rapt.
"Their English isn't great, I had to use an interpreter on the phone, but it means they can watch New Zealand TV programs, which is going to help with their English-speaking development and help them integrate into our society."
He added there may be scope for the public to make donations. The current lockdown means everything would need to be clean and disinfected so there's a "bit of a process", but the police will welcome donations to help.