PM and Ministers to take a six month pay cut

The prime minister, government ministers and public service chief executives will take a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months.

In a media conference this afternoon, Jacinda says there are many examples throughout the country of people doing their bit to help others.

"This was always just going to be an acknowledgement of the hit that many New Zealanders will be taking at the moment."

She says there were many examples throughout the country of people doing their bit to help others.

“While this cut in itself won’t shift the Government’s overall fiscal position it is an acknowledgement that every person and organisation has a part to play as we unite to stamp out Covid-19 and save lives.

“It stands alongside many actions taken by all of us – Government, private sector, citizens, to tackle the health and economic challenges of COVID-19 including:

  • The more than $23 billion economic package, including the wage subsidy that has paid out over $9 billion to 1.5 million New Zealanders
  • Neighbours looking out for one another
  • Rent freezes and landlords supporting tenants
  • Boosting the winter energy payment and benefits
  • New Zealanders staying home to save lives
  • The Student Army delivering groceries to over 65s
  • The Ministry of Health officials in charge of mandatory quarantine, for which I’ve received a message about their professionalism and exceptional work

“For us it’s about showing leadership,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“This isn’t about pay cuts at the front line. We don’t want people on low and middle incomes to bear the brunt,” says Minister for State Services Chris Hipkins.

“They make up a huge part of our essential workforce. We need to sustain public sector jobs and ensure services continue to be delivered.

“The decision we’ve made is an in-principle one. We will now work through the mechanism to make it happen."

Decisions taken today mean pay cuts for chief executives are likely to save $1.6 million, and an example of ministers’ cuts are in the table below.


Current pay

Size of cut

New pay

Prime Minister




Deputy Prime Minister




Cabinet Minister




Minister outside of Cabinet




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