Wellbeing Budget broken down
The Wellbeing Budget signals a new approach to the way governments work, by placing the wellbeing of New Zealanders at the heart of what we do.
This approach is a significant departure from the status quo.
“We are not just relying on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but also how we are improving the wellbeing of our people, protecting the environment and strengthening of our communities.
“In this first Wellbeing Budget our priorities are focused on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Minister of Finance Grant Robertson.
“We’re taking mental health seriously, breaking the cycle of child poverty and domestic violence, supporting Māori and Pasifika aspiration, transforming our economy and building a productive nation.
“Alongside these priorities we are balancing the need for fiscal sustainability for future generations, and making long-term infrastructure investments, like in our schools and hospitals,” Grant Robertson says.
The Budget priorities were based on evidence of what would make the greatest contribution to the long term improvement of New Zealand’s living standards and wellbeing. This Budget required extensive information about the wellbeing impact of initiatives and more scrutiny of initiatives than has been the case in the past.
It is different from what has gone before, including the use of a more collaborative approach by ministers with more joint programmes and initiatives.
To deliver these commitments, we increased the annual operating allowance in Budget 2019 from $2.4 billion to $3.8 billion. The operating allowance for Budget 2020 has also increased from $2.4 billion to $3.0 billion. A further $1.7 billion has also been added to the multi-year capital allowance for future Budgets.
The Budget Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows the Government’s books remain in good shape. Net core Crown debt as a percentage of GDP is forecast to be 19.9 per cent in 2021/22, and the operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) remains in surplus across the forecast period, growing to $6.1 billion by 2022/23.
“The Government has delivered the critical investments needed to help address the long-term challenges facing New Zealand, while remaining in line with our self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules,” Grant Robertson says.
“I am proud of this Wellbeing Budget – it is a landmark moment for this Government and New Zealand.”
Wellbeing Budget tackles New Zealand’s long-term challenges
New Zealand’s long term challenges of mental health, child poverty, children in State care, family violence and homelessness are being taken seriously in the Government’s Wellbeing Budget.
The Wellbeing Budget sees the Government balancing record levels of investment to resolve key long-term challenges while maintaining fiscal responsibility; delivering a sustainable surplus and growth averaging 2.6 per cent over four years, ahead of comparable economies.
“We have so often heard New Zealanders calling for early intervention and investment in challenging issues to save both money and lives in the long run. That is exactly what this Budget delivers,” Jacinda Ardern says.
“As a country we just haven’t seen the kind of investment in mental health that reflects how serious an issue it is – all of us know someone suffering from depression or other mental illness. Today’s investment of over a billion dollars into mental health will transform the way kiwis access mental health services, but also try and prevent people needing services in the first place.
“For me, the issue of mental health is deeply personal. Almost all of us have lost friends or family members. Ensuring that New Zealanders can now just show up to their GP or health centre and get expert mental health support is a critical first step.
“This year’s Budget also represents systemic change as we work to break the cycle of poverty for kids.
“The indexation of benefits will stop children in poverty falling further and further behind. The 1000 extra Housing First placements will see more children sleeping in warm and dry homes instead of bunking down in cars. And an end to school donations for decile 1-7 schools means children will no longer miss out of extra activities just because their parents can’t afford the voluntary donations.
“Every year about one million New Zealanders are also affected by family and sexual violence, including almost 300,000 children. Like so many New Zealanders I’m ashamed of those numbers. Our record investment in family and domestic violence prevention and services will start to eradicate this national stain.
“When our children do better, we all do better. Breaking the cycle of violence saves us costs down the line, but more importantly it makes us a better country and it makes children’s lives richer and more fulfilling.
“The Coalition Government’s game-changing wellbeing investments are not possible without a strong economy. We continue to run a strong surplus, hit the lowest levels of Government debt in eight years, and record levels of growth that are the envy of comparable economies.
“Today’s Budget shows you can be both economically responsible and kind. We are turning the corner on issues others have written off as too hard for too long – while keeping the books in order.”
Key Budget initiatives: Improving child wellbeing
• New programmes and funding to break the cycles of child poverty and family violence
• Stopping children from falling through the cracks – a $1.1 billion investment to protect our most vulnerable kids
• Taking financial pressure off parents by increasing funding to decile 1-7 schools so they don’t need to ask for school donations
• Taking action to improve incomes and reduce inequality through benefit indexation and removing punitive sanctions
• Encouraging physical activity and healthy eating in schools
• $320 million to address NZ’s shameful domestic violence record
The Wellbeing Budget will continue the Government’s drive to make New Zealand into the best place in the world to be a child, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“Evidence shows us that children in poverty are more likely to get sick, leave school without a qualification, sometimes struggle to get food, and fall through the cracks. We know that to improve New Zealanders’ wellbeing, so much depends on the early years.
“Improving outcomes for our children is central to the objectives of the Coalition Government and is at the heart of this wellbeing budget.
“That means tackling the long-term challenge of lifting children out of poverty, making sure our children can access education, taking financial pressure off parents and ensuring our children are healthy and active.”
Stopping children falling through the cracks
If all New Zealand’s children are to do well, we must do more to stop our most vulnerable from falling through the cracks. Breaking the cycle of child harm requires intervention at the earliest possible point and better support for children in care so they can recover and live the lives they deserve.
The Wellbeing Budget targets major new investments towards children at serious risk and in the most need of help, providing the very best care and support through a new Oranga Tamariki as we transform the broken Child, Youth and Family (CYF) model.
The Wellbeing Budget package includes:
A new intensive intervention service that will work with families to keep children safe at home
More money for non-government organisations (NGOs) providing early intervention services
More money to support Oranga Tamariki to meet the new care standards and an extra 350 frontline roles, including more social workers to ease caseloads
More support so children in care can get things they need – toys, books, laptops, sports and specialist health equipment
Sixty extra dedicated support staff for caregivers and new specialised training for all caregivers
New whānau care partnerships to attract more Māori caregivers
Sixteen new, small community-based homes for 100 additional youth justice placements for 17-year-olds, with an extra 300 staff
A new service to support 3,000 young people to prepare for and transition successfully from care and youth justice services to adulthood.
A new approach
As at March 31 this year, 6,400 children and young people were in State care. This shouldn’t be the case in a country like New Zealand.
“In 2015, the Expert Advisory Panel on Modernising CYF advised the Government that New Zealand’s most vulnerable children needed a new, child-centred agency that would lead the change to a completely different care, protection and youth justice system,” Minister for Children Tracey Martin says.
“The Wellbeing Budget starts to deliver that new system. The Oranga Tamariki that was envisaged by the Expert Panel can now start to be built.”
New intensive and early intervention service
A new Intensive Intervention service will use new, highly skilled, family/whānau intensive support workers to work with families and whānau of children most at risk of entry or re-entry into State care to support them to remain safely at home.
“This is about breaking the cycle of harm and reducing the number of children who are removed from their families,” says Tracey Martin.
This new partnered approach will be rolled out to five Oranga Tamariki sites or areas covering around 150 families and 400 children in its first year.
In addition, the Budget provides $26 million over four years for the Ministry’s NGO partners currently providing early intervention services.
The new National Care Standards come into force on 1 July 2019 – the first time New Zealand’s State care system will have explicit care standards. Lifting these standards requires a significant investment – $524 million over the next four years.
We’re also investing in extra capacity, with an extra 350 frontline staff including social workers, and more caregivers and improved support for caregivers to ensure there is adequate support to meet the new and enhanced Care Standards.
“New National Care Standards will let children in care and their caregivers know what to expect and what is required. This new funding will help provide it. Those in care have said they want to see their social workers more and more social workers will help with that,” Tracey Martin says.
“As part of this transformation, $70 million will go towards better meeting the needs of the individual children in care – providing things like toys, books, laptops, sports equipment and specialist health resources.
“Our care system would not exist without our remarkable and dedicated caregivers. We’re acknowledging the work they do by providing them more help, including respite support. An extra 60 dedicated support staff for caregivers will include caregiver social workers. We’ll also provide new specialised training for all caregivers, including for those who have children with high behavioural needs.”
Improved support for tamariki Māori
Extra funding will allow Oranga Tamariki to provide appropriate care to the 70 per cent of children and young people in care who are Māori.
“The vast majority of Māori children and their whānau have no need for assistance from Oranga Tamariki. However, rangatahi and tamariki are over-represented in both the care and youth justice systems. We need to ensure that they receive appropriate care and support – including being connected to their whānau and culture,” says Tracey.
“This is not just about spending more money on care and protection. To achieve better outcomes for Māori children and their whānau, Oranga Tamariki will use this investment to work in very different ways.”
Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, which takes effect on 1 July 2019, sets out the Ministry’s responsibilities in line with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi to improve outcomes for Māori children and young people, and their whānau. To support this, the Ministry will build on its strategic partnerships and relationships with iwi and Māori organisations.
New funding will allow:
An ongoing commitment to Māori specialist roles, including Kairāranga and Iwi Family Group Conference co-ordinators
New Whānau Care Partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations providing models for the development and support of caregivers
Legislative changes mean most 17-year-olds will be included in the youth justice system, instead of the adult system, from 1 July 2019.
The Wellbeing Budget provides extra funding to make this successful and to support the extra numbers of young people in the system, with an increased focus on education, training and rehabilitation.
“Over the last year, Oranga Tamariki has built and successfully run four new community-based remand homes that take a more therapeutic approach to youth justice. These young people need the chance to get the skills to stop their offending and live responsibly in society,” Tracey says.
Up to 16 of these small, community-based homes will be built over four years, contributing to 100 additional youth justice placements. An extra 300 staff – youth workers, night care workers and team leaders – will work in these facilities.
The Wellbeing Budget also establishes a new service to support young people to transition successfully from care and youth justice services into adulthood.
A relationship-based service with 175 staff will support young people to prepare for this important transition, respond to their needs as they leave and help them gain their independence. It will provide advice and assistance, after-hours support and broker services and housing supports.
“It has been a huge hole in our system of care that young people didn’t have this support. Over the first four years of the service we expect it to support around 3,000 young people,” Tracey Martin says.
The $153.7 million initiative also provides supported accommodation places for young people who need a stepping stone to independent living, and allowances for these young people to continue to live with a caregiver after they turn 18.
Taking financial pressure off parents
We know that child wellbeing, and the potential for positive outcomes later in life, is linked to educational outcomes early in life. Through the Wellbeing Budget, the Coalition Government is making a number of significant investments to improve New Zealand’s education system. This includes investing in more teachers, meeting demand pressures and setting aside $1.2 billion for a 10-year school property investment plan.
The Coalition Government is also taking a number of practical steps to reduce the financial pressure on families when it comes to their children’s education.
Families of nearly half a million children at 1,700 schools stand to benefit from no longer having to pay school donations as a result of the Wellbeing Budget.
All decile 1-7 State and State-integrated schools, attended by about 63 per cent of all students, will be eligible to receive $150 per student per year if the school agrees to stop requesting school donations from parents.
“Budget 2019 takes a major step towards making school education free again,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.
“We know how difficult it is for parents to afford the fees that schools charge, and the pressure it places on parents who aren’t able to afford the donations. Many students will now be able to get the education they need with less financial pressure on their parents.
“Where schools opt to continue to seek donations, those donations remain voluntary – meaning parents and caregivers are not required to pay them,” Chris Hipkins says.
The Ministry of Education will monitor schools that opt in to ensure they do not continue to seek donations.
“I will introduce legislation so funding paid to schools that do not comply with the scheme’s conditions can be recovered,” Chris Hipkins says.
The initiative will take effect from the start of the 2020 school year. It is budgeted to cost $265.6 million in the four financial years from 2019/20 through 2022/23.
“This is a meaningful step in relieving material hardship by reducing the expectation and financial pressure on parents to contribute to the basic needs of their children’s schools,” Chris Hipkins says.
Removing NCEA Fees
The Government is also taking financial pressure off parents by removing fees for NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship.
More than 145,000 households are estimated to benefit from the removal of the $76.70 NCEA fee that families pay every year for around 168,000 secondary school students.
“Abolishing these fees will make things a bit easier for families to make ends meet and ensure every student who achieves NCEA can receive their qualification,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.
“This is another step by the Coalition Government to put the ‘free’ back into free education.”
Maintaining quality and keeping a lid on Early Childhood Education fees
The Wellbeing Budget also helps maintain the quality of Early Childhood Education (ECE), while meeting rising demand and keeping a lid on potential fee increases for parents, Chris Hipkins says.
Around 4,200 early-learning services serving about 190,000 children will receive a 1.8 per cent increase in their subsidy rates to cover for inflation over the past year.
“Without the subsidy increase to offset rising costs, providers would likely face the choice of raising fees and making parents pay more, or reducing the quality of the services they provide to young children and their families. The previous Government never gave per child funding a full inflation adjustment between 2010 and 2017,” Chris Hipkins says.
The higher subsidies for ECE are budgeted to cost $131.1 million in operating funding over the four-year forecast period. This is on top of the $105 million that we provided for the ECE sector in Budget 2018.
Tackling New Zealand’s world-leading rates of child obesity
Evidence shows that children’s nutrition and physical activity are linked to academic achievement and improved physical and mental health.
New Zealand has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the OECD, with one in eight (12 per cent) of our children aged 2-14 years classed as obese. The Coalition Government is committed to looking at new ways break this cycle by working collaboratively across government.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson joined Minister of Health David Clark, Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa, and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins to develop a $47.6 million programme to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools under the Child Wellbeing priority for Budget 2019.
As a joint Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Sport New Zealand initiative, all schools and early learning centres will be supported to deliver change with new resources and guidance, health promotion staff, and school physical activity advisors.
“Sport NZ’s Active NZ Survey 2017/18 found that only seven percent of young people aged 5 to 18 were meeting the New Zealand guidelines for physical activity through sport, exercise and active recreation. Giving teachers the tools to turn this around will help improve child wellbeing and promote healthy development,” Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson says.
“As children spend a significant proportion of their day in school and eat around a third of their food each day there, schools play an important role in promoting healthy environments and supporting child wellbeing.”
Indexing benefits to increase incomes and removing punitive sanctions
The Wellbeing Budget will lift the incomes of 339,000 individuals and families as part of the next step of the Government’s overhaul of the welfare system.
The Government is delivering a key recommendation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s Report, Whakamana Tāngata – Restoring Dignity to Social Security in New Zealand.
In 2017 Children’s Commissioner Andrew Beecroft said the single best thing the Government could do to combat child poverty was the indexation of benefits to changes in average wages. Currently, main benefits are indexed to the Consumers Price Index (CPI).
From 1 April 2020, main benefits will be indexed to average wage increases, to ensure the incomes of people needing to access main benefits do not fall further behind.
This applies the same principle currently used for NZ Super. It’s a more consistent approach and will limit the need for Governments to make single ad-hoc benefit increases in any one year, as the previous Government did.
The change will mean incremental increases to rates each year, which could lead to a cumulative increase of up to $46 per week by 1 April 2023 based on current forecasts (an additional increase of $10-$17 per week over and above CPI indexation).
“This will help reduce rates of poverty for those living on benefits,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says.
“By taking this action, we are reversing a decades-long policy that has meant those on benefits have fallen further and further behind. In 1991 the National Government significantly cut benefits, including scrapping the Universal Family Benefit.
“Since then main benefit levels have been adjusted using the CPI instead of wages and income.
“Pressures on low income families were already being felt through cuts to housing, health and education support from the reforms of the late 1980s and early 1990s. These cuts resulted in poverty traps for many low income New Zealanders. Many have never really recovered.
“It’s time for change.”
The cost of indexing main benefits to average wage increases is forecast to be $320.2 million over four years.
Indexation is the latest part of our response to the WEAG Report.
The Government has already announced repealing section 192 of the Social Security Act 2018, (what was formerly section 70a), which reduces a client’s benefit if they do not name the other parent of their child and apply for child support. This sanction created further financial pressure for parents who are often already in hardship. Around 24,000 children will be better off as a result of this change.
In order to better support those who are working while on a main benefit, we are also increasing the abatement thresholds for main benefits in line with increases to minimum wage. This means families will be able to earn more before their benefit is reduced.
“This Government is committed to ensuring the welfare system is fairer and upholds the dignity of New Zealanders,” Carmel Sepuloni says.
“These changes are an important step toward this and align with the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. This is a Government that is committed to improving the wellbeing of families and these initiatives will ensure many families who are facing hardship have more money in their pockets.”
Breaking the cycle of family violence and sexual violence
Breaking the cycle of family violence and sexual violence and better supporting survivors is a major feature of the Wellbeing Budget, with the Government delivering the largest ever investment in family violence and sexual violence support services.
The Budget package delivers more support services to more New Zealanders, major campaigns aimed at stopping violence occurring and major changes to court processes to reduce the trauma victims experience through a $320 million package.
It is a new and collaborative approach to tackling one of the country’s most disturbing long-term challenges.
“There has never before been investment of this scale in preventing and responding to family violence and sexual violence,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
“Every year about one million New Zealanders are affected by family violence and sexual violence, including almost 300,000 children. This is something I know New Zealand is ashamed of and the Government is taking a major step forward in fixing.
“Wellbeing means being safe and free from violence. That is why this package is such a significant cornerstone of the Wellbeing Budget.
“My goal has always been for New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child and that means supporting parents and communities to ensure children grow up in secure homes free from violence,” Jacinda Ardern says.
The family violence and sexual violence package, which sits across eight portfolios, includes funding and support for:
1 million New Zealanders covered by Integrated Safety Response sites (Christchurch and Waikato) and 350,000 by the Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke and Whiria Te Muka sites (in Gisborne, Counties Manukau and Kaitaia)
24/7 sexual violence crisis support services for up to 2,800 children and young people every year, and an additional 7,700 adult victims and survivors from 2020/21
Major advertising campaigns and intervention programmes to reduce violence occurring
Video victim statements to reduce trauma for up to 30,000 victims of family violence every year, and reduce time spent in court
Enabling victims of sexual violence to give evidence in court in alternative ways in order to reduce the risk of experiencing further trauma
Improving the wellbeing of male victims and survivors of sexual violence through peer support services – up to 1,760 from 2020/21 onwards
A dedicated kaupapa Māori response to sexual violence
Training for health practitioners in District Health Boards to provide effective screening and referrals for family violence.
“We know this is a long-term project. The package we’re announcing today lays the foundation for a violence-free Aotearoa New Zealand,” Jan Logie, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice says.
Supporting Māori and Pasifika aspirations
• $80 million boost for Whānau Ora
• More support for te reo Māori and Pacific languages
• Targeted funding for improved health, housing, education and skills
• Kaupapa Māori approach to tackling reoffending
• An additional 2,200 young people supported through the Pacific Employment Support Service
- Investing $56 million to unlock whenua Māori
The Wellbeing Budget focuses on ways to give Māori and Pacific peoples more scope to lift their own wellbeing.
When Māori and Pacific peoples set their own wellbeing goals and aspirations and when we as a Government use our ability to change the system and help Māori and Pacific peoples achieve those aspirations – equality can start to be a reality.
We can change the status quo, by taking a whānau-centred approach to wellbeing, working collaboratively across government, by harnessing Māori potential, celebrating Māori culture, embracing Pacific values and co-designing initiatives with Māori and Pacific peoples.
A boost for Whānau Ora
Whānau Ora supports tino rangatiratanga and mana of whānau by empowering them to self-determine their needs, aspirations and desired outcomes.
Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says the independent review of Whānau Ora highlights important opportunities to develop the programme into the future.
The Wellbeing Budget commits $80 million over four years to expand the coverage and impact of Whānau Ora. This provides greater support to whānau, improves localised decision-making and accountability.
This will provide local options that better serve the specific needs and aspirations of whānau, and further develops the skills and capabilities of Whānau Ora navigators.
“My vision for Whānau Ora is that it is adequately resourced to support whānau to achieve their aspirations, that it is appropriately supported across government agencies, and that whānau are able to play a key role in local decision-making regarding Whānau Ora support,” Peeni Henare says.
The revitalisation of te reo Māori
A key part of this year’s Wellbeing Budget is the revitalisation of te reo Māori to promote a stronger sense of national identity.
Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says the Crown is committed to ensuring that basic te reo is spoken by a million people in Aotearoa by 2040.
“This investment will underpin the growth of te reo across the Maihi Karauna and Maihi Māori programmes.
“For te reo Māori to thrive by 2040 we all need to do our part to make it a working, living language,” Nanaia Mahuta says.
Nearly $10 million over four years will fund Te Taura Whiri, the Māori Language Commission, and support an increase in certification for te reo translators. Another $4 million dollars has been allocated to support events that build a shared national identity.
“Te reo is a taonga that will strengthen the partnership between Crown and Māori. The language also makes a key contribution to New Zealand tourism and international trade,” Nanaia Mahuta says.
The Maihi Karauna programme provides support for te reo across a range of government and public service agencies.
A further $6 million will be invested in the Kāhui investment model run by Te Mātāwai. This investment will be used to support the Maihi Māori programme in the wider Māori community and also policy and advice for Te Taura Whiri.
The money will be earmarked for eight iwi and Māori language clusters across the country.
The Budget also funds $14 million of additional support for Te Mangai Paho to produce quality Māori programming to support te reo Māori and wider cultural development objectives.
“Undertaking these initiatives shows a clear commitment from the Government to te reo Māori in the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019.
“I welcome these Budget initiatives as the Māori language is one of the best ways to say ‘We are New Zealanders’,” Nanaia Mahuta says.
A boost for Pacific languages
The languages we use say something about not just who we are, but where we are. They speak to our sense of belonging, our identity and our understanding of how we came to be here.
But Pacific languages in New Zealand are struggling.
“Without action we risk losing an incredible repository of wisdom and culture, and a sense of belonging for our Pacific peoples,” Aupito William Sio says.
The Wellbeing Budget provides $20 million over four years so the Ministry for Pacific Peoples can establish a new Pacific Language Unit, with a set of language support functions to help ensure the survival of Pacific languages.
Lifting education and employment
The Wellbeing Budget will invest $42 million over three years to support Māori students to achieve success in education by addressing inequity across the system and supporting whānau to engage in their children’s learning.
Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says this initiative will boost the capability of the education workforce to better support Māori achievement, and transform the learning experiences of Māori students.
The Wellbeing Budget provides $27.4 million over four years to ensure Pacific students and their families have the skills, knowledge and equitable opportunities to pursue any education pathway. This will include investing in Pacific PowerUP, an education programme that actively supports Pacific parents, families and communities to chamption their children’s learning.
Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa says the investment delivers a broad range of initiatives aimed at lifting and sustaining achievement for all Pacific students, their families and communities.
Budget 2019 will also provide $14.5 million to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to grow opportunities for young people not in employment, education or training.
“This funding will grow learning and earning opportunities by expanding collaboration with Pacific providers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to place up to 2,220 Pacific young people into employment, education or training though the Pacific Employment Support Service,” Aupito William Sio says.
An additional $26.6 million will be allocated through the Provincial Growth Fund to extend He Poutama Rangitahi to assist young people who are not in employment, education or training and who are at risk of long term unemployment.
Minister of Employment Willie Jackson says the investment will continue to grow community-led skills and employment programmes in some of our most remote communities and regions, creating pathways to sustainable meaningful employment.
Transforming the Pacific Economy
Budget 2019 supports the important contribution Pacific communities make to New Zealand’s economy with $11 million over four years to boost the Pacific Business Trust.
This funding will expand the delivery of business services, and support industry and community economic development activities focused on growing Pacific businesses and job opportunities throughout Aotearoa and beyond.
It will also include research, monitoring and evaluation of Pacific peoples’ contribution to New Zealand’s economy.
The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Wellbeing Budget responds directly to the voices of Pacific communities and empowers them to grow and sustain their success.
Improving Māori and Pacific peoples’ health and wellbeing
The Wellbeing Budget provides $12 million in funding for rheumatic fever programmes to reduce the incidence rate among Māori and Pacific peoples and support better management of the illness.
Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says this investment will support the development and implementation of innovative, community-led rheumatic fever interventions.
“Targeted and tailored initiatives are shown to be more effective for improving both Māori and Pacific peoples’ health outcomes.”
In addition the Budget invests $1 million to research how a whānau-centred approach to primary healthcare ccould improve outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples.
“Identifying and developing how a whānau-centred approach to our primary healthcare could improve the wellbeing of Māori and Pacific peoples, and may allow primary healthcare providers to deliver the support required to make positive and enduring changes in the lives of whānau,” Peeni Henare says.
There will also be increased investment of $9.8 million over four years in developing innovative Pacific community initiatives, including initiatives to share evidence-based Pacific models of care.
An important part of delivering improved health outcomes for Pacific peoples will be to increase the Pacific peoples health workforce.
This will be done with funding of $14.3 million over four years for a strengthened Pacific training pathway, from secondary school to tertiary study, work experience and work placements. This includes increasing the number of Pacific peoples nurses and midwives.
A Kaupapa Māori approach to tackling reoffending
The Wellbeing Budget is investing $98 million into a pathway for people to experience a kaupapa Māori and whānau-centred approach for all of their time with the Department of Corrections (Correction), from pre-sentence to reintegration and transition into their community.
It will initially focus on Māori men under 30 years of age, as this group has the highest reconviction and reimprisonment rates.
Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the investment is a major first step in changing the way Corrections operates to help break the cycle of Māori reoffending and imprisonment.
“We are acknowledging that our system does not work for the majority of Māori.
“This is a system and culture change for our prisons. It’s a new pathway for people in prison and their whānau to walk together,” Kelvin Davis says.
This initiative includes $35 million over four years to apply a Whānau Ora approach to reduce reoffending and improve whānau outcomes and wellbeing.
“We tend to forget that people in prison have whānau at home. Whānau Ora supports the mana of whānau by assisting them to set goals and navigate them to services and support they need, while maintaining the links between whānau members,” Peeni Henare says.
Unlocking whenua Māori
The Wellbeing Budget invests in unlocking the unused potential of Māori-owned land, with $56.1 million over four years to implement the Whenua Māori Programme.
This investment will set up up an advisory service for Māori landowners to help them develop a plan to utilise their land and resources and support whānau aspirations.
Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says the Whenua Māori programme will initially focus on three regions: Te Tai Tokerau, Waikato-Waiariki and Tairāwhiti.
“At present the challenge of the complex rules and regulations around the whenua means that there are significant barriers for Māori land owners. These will be tackled by targeted legislative changes.
“Current research shows that 600,000 hectares, nearly 40 per cent of Māori land, is underdeveloped. We simply have to do better for our tamariki,” Nanaia Mahuta says.
Building a Productive Nation
• Bridging the venture capital gap with a $300 million fund
• $157 million into innovation and business
• Boost for Mana in Mahi with places for up to 2,000 young people
• Nearly $200 million for Vocational Training reforms
- Help to ready school leavers for the workplace
The Coalition Government also wants to make sure all New Zealanders have the chance to share in the opportunities provided by the digital age by both increasing the availability of technology, and programmes for people to acquire the skills required to use it.
We also want to foster innovation and encourage smaller start-ups to expand, which will in turn help improve New Zealand’s productivity, wages and drive export growth.
Filling the venture capital gap
There is evidence of a gap in domestic capital markets, which may be slowing the growth of New Zealand firms – this gap is not being filled by foreign venture capital. The Government has therefore asked the managers of one of New Zealand’s sovereign wealth funds to support its goal to strengthen and deepen this market.
A new $300 million fund will be set up, to help fill this ‘capital gap’ for New Zealand firms that expand beyond the early start-up phase.
Economic Development Minister David Parker says the fund will help keep more start-ups in New Zealand for longer and support the proportion of New Zealand ownership.
“New start-ups are well served but mid-sized ones, between about $2 million and $15 million in size, are not well supported.
“The world is in the middle of a technological revolution and we need to chase down as many of these commercial opportunities as possible. We also want to increase the amount of technology that gets commercialised and to lift the level of innovation in New Zealand,” David Parker says.
The $300 million fund will utilise a portion of contributions ($240 million) earmarked for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund between 2018 and 2022 and $60 million from the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund’s (NZVIF) existing assets.
The new fund will be administered by the Guardians of the Superannuation Fund, and invested by NZVIF through
Contributions to the Superfund will continue with an additional $9.6 billion forecast to be contributed over the next five years.
After 15 years all funds (including the principal and returns and the $60 million from the NZVIF) will be returned to the Crown to fund superannuation.
Innovation for the future
Transitioning to a high-productivity, low-emissions economy means a change in behaviour, and also an understanding about the sustainable use of resources and the promotion of investment and innovation.
Budget 2019 allocates $157 million over four years into innovation, with initiatives to support businesses to become more productive and develop high value low-emissions products.
This includes $26 million over four years to help support, incubate and grow start-ups.
The Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says start-ups are the way New Zealand will continue to develop unique, world-first and ground-breaking ideas.
“Having sustained support will mean that innovators can more effectively commercialise science and research and turn ideas into products and services that can then be successfully brought to market.”
The School Leavers’ Toolkit
The Wellbeing Budget provides $3.5 million to better equip young people for life after school.
All secondary schools students will have access to programmes that will provide civics knowledge and skills, financial literacy, and key workplace competencies. These include key skills like how to enrol to vote, apply for a mortgage, save for a mortgage and write a CV.
Each school will have access to resources so they’re able to design their own School Leavers’ Toolkit that meets the context, culture and needs of its students and community.
Resources will be available in both English and Māori.
Mana in Mahi – Strength in Work
The Wellbeing Budget provides a $49.9 million boost for Mana in Mahi, extending the places available for participants from 150 up to 2,000, on the way to the goal of 4,000 places.
Employers receive a wage subsidy equivalent to the annual Jobseeker Support rate and support for work-readiness or pre-employment costs, if needed.
Participants receive in-work support and incentives to encourage them to stay in work and enter industry training.
The Employment Minister Willie Jackson says partnering with employers in key growth industries is part of building an economy that everyone can participate in.
“Mana in Mahi creates real opportunities for our young people who don’t have the recognised qualifications that lead to long-term dignified work.”
Reform of Vocational Education
The Government is committed to lifting the status, quality and access to vocational education and training.
Underspending on the Fees Free programme will go towards implementing the Reform of Vocational Education.
The Government initially budgeted for Fees Free at the upper end of potential demand and we are now in a position to re-allocate about $197 million of the funding to another part of tertiary education.
This critical reform is needed to increase the number of people in vocational training and the number of apprentices training on the job.
“There is a national shortage of skilled tradespeople across many industry sectors and our vocational education system is not keeping up,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.
“New Zealand needs a lot more people in vocational education, and for both on-the-job and off-the-job training to be higher quality, easier to navigate for learners and employers, more coordinated, and for employers to have more say in setting out the skills they need.
“For New Zealand to become a more productive country and for students to have more opportunities to get ahead, it is vital for us to get this right. That means working with iwi, regional leadership, industry groups and businesses to achieve the sustainable outcomes we are seeking,” Chris Hipkins says.
Record $1.9 billion total Mental Health package, including:
• New universal frontline mental health service established, expected to help 325,000 people with mild to moderate mental health and addiction needs by 2023/24
• $200 million extra for new and existing mental health and addiction facilities
• Expanding the nurses in schools programme to decile 5 secondary schools – reaching an extra 5,600 students
• $128.3 million for Department of Corrections to spend on mental health and addiction services
• $197 million to tackle homelessness through Housing First
• Funding for the Te Ara Oranga programme in Northland to help up to 500 people a year who are addicted to methamphetamine.
Budget 2019 delivers on many of the recommendations contained in the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, He Ara Oranga.
The Inquiry revealed that a new approach to mental health and addiction is needed in New Zealand which the Government is starting to deliver.
Current data suggests one-in-five New Zealanders experience mental health and addiction challenges at any given time.
This comes at huge social cost. To individuals, families – and to the economy. It’s estimated that in 2014 the economic cost of serious mental illness alone was $12 billion, or five per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
A new universal frontline service for mental health
A new universal mental health services will be rolled out nationwide over five years (recognising the need to train more qualified mental health workers and build new facilities). The new service will place trained mental health workers in doctors’ clinics, iwi health providers and other health services so that when people seek help it is easy to access and immediately available for those suffering mental health issues.
For example, when a GP identifies a mental health or addiction issue they can physically walk with their patient to a trained mental health worker to talk. The mental health worker will have an ongoing relationship with the person in distress, helping to guide and support their recovery.
Health Minister David Clark says it needs to be easier for people to get help early, before small issues become major problems.
“The Coalition Government is taking mental health seriously. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get support when they need it, which is why we are intergrating this new initiaitve into the health services people use most often like GPs.
“By the end of the rollout we expect up to 325,000 people a year will be able to access this new model of primary mental health care – these are the people He Ara Oranga identified as the ‘missing middle’,” David Clark says.
Making mental health advice available at a primary care level will also promote early intervention. Over time, that should mean more people stay well, which will reduce demand on expensive acute services.
To make this transformation possible it will take sustained investment over a number of years.
In 2019/20, $48.1 million will be invested in expanding access and choice in primary mental health and addiction support, ramping up as workforce and sector capacity increases to $455.1 million over four years.
Suicide prevention and response
Tackling New Zealand’s stubbornly high rate of suicide won’t be easy, but the Wellbeing Budget is the start of transforming our entire approach to mental health and addiction.
The Ministry of Health is working on a new suicide prevention strategy in response to the recommendation of He Ara Oranga.
To support that work the Government is investing $40 million over four years into suicide prevention services, to give people at risk intensive support. This includes better recognition and support for people who have self-harmed or experienced suicidal distress.
The Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says the Government knows there is particular need in Māori and Pacific communities.
“To recognise the need in Māori and Pacific communities the Wellbeing Budget will fund up to eight programmes designed to strengthen personal identity and connection to the community.
“It is also important that we do more to support those who are bereaved by suicide, so provision has been made for free counselling for up to 2,500 people (four sessions per person) who have lost a loved one to suicide,” Jenny Salesa says.
Expanding access to addiction treatment
Demand for addiction treatment services has grown steadily over the last decade, and we need to do more to support people struggling with alcohol and drugs.
The Wellbeing Budget will make it easier for an estimated 5,000 people a year to get early support through primary care for alcohol and drug issues, at a cost of $14 million over four years.
This will include increased availability of counselling and group therapies in up to four regions, based on community need.
Budget 2019 also provides $44 million extra over four years to improve existing drug addiction services, with a focus on residential care, detoxification services and ongoing support for more than 2,000 people who are currently receiving assistance.
We also need to upgrade current facilities and add capacity by building new facilities. That’s why we’re ring-fencing $200 million of District Health Board capital investments into new and existing mental health and addiction facilities.
One of the first regions to benefit from this will be Tairawhiti, which will get a new facility pioneering a different model of care, combining both mental health and addiction services on the same site.
The Government is also providing $4 million over four years for Te Ara Oranga in Northland, which provides support for up to 500 people a year who are addicted to methamphetamine, and their families. This is a joint initiative with the New Zealand Police.
Most existing mental health and addiction services are delivered through District Health Boards, either directly or via contracts with non-government and community providers. As part of the overall four-year funding boost to DHBs of $2.3 billion dollars, a total of $213.1 million will go into mental health and addiction services.
As an immediate measure to help people in crisis we are also investing an additional $8 million over four years in improving responses for the up to 15,000 people a year who turn up at hospital emergency departments needing mental health support.
Supporting young people’s mental wellbeing
Budget 2019 extends the nurses in schools programme to a further 5,600 students by commencing the rollout to decile five secondary schools at a cost of $19.6 million over four years. (The programme currently covers decile 1-4 secondary schools, and funding is also provided to enhance these current services).
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says evidence shows that when students have more time with on-site professionals there is significantly less depression and suicide risk.
“Early intervention works. We want to provide our young people with support and early intervention as they learn to cope with the pressures that come with becoming a young adult.”
2.2 million dollars over four years will provide resources for teachers to encourage mental resilience in primary and intermediate schools. This will help children and young people talk about and promote positive mental health.
The Budget also allocates $10 million to the creation of a nurse-family partnership programme at an initial three sites. The programme will provide enhanced support to parents and whānau who have mental health or addiction needs during pregnancy and for the first two years of a child’s life or following a still birth. Supporting parents through this programme will also play an important part in keeping at-risk children safe.
Hāpaitia Te Oranga Tangata
This programme is made up of four initiatives across three Budget priorities – with two in this mental health priority.
The first provides $128.3 million over four years to expand mental health and Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services for offenders.
Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says 91 per cent of people in prison have a lifetime diagnosis of a mental health or substance use disorders.
“Investing in mental health and addiction services in prisons will help break the cycle of crime and offending. These services delivered in prisons will help people re-enter society and help keep our communities safer.
“Current mental health services help 8,000 people a year through the Corrections service. We need to grow those services to reach even more people in our prisons,” Kelvin Davis says.
The expansion of services for offenders will be rolled out over four years and will deliver the additional services:
- Mental health services for up to 2,310 offenders per year with a mental health need. Enabling national coverage of mental health services across prisons and community Corrections sites.
- A family/whānau service for the family/whānau of offenders who need mental health services. Up to 275 families will be supported per year.
- Supported living accommodation for offenders with intensive mental health needs who are transitioning to the community. Up to 30 offenders will be supported in total each year.
- Expanded social worker and trauma counselling services to help offenders reconnect with their whānau/children, address personal trauma, and transition back into the community. Up to 800 prisoners will be supported each year.
- AOD intensive treatment in prisons. Up to four additional treatment programmes will be established and the 11 existing programmes will be enhanced, enabling up to 204 participants to access treatment per year.
- Expanding AOD testing and harm reduction support interventions in the community will provide AOD tests and alcohol detection anklets to ensure they avoid drink driving.
- AOD aftercare support services. Offenders will be able to access the relapse support prevention they need.
An additional $6.2 million has been provided to support the families of homicide victims to make their mental health a priority.
The Justice Minister Andrew Little says the aim is to ensure the justice system responds safely and effectively to victims while providing mental health support to their families as well.
This will be done through funding victim support to improve their capabilities so they can manage mental health services.
“The new plan includes employing specialist caseworkers with mental health experience to support victims’ families bereaved by homicide in their recovery and help them navigate the criminal justice system,” Andrew Little says.
Families of victims will get constant support from the same person. To limit confusion a single, consistent professional point of contact will be appointed to manage their needs until they no longer need it or their engagement with the criminal justice system ends.
A solution to homelessness
The Wellbeing Budget will mean the internationally-acclaimed Housing First programme will be able to reach 2,700 homeless people and help get them into permanent homes.
Research by the University of Otago found that chronically homeless people have high mental health needs. It found that in the five years before being housed, 390 people seen by the People's Project in Hamilton had spent a total of 10,000 bed nights in mental health facilities – that’s about a month per person. They were also given 55,000 prescriptions, most commonly for anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medicines.
The Housing First programme understands that it is easier for people to address their issues once they have a home. That’s why they house them, then support them to address their issues by connecting them with services, such as counselling and addiction treatment, helping them to keep their homes and avoid ending up back on the streets.
As announced before Budget Day the Wellbeing Budget invests $197 million over four years into Housing First, which will fund 1,044 new places. This is the largest government investment in addressing chronic homelessness.
Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says Housing First has housed 720 households, including 431 children in Auckland alone, since 2017.
“It is now helping house long-term homeless people in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Tauranga and Rotorua and will launch in Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson/Blenheim and Wellington later this year.”
Key Budget initiatives: Investing in New Zealand
• Establishing New Zealand’s first ever long-term infrastructure plan
• Largest ever ten-year school property programme: $1.2 billion allocated
• Multi-year $1.7 billion investment to fix our hospitals and invest in new mental health and addiction facilities
• Full funding for new Dunedin Hospital build
• Strong investments in critical public services, with $2.9 billion for DHBs
- Investment in transitional housing
Budget 2019 allocates $10.4 billion of the four-year capital allowance. This includes record investment in a 10-year school property modernisation programme, an investment plan to fix our hospitals and mental health facilities, and investments in KiwiRail and the Provincial Growth Fund.
Due to the urgent need for capital investment the Government has increased the rolling four-year capital allowance announced in December 2018 by $1.7 billion to $14.8 billion, while remaining within the Budget Responsibility Rules.
“These investments will provide certainty to businesses, particularly in the construction sector, that we are investing in and stimulating the economy. The extra investments in Budget 2019 will help underpin growth and help us stay ahead of the economic headwinds we are seeing globally,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.
“The Coalition Government inherited an infrastructure deficit after years of underinvestment. We started closing that through Budget 2018, but always acknowledged there was more to do.
“Through responsible fiscal management, we are in a position to make greater capital commitments. Better infrastructure planning sees us setting out a comprehensive investment programme.”
Budget 2019 is the first time the Government has used a multi-year allowance for capital investments. The approach moves away from the long-standing single-year allowance. It means the Government can better signal the pipeline of work and the scale of investments it intends to make over several years.
“This certainty means the construction sector can plan ahead and invest in their workforces,” Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones says.
These plans build on the long-term investments the Coalition Government has already committed to, including a record 10-year investment plan for roads, rail and public transport signalled in the 2018 Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. Over the next four years, $17.7 billion will be invested in transport infrastructure by the National Land Transport Fund.
At the same time as increasing capital investment, our responsible fiscal management means we are in a position to increase funding for the operations of critical public services that New Zealanders rely on, like hospitals and schools, to cover population growth and cost increases.
Ten-year plan largest ever investment in schools and classrooms
The Wellbeing Budget, for the first time, makes a multi-year commitment to build new schools and classrooms by setting aside funding for the first waves of a 10-year School Property Programme.
The Programme will roll out in four waves. The first wave of investment will pay for the following projects to start in 2019/20:
- three new schools to accommodate 1,320 more students
- four new school expansions for an additional 1,100 students
- at least 150 new classrooms at existing schools for 3,500 more students.
Budget 2019 allocates $286.8 million in capital for the first wave of investment to build the new schools and classrooms referenced above.
A traditional Budget would have stopped there, leaving uncertainty about what funding would be made available in future Budgets.
The multi-year capital allowance in Budget 2019 means we can now plan further ahead, and set aside money now for future investments that we know will be needed.
An additional $913.3 million is being set aside in this Budget to allow the Ministry of Education, as well as schools and communities, to better plan for growth over the next 10 years. This brings the total capital funding set aside in this Budget for new schools and classrooms to $1.2 billion.
“This is the largest ever investment in school property by a New Zealand Government,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.
With this funding now confirmed, the Government will shortly release the National Education Growth Plan. The Plan will identify the number of student spaces required around New Zealand by 2030 as the school-age population grows.
“The National Education Growth Plan is a first for New Zealand, representing a step change in the way we plan for, and manage, growth in the school-age population, school redevelopments and school builds over a number of years,” Chris Hipkins says.
“This programme will give certainty to schools, communities and the construction sector. It will streamline procurement processes, giving taxpayers more value for money.”
“The education programme will focus on the areas of New Zealand with the highest forecast student population growth. “This enables us to take a strategic approach across the whole country and within each region, instead of having to react to population issues school by school,” Chris Hipkins says.
Investing in the long term health of our hospitals
The Wellbeing Budget is making an unprecedented investment in New Zealand’s hospitals.
Budget 2019 includes $850 million for health capital for 2019/20 and a further $850 million for 2020/21 – made possible by the multi-year capital allowance. Each year is $100 million more than was allocated in Budget 2018, which at the time was the largest capital investment in hospitals in a decade.
Over the next two years, $200 million of the funds will be set aside for capital investment in mental health and addiction facilities.
“This unprecedented investment of $1.7 billion in our hospitals and facilities over two years gives DHBs the certainty they need to plan for the future. It means they can put forward business cases for important projects that have been put off for too long,” Health Minister David Clark said.
“No-one really wants to go to hospital, but when they do, they want to be treated in modern facilities that are up to the job.”
Last year, DHBs reported that about 19 per cent of their assets were in poor or very poor condition. The current Government inherited issues with earthquake-prone hospitals, asbestos, leaky roofs and buildings that have simply come to the end of their useful life.
The investments in Budget 2019 build on the $750 million investment into Health capital at Budget 2018.
“That investment is funding everything from remedial works at Middlemore Hospital to deal with rot and mould in the walls, to new mental health facilities in Christchurch and extra surgery capacity on Auckland’s North Shore,” David Clark says.
“Once completed, these projects, and new ones funded through Budget 2019, will make a real difference for the patients and staff who work in our hospitals. But there is still much more work to be done to deal with the legacy of a decade of underinvestment in our health infrastructure,” David Clark says.
Funding confirmed for Dunedin Hospital
The Wellbeing Budget also contains funding for the single biggest building project currently being progressed in health – the Dunedin Hospital rebuild.
The Coalition Government has ring-fenced funding in a Budget 2019 contingency in anticipation of a business case for the hospital being completed. When that happens, the Dunedin community can have the confidence that funding is already there for the expected ten-year life of the project.
“The Government promised to invest in the health of our hospitals – and there’s no better example than our commitment to the Dunedin Hospital rebuild,” David Clark says.
“The people of Otago have been waiting too long for a replacement for their aged hospital. For years it has had well-publicised issues with leaks and asbestos, which saw patient records having to be fetched by staff in hazardous materials suits.”
The Coalition Government purchased the central Dunedin site for the new hospital in 2018. Planning is well advanced, with the outpatient and day surgery building prioritised for construction first.
Delivering a long-term infrastructure plan
The need for longer-term capital planning will now be informed by the work New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga.
Its job includes producing an infrastructure pipeline and working with central and local government, industry, and other stakeholders to develop a 30-year strategy for the long-term infrastructure requirements of New Zealand.
“The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, will provide expert advice, assistance with planning and strategy, support the delivery of major infrastructure projects across the country and act as the golden thread between the various pieces of work this Government is undertaking regarding major capital projects,” says Minister for Infrastructure Shane Jones.
“Developing the pipeline was a priority identified by the Construction Sector Accord between Government and industry. The Accord is about creating certainty for businesses so they have the confidence to plan ahead, invest and train their workforces.
“The Government is a central player in New Zealand’s infrastructure and construction market, accounting for about 20 per cent of construction contracts in New Zealand. That means capital investment decisions made by the Government can have a considerable impact on this sector and the economy as a whole.”
Other crucial capital investments in Budget 2019 include:
- Our investment in KiwiRail – over $1 billion to unlock regional economic growth, reduce emissions and congestion, and prevent deaths and injuries. This includes $375 million for new wagons and locomotives, $331 million to invest in track and other supporting infrastructure and $35 million to begin the process of replacing current ferries that are nearing the end of their lives. $300 million is also provided from the Provincial Growth Fund for investment in regional rail initiatives.
- Investment in Auckland’s City Rail Link – we are investing $405.5 million of new capital investment into this project through Budget 2019. The City Rail Link will provide the equivalent of 16 extra lanes of traffic into the city centre during peak times and the number of people within 30 minutes travel of Auckland’s CBD will double.
- The Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme – $84.3 million to keep the Christchurch Rebuild programme on track for completion.
- Transitional housing – We are setting aside $283.3 million in capital and operating investment to increase the supply of long-term and relocatable transitional housing places to approximately 2,800, and provide support services. In addition, we have set aside further funding in contingency to invest in transitional housing. Further announcements will be made in the Housing Reset.
- The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) – Overall, $855 million has been allocated to the Provincial Growth Fund from the multi-year capital allowance to provide long-lasting economic benefits for regions previously neglected.
- Defence – as previously announced the Government will fund the acquisition of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircrafts to replace the aging P-3K2 Orion fleet, and the training systems, infrastructure, mission support and other services required to operate them.
Investing in New Zealand’s critical public services
The Wellbeing Budget continues to invest in the core public services that New Zealanders, their families and communities rely on every day. Because we are managing the Government’s books well and prioritising what we are investing in, we are able to meet the needs of a growing population and cost pressures. These investments include:
- District Health Boards – our DHBs face increasing pressures from New Zealand’s growing population. Budget 2019 sets aside $2.9 billion over the next five years in additional support for our 20 DHBs. This funding means they can maintain services in the face of the growing population and cost pressures. It includes $40 million for PHARMAC, which is also highlighted below. There is also additional funding for more planned care (like elective surgeries).
- Ambulances – the Government is investing $21 million into our ambulances over the next two years. The one-off funding will relieve immediate pressures and provide certainty while St John and Wellington Free Ambulance work with the Ministry of Health, ACC and District Health Boards on the long-term sustainability of their services. This is on top of a $17.2 million increase in operational funding (over four years) as part of Budget 2019.
- Bowel screening – we are rolling out the National Bowel Screening Programme to four more DHBs. This $36 million investment will reduce bowel cancer mortality, increase the proportion of early stage bowel cancer detection, reduce treatment costs for patients and increase five-year relative survival rates for bowel cancer.
- Disability Support Services – we are investing $464.3 million over four years so Disability Support Services can continue to deliver services in the face of increasing demand. This supports 34,000 people receiving Ministry of Health support through Needs Assessment Service Coordination organisations, 7,500 of whom are in residential care. More than 75,000 people receive Environmental Support Services, including equipment like mobility and positioning, hearing and vision support, equipment for daily living and housing and vehicle modifications. This funding will also meet increasing costs of delivering disability support services due a growth in In-Between Travel and the minimum wage increase. In addition, child development services will be delivered to an additional 1,150 children.
- Our schools – we are investing $235 million over four years for early childhood education services, ngā kōhanga reo and schools to maintain quality while meeting the rising costs of resources, services, and staffing, and $296 million over four years to meet the costs of additional children in the system.
- PHARMAC – we are continuing to increase funding for PHARMAC, with an extra $40 million over the next four years. For 2019/20 this will boost its Combined Pharmaceutical Budget to almost $1 billion. Separately, the Government is considering policy options for an early access scheme for new cancer drugs.
- Restoring a Safe and Effective Prison Network – the Wellbeing Budget also invests $112.8 million over four years in New Zealand’s prison network to ensure it is safe and effective. Our goal is to ensure that prisoners are held in more humane environments and can be out of their cells longer for more rehabilitation and reintegration activities. These are key foundations to improving wellbeing and reducing reoffending.
Key Budget initiatives: Transforming the economy
• $1 billion boost for KiwiRail
• $229 million sustainable land use package
• Funding to meet the climate change challenge
• $49 million for Te Uru Rākau
- More money to tackle the waste problem
The Wellbeing Budget provides opportunities to grow and modernise New Zealand’s economy while ensuring a just transition to a low emissions future. We need to preserve and enhance our environment, as part of the foundation for our long-term wellbeing.
Investing in rail
Rail has huge benefits for New Zealanders’ wellbeing, including unlocking regional economic growth, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing traffic congestion, and preventing deaths and injuries on our roads.
Budget 2019 provides a $1 billion funding boost to support a long overdue redevelopment of KiwiRail. This includes $375 million for new wagons and locomotives, $331 million to invest in track and other supporting infrastructure and $35 million to begin the process of replacing current ferries that are nearing the end of their lives. This funding package includes $300 million from the Provincial Growth Fund allocated for investment in regional rail initiatives.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for State Owned Enterprises Winston Peters says the Coalition Government has secured the future of New Zealand’s national rail assets because they are a critical and valued part of the transport network.
“This funding will make KiwiRail more resilient and reliable through substantial investment in rail infrastructure, purchasing new locomotives and wagons, and beginning the process to replace the Interislander ferries.
“After 155 years of rail in New Zealand, the historic misstep of privatisation and the managed decline of the past decade, securing these assets for the future is especially gratifying,” Winston Peters says.
The Transport Minister Phil Twyford says funding in this year’s Budget is just the first step to rebuilding rail as the backbone of a sustainable 21st century transport network, with a long-term national rail plan to be developed this year.
“Our goal is to have a stronger rail network that sees more freight moved by rail and fewer heavy trucks on our roads, as well as better public transport options to give commuters choice.
“Previous governments took a hands-off approach and left rail in a state of managed decline. That’s why we instigated the Future of Rail review to make sure we are taking a long-term approach to rehabilitating rail.
“Our New Zealand Rail Plan will outline the Government’s strategic vision and give a 10-year programme of indicative investments and benefits,” Phil Twyford says.
KiwiRail will report on progress on implementing the Government’s vision for rail, and further funding will be considered in Budget 2020.
Budget 2019 also provides $405.5 million to cover the Crown’s share of forecast cost increases to build the Auckland City Rail Link, and finalises previous allocations of funding for the project.
The City Rail Link will provide the equivalent of 16 extra lanes of traffic into the city centre during peak times and the number of people within 30 minutes travel of Auckland’s CBD will double. The Rail Link is the most significant investment in Aucklands transport infrastructure ever.
Cleaning up our waterways
Improving the way we use our land can have significant benefits for the health of our waterways, reduce carbon emissions and increase the productivity of our land.
The $229 million Sustainable Land Use Package invests in projects to protect and restore at-risk waterways and wetlands and provides support for farmers and growers to use their land more sustainably.
The Environment Minister David Parker says the package will help tackle the environmental issues New Zealanders care about, while also supporting the primary sector to increase the value of exports.
“It’s the birth right of all New Zealanders to pop down to their local river in summer for a swim and put their head under without getting sick. Today’s budget announcement turns the tide and offers support to farmers to reduce pollution getting into our waterways,” David Parker says.
“We want to ensure that farmers and growers have the tools and data they need to understand their impacts on the environment and make informed decisions.
The Sustainable Land Use Package also includes funding to improve water quality in at-risk catchments and wetlands.
This includes support for improving consistency between councils, better compliance and enforcement, better engagement with Māori, and improving scientific knowledge to inform plan development.
“In key catchments across New Zealand, freshwater resources have been allocated in excess of environmental limits,” David Parker says.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the Government is delivering economic, environmental and social benefits that will flow through to all New Zealanders.
“The primary sector is fundamental to that. It’s a major contributor to our economy – delivering more than $43 billion in export revenue last year.
“This Government wants to help get more value from the primary sector, in a sustainable way that means our natural resources will be there for future generations. That is why we are investing $229 million this Budget,” Damien O’Connor says.
Meeting the climate change challenge
The Government is setting into law greenhouse gas reduction targets to meet the Paris Agreement goal of keeping temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees. The Wellbeing Budget provides $107 million to ensure the economic transition required to deliver those emission reductions is effective, efficient and just.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw says the funding will mean the Climate Change Commission can provide the advice, guidance and monitoring New Zealand needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with our goal of limiting global warming.
“The Budget also includes funding to implement an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) auctioning platform. This is welcome as having an effective ETS is a vital component of achieving a just transition,” James Shaw says.
Working with farmers to tackle climate change
Investment in research and development is required so we can develop new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the land sector.
Government will work alongside industry to invest in research that provides benefits to the sector.
Budget 2019 invests $8.5 million in 2019/20 in the Global Research Alliance (GRA) on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases to reduce and mitigate agricultural emissions.
An investment of $25 million over four years will go into the Agricultural Climate Change Research Platform to support world-class research here in New Zealand to help agriculture deal with the effects of climate change.
Minister for Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods says this investment will help address one of our most pressing emissions sources.
“Ultimately, this funding will help us achieve the Government’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It’s crucial that we invest in the research now to achieve long-term change.”
Transitioning to a low-carbon future
To tackle the long-term challenge of climate change, the Government will also invest in research into cutting edge energy production.
The National New Energy Development Centre will help create new business and jobs in Taranaki while helping New Zealand move towards clean, affordable, renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.
The Wellbeing Budget invests $27 million to set up the centre in Taranaki, alongside a further $20 million over four years to establish a new science research fund for cutting edge energy technology so that we can look into the likes of organic photovoltaics, super conductors, nanotechnologies and inductive power.
Megan Woods says the centre will work closely with industry to test and trial technologies across a range of new energy forms such as offshore wind, hydrogen, solar, batteries, geothermal, and waste-to-energy.
More support for forestry
Forestry plays a critical role in many of the Government’s priority areas – enhancing regional development, supporting Māori to realise the potential of their land, improving water quality, reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs.
The Wellbeing Budget allocates over $49 million to help transform the forestry sector. Combined with existing funding, this equates to an investment of $58 million in Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand).
“The funding will allow Te Uru Rākau to increase its regional presence to ensure foresters and landowners have the support they need and will also see the agency focus on the Government’s goal of developing a sustainable, domestic forestry workforce,” Forestry Minister Shane Jones says.
“A key part to achieving our vision for the sector will be delivering in the regions and we will see a new premises built in Rotorua – the heart of the forestry sector – showcasing the use of wood in construction and accommodating Te Uru Rākau’s growth.”
Tackling the waste problem
The Government recognises New Zealanders care about the amount of waste that goes to landfill and is committed to reducing those volumes.
The Wellbeing Budget provides $4 million over four years to help the Ministry for the Environment work on improving recycling and resource recovery and shifting New Zealand to a more efficient zero waste economy.
It will build on work underway to improve the data on waste and develop mandatory product stewardship schemes for tyres, lithium batteries and refrigerants. The new funding will help implement a national resource recovery programme in response to China’s waste ban and action on single use and problem plastics.
“New Zealanders care deeply about reducing waste. This funding forms part of our plan to turn around New Zealand’s poor record on waste,” the Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage says.
Budget 2019 invests a further $18 million over four years to continue the Bioresource Processing Alliance and Product Accelerator.
The Bioresource Processing Alliance co-funds and co-develops innovative products or processes that turn low value biological waste streams into new high-value products. The Product Accelerator also helps develop technologies that create new products, new market opportunities and grow New Zealand’s exports.