LIVE: Finance Minister announces 2020 Budget

Budget 2020 will be read from 2pm in Parliament by Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

The Rebuilding Together Budget is about tackling New Zealand’s long term challenges by focusing our attention on the things which matter most, says Labour.

This is the current Government’s third budget since assuming power.

The driving priority of the 2020 Budget will be to make direct cash injections into industries such as tourism, to staunch the flow of job losses, reinvent the way the sector operates with the prospect of few customers from offshore, and to ensure viable businesses make it through the medium term.

There will be rescue packages for other under pressure industries, but they may not all be in this Budget.

Watch above to hear more details of Budget 2020.

See below for a breakdown of Budget 2020:

Postal services maintained for Kiwis

The Coalition Government is supporting New Zealand Post to continue to deliver a postal service in the face of challenges presented by a changing mail environment and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding of $130 million from Budget 2020 will allow New Zealand Post to maintain service levels as it positions itself for the future of mail, while an equity injection of $150 million will also be provided from the Government’s COVID Response and Recovery Fund.

Postal services across the world are facing considerable financial pressure as mail volumes continue to decline.

“COVID-19 has demonstrated how important our postal service is. During lockdown many New Zealanders and businesses relied on the services New Zealand Post provides,” says Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones.

“We have now reached the point where it is no longer commercially viable for New Zealand Post to maintain current service levels and it needs Government support.

“Despite the move away from mail there are still a number of individuals, businesses and public sector organisations who rely on a timely and comprehensive postal service and this investment will maintain those services.

“New Zealand Post has gone to considerable effort to absorb the decline in mail revenue but without Government support it would face the prospect of drastic cuts to its mail business to remain viable,” says Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi.

“Post’s revenue has fallen substantially but the costs of delivering the service New Zealanders expect have remained the same. The $150 million equity injection, along with the $130m funding for mail services, means we avoid significant cuts to its service and workforce and big price increases for its customers.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a further hit to New Zealand Post’s revenue due to factors such as a steep fall in international parcel volumes.

Shane Jones says many businesses have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and unfortunately New Zealand Post is one of them.

“Posties and couriers have been one of the most visible symbols of our response to the pandemic. As an essential service, they worked through lockdown and have continued to work tirelessly as level 3 saw a massive increase in demand for e-commerce.”

Major investment in infrastructure projects

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has set aside $3 billion to fund infrastructure projects across the country.

This is in addition to the Government’s $12b New Zealand Upgrade Programme and Provincial Growth Fund infrastructure investments.

Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund will inject fresh capital, confidence and jobs into our economic recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Ministers will soon decide which projects to progress and consider advice from the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group (IRG) which has received a total of 1924 submissions across approximately 40 sectors with a combined value of $136b.

$4.6 billion rail investment

Budget 2020 provides over $1.2 billion for rail, including: $246 million to support investment in the track and supporting infrastructure, $400 million to help replace the Interislander ferries and associated portside infrastructure, $421 million for new wagons and locomotives.


Changes proposed through the Land Transport (Rail) Legislation Bill will also provide long-term certainty for rail by allowing network investment to be channelled through the National Land Transport Fund.

Budget 2020 provides $148 million to support the fund to make these investments once the Bill has been passed.

More Warmer Kiwi Homes

An estimated 9000 additional New Zealand houses will be Warmer Kiwi Homes with a $56 million boost to the Government's insulation and heating programme.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says more than 20,000 insulation and heating retrofits have already been delivered since Warmer Kiwi Homes was launched in July 2018 and today’s announcement will ensure more low income people will get a chance to have a warmer, drier, healthier home.

“The existing programme already covers two-thirds of the cost of insulation and/or heating retrofits, but we know that coming up with the rest of the money to get retrofits done, is still out of reach for many low-income people and families.

“That’s why we are increasing the grant proportion available for low-income households from 67 per cent to 90 per cent of the costs of an insulation and/or heating retrofit to deliver an estimated 9000 additional retrofits.

More than $900 million to support Māori as we rebuild together

The Government will invest over $900 million in response to COVID-19 to support our whānau, tamariki and all Māori so we can rebuild together, Māori ministers announced today.

“We know that the effects of COVID-19 have impacted on Māori, and today’s announcement is about working with our people and our many providers to restart and repair our communities,” says Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta.

Growing Māori job opportunities

Employment Minister Willie Jackson said today’s Budget has been a significant and much needed investment in employment and skills training.

“He Poutama Rangatahi, Mana in Mahi and Māori Cadetships have received significant funding boosts to grow their reach.

“We also heard from iwi and Māori that they wanted to work with the Government to grow employment opportunities in the regions.

“We have listened and today have announced the establishment of a $50 million Māori trades training fund, which is part of a wider Māori Employment Package of more than $200 million Government will work in partnership with iwi and Māori to help grow job opportunities in the regions together.”

Boosting Whānau Ora

Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says health and wellbeing was the first priority and that is why an extra $19 million was allocated to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies as the country moved into Alert level 4.

“Whānau Ora moved swiftly and effectively, delivering over 122,000 care packages and supporting close to 160,000 whānau in response to the effects of COVID-19.

“Today, we build on the work Whānau Ora and the Government have achieved together.

“We are providing Whānau Ora with a further $136 million to continue to deliver the support whānau need on the ground and in the communities who need it the most. This funding will be made available for different purposes across the current and the next two financial years as we work together to understand the full impact of COVID-19 on our whānau.”

Supporting Kōhanga, Māori learners and revitalising te reo Māori

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says securing the future of tamariki, tikanga and te reo is important as we respond to COVID-19, and recover as a people.

“Kōhanga Reo always have and always will play an important part in securing our future as Māori. For too long they have not been acknowledged for the important role they play in educating our tamariki, in the revitalisation of our language and in improving the wellbeing of whānau.”

“Today we announced an extra $200 million of funding for Te Kōhanga Reo. This will help ensure kaiako are adequately paid and learning facilities are in good condition in order to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

“All together, Māori education has had a $400 million dollar increase in funding, which will support Māori learners and whānau to reconnect and succeed in education.”

Recognising Māori NGOs and tackling Māori housing challenges

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta says iwi organisations and Māori non-government organisations have done an outstanding job in helping Whānau through COVID-19.

“We know there is still more work to do as our communities rebuild their lives. That is why we have announced an extra $11 million specifically targeted at these groups so they are able to do more for our most vulnerable whānau.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the need for the Government to invest more into Māori and iwi housing innovation.

“This Budget provides an extra $40 million which will go a long way in helping us tackle the housing challenges Māori face through our MAIHI (Māori and Iwi Housing Initiative) programme.

“We are very proud of the support we have been able to provide to Māori, iwi, Whānau Ora, Kōhanga, our community organisations, our ākonga and to whānau up and down Aotearoa.

“COVID-19 has taught us that when the Government and Māori work together, putting our people at the centre of everything we do, we can achieve great things together,” says Kelvin Davis.

“Today’s $900 million investment shows our commitment to working together, our commitment to helping our whānau and our commitment to protecting the future for all Māori.”

Disability support gets biggest-ever funding boost

The Coalition Government is lifting the support available to New Zealanders with disabilities says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa.

“As New Zealand rebuilds, we are also rebuilding our public and community services. Care and support workers and providers will get a clear signal that the funding is there for the long-term. People with disabilities will see that they will be part of an inclusive recovery where we rebuild better.

“This is the largest-ever funding boost for disability support services, with an additional $833 million invested in over the five years. This includes $103.7 million for current financial year.

“When we came to Government, disability support funding was struggling to keep up with the rightful expectations of the disabled community. That’s why we lifted disability support’s funding by $211 million in our first year, and by a further $348 million in the 2019 Wellbeing Budget. For the 2020s, we are substantially lifting the community contribution to the support disabled people need.

  • $833 million to take pressure off disability support services and ensure access
  • $12 million to assess innovations that empower people with disabilities
  • $4.4 million to pay for in-between travel costs for disability carers

Funding boost for Defence

Budget 2020 provides a boost of $1.77 billion in operating and capital funding to enable Defence to continue to deliver on the tasks expected of it.

“It’s been a busy year for the Defence Force. On top of our usual deployments they have responded to consecutive humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. NZDF have supported our Australian neighbours with their bush fire response, responded to the White Island eruption, assisted in the Pacific, as well as provided significant support to the All of Government response to COVID-19,” says Ron Mark.

“With the strong backing of the Coalition Government, we have seen the greatest injection of defence funding in decades, with $4.3 billion in operating and capital funding allocated in total across the past three Budgets.

“$676.5 million in additional Defence Force operating funding over four years has been allocated in Budget 2020 to support delivery of the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018. This recognises the crucial role Defence plays in promoting the overall wellbeing and resilience of New Zealand, its communities and the environment and our place in the world.

“This includes $666.3 million for spending on Navy, Army and Air Force readiness and frontline capability, vital military enablers such as information and communications technology, as well as much needed Defence Estate maintenance across NZDF camps and bases.”

A further $10.2m is also provided to improve the New Zealand Defence Force’s internal security capability.

Budget 2020 also contains contingent funding to support the delivery of the Defence Capability Plan 2019, including:

  • $898 million contingent capital funding towards the replacement of the NZDF’s aging C-130H Hercules fleet with new C-130J Super Hercules. Further details will be announced following Cabinet approval of a business case.
  • $188 million contingent operating funding over four years. This funding will support Defence Capability Plan 2019 projects that are scheduled for approval out to April 2021. The release of this funding is contingent on approval, including by Cabinet, of individual business cases.

Supporting Pacific Peoples through a COVID-19 recovery plan

The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Government is backing Pacific Peoples with a $195 million Pacific package to support the recovery and rebuild of Pacific communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pacific communities are always among the hardest hit whenever there’s an economic downturn and Budget 2020 will help to rebuild the Pacific economy so that Pacific peoples aren’t left behind, and missing out on jobs and business opportunities.

Budget 2020 will also help reset how we engage with Pacific churches and community organisations, generate more community innovation, embrace digital education and build on the gains from the 2019 Budget as we fight against COVID-19.

“I am a firm believer that Pacific peoples themselves have to lead the work of recovery so they can quickly provide security for our families with sustainable incomes, jobs and homes to keep everyone safe,” says Aupito William Sio.

Funding for Pacific focused initiatives announced in Budget 2020 include:

  • A Pasifika Culture and Heritage Fund to enable festivals to continue to provide platforms of opportunities to the festival ecosystem ($12.0 million)
  • Progressing the establishment of a New Zealand Fale Malae ($10.0 million)
  • Toloa - Empowering Pacific participation in STEM ($4.9 million)
  • Expansion of Tupu Aotearoa programme across New Zealand ($13.9 million)
  • Developing Pacific community content ($1.7 million)
  • The Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund ($3.0 million)
  • The Auckland Pacific Skills Shift – an initiative that supports Auckland Pacific peoples in low skilled precarious work, to transition into quality employment ($22.1 million)
  • Pacific education initiatives will be announced in the near future by the Associate Minister of Education, Hon Jenny Salesa (up to $80.2 million)
  • Improving housing for Pacific families and communities (up to $41.3 million)

$50bn rescue fund

A $50 billion fund announced today is expected to grow jobs and support New Zealanders and the economy through the effects of COVID-19 and the global recession.

The COVID Response and Recovery Fund will invest in a targeted wage subsidy extension, free training and apprenticeships, an 8000 state and transitional house build programme, $3bn for infrastructure development, job-rich environmental projects and support for SMEs, exporters and entrepreneurs to grow the economy.

Investments totalling $13.9 billion have already been made from the fund to fight the virus and cushion the blow.

Cabinet has agreed a further $15.9 billion of investments to continue the immediate response and kickstart the economy, leaving $20.2 billion remaining for future investment.

Kiwi businesses supported to respond, recover and rebuild

Budget 2020 – Rebuilding Together – will create jobs and grow the economy by backing Kiwi exporters, encouraging entrepreneurship, and helping SMEs thrive in the digital economy.

 “This Budget is about creating jobs. We know how businesses and workers have been impacted by this global pandemic. This Government is backing businesses to regain the confidence to invest as we work together to grow the economy in the face of this global recession,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.  

Backing Kiwi Exporters

The $216 million package from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund to revitalise the international business sector will:

·      Significantly increase the number of exporters receiving intensive support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). This will provide access to tailored NZTE and NZ Inc. resources to connect with overseas markets and global partners. This will underpin business growth for 1400 firms, which currently provide over 200,000 jobs across the export sector. About 75 per cent of these firms are expected to be SMEs with 50 or fewer employees – $32 million over four years.

·      Funding will also boost NZTE’s reach across New Zealand’s broader export sector through increased delivery of practical digital services and tools. This will scale up NZTE’s e-Commerce Centre of Excellence to provide digital commerce content, tools and advice to more exporters. A new Centre of Excellence in Logistics will also be tasked with building firm capability in freight and logistics for the medium term, and to help build capability within export firms – $8 million.

·      Ramp up NZTE’s team of business development managers with sector expertise to be the ‘boots on the ground’ for New Zealand exporters, in international markets, while international travel remains restricted. This team will carry out additional functions for companies in-market, such as meeting customers, vetting new employees, and selecting distributors – $40 million.

·      Strengthen New Zealand’s brand in priority markets by maintaining, promoting and broadening our national brand appeal, particularly while the tourism sector is recovering. This investment will re-emphasise our reputation for safety, trust, resilience, ingenuity, innovation, sustainability and high-value goods and services through the highly successful New Zealand Story strategy – $16 million.

·      Expand targeted support to help re-connect companies with international markets and supply chain partners, as well as explore new opportunities – $120 million.


The package forms part of a broader Trade Recovery plan that MFAT and NZTE will lead together.

Encouraging entrepreneurship and risk-taking

The Government has put aside $150 million for a fund to provide loans to R&D-intensive businesses, to complement the existing R&D Tax Incentive.

·      The scheme is intended to encourage R&D-intensive businesses to retain as much of their existing R&D programme as they are able to. We expect most R&D performing firms will be able to access repayable loans up to the equivalent of 50 per cent of a business’ annual R&D expenditure, up to a cap of $100,000.

·      The loans will be offered on favourable terms with the proviso that the money is used to conduct R&D. This recognises the value of R&D to New Zealand, and the difficulty many innovative firms have securing finance for high-risk R&D activity.

·      The scheme will be up and running by early June. Further details will be announced in coming days.

Budget 2020 also sets aside $80 million to encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to develop new products by enabling them to claim tax deductions for unsuccessful or abandoned assets.

Supporting SMEs to thrive in the digital economy

Building off advice from the Small Business Advisory Council, a $10 million fund is being set up to provide incentives and grants to encourage e-commerce, train more digital advisors and provide information and support for SMEs wanting to incorporate e-commerce into their business models.

The investment is supported by $12.5 million to progress the trans-Tasman e-invoicing regime between New Zealand and Australia, agreed by Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison.

Other support for small businesses from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund includes:

·      A $3 million investment to support the Business Connect platform to provide COVID-related support services where businesses need to register for support such as grants, the business hibernation scheme and location tracking.

·      A $2.3 million investment to enable to work with 200 partners to deliver tailored recovery guidance and advice to 600,000 small businesses. Resources will focus on how to: forecast and manage cash flow and adapt their businesses, obtain finance to meet needs now and for future growth, market their businesses here (especially tourism) and globally, adopt new digital technology, including e-commerce and productivity enhancing tools, and deal with isolation and mental health issues.

·      A $9.7 million investment in the Better for Business programme focussed on making it easier for businesses to deal with Government, particularly as business take-up of

e-commerce increases.

Protecting consumers and small businesses from unfair commercial practices

The Government is making sure New Zealand consumers, small businesses and entrepreneurs are protected from uncompetitive practices by sharpening the teeth of the Commerce Commission as the economy recovers from COVID-19, with a $30.4 million investment in the Commission’s funding over the next three years (and $13.9 million per year thereafter) through Budget 2020 and the CRRF.


The funding increase will enable the Commission to focus on the potential impacts of COVID-19 on competition in markets, consumers and regulated industries, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says.  

“It will also allow the Commission to focus on the implications for its role during the pandemic, economic recovery and over the long term.”

Targeted sector support

The Government is investing $41.4 million across three years into initiatives in the construction, digital and agritech sectors.

Support for these sectors includes:

·      Investing $11.4 million to grow the agritech sector and improve environmental outcomes while boosting productivity in the primary sector. This includes funding the development of robotics in horticulture and helping commercialise innovative technologies.

·      Providing $6.5 million toward helping develop the Māori economy in sectors such as forestry and food where there are already strong iwi businesses. This funding will also help Māori develop opportunities in others sectors such as the digital economy.

Extension to the Wage Subsidy Scheme

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Wage Subsidy Scheme has been enormously successful, paying out more than $10 billion to support New Zealand businesses and jobs.

The Government is also expanding eligibility to the Wage Subsidy Scheme to include pre-revenue R&D start-up firms that are recognised by Callaghan Innovation.

The inclusion of R&D start-ups in the scheme will provide support to firms which will be crucial for our economic recovery, and will help them to retain their highly skilled personnel.

“The subsidy will be open for applications for a 12-week period and will be paid as an 8-week lump sum to employers at the same weekly rates as the current scheme,” Grant says.

“This Government is focused on getting New Zealand working again.

Applications for the extended subsidy will be able to be made through MSD’s website. Employers who have received money through the current Wage Subsidy will be able to apply for the extended subsidy if they meet the new eligibility criteria, but they will need to submit a new application.  

The extension to the Wage Subsidy Scheme is estimated to cost up to $3.2 billion.

$400m targeted Tourism Recovery Fund

A $400 million targeted Tourism Recovery Fund, alongside the extension of the Wage Subsidy Scheme and a domestic tourism campaign is being announced today.

“This targeted package will go over and above the Government’s broad-based support of businesses and workers, and reflects the importance of tourism to Aotearoa, our economy and our people,” Kelvin Davis says.

He says the establishment of the $400 million Tourism Recovery Fund enables government to deliver various support mechanisms to the industry under one umbrella.

The response package includes:

Tourism Transitions Programme

This programme will deliver advice and support for either pivoting a business towards the domestic and Australian market, hibernating a firm, or other options.

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) will provide customer insight and views of overseas market conditions to help businesses make good decisions about their futures. NZ Māori Tourism will also be supported through this fund to deliver the Transitions Programme directly to its stakeholders.

Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme

Some of our key tourism assets, in the form of attractions and amenities, play a vital part in our domestic tourism offering and our international brand as a tourist destination. Some of these are at risk due to the effects of COVID-19 and if lost, could slow down either the national or regional recoveries, and have a major impact on some communities. This fund will identify those strategic assets and provide them with the protection and assistance they need so they will not be lost.

Tourism Recovery Ministers Group

This will be established to oversee the Tourism Recovery Package, and the tourism industry’s recovery. Members are expected to include Ministers of Tourism, Finance, Māori Development, Conservation, and the Under Secretary of Regional Economic Development.

New Zealand Futures Tourism Taskforce

This public-private taskforce will lead the thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand. It will consist of cross-government and tourism sector representatives and will prioritise the current and future issues that will shape and impact tourism, and lead recommendations on further policy and regulatory reform in the sector.

Supporting people as the economy is rebulit


Funding of $192 million will go towards social services, community groups and family violence services.

The spend is made up of:

  • $79 million boost to social service providers
  • $36 million in grants for community groups
  • $22 million for family violence services
  • $20 million to ease impacts of COVID-19 on rural and fishing communities
  • $20 million tertiary student hardship fund for 2020
  • $15 million boost to Fruit in Schools and digital sales platforms for food producers


Supporting our social service providers

Our social services have been a vital part of keeping communities safe and resilient as we face the impacts of COVID-19, says Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.


“Social services will continue to play an essential role in supporting people and communities to recover. That’s why we are investing almost $80 million dollars to continue to provide important support in our communities.


“About $32 million of the additional funding includes responding to the increase in demand for food through food banks and other community food service providers as a result of COVID-19. This will include funding for a new bulk food distribution network – ‘New Zealand Food Network’ and support for food banks and other providers.


“We also know that more New Zealanders may need advice on how to best manage their finances, so we are providing extra funding to all 131 budgeting services so they can respond to the increasing demand for their services.


Grants for community groups to recover from COVID-19 impacts

“We are investing $36 million in grants for community groups to enhance the wellbeing of their local communities in the COVID-19 recovery response,” says Carmel.


“A specific focus will be made to enable Māori, Pacific, refugee and migrant communities to access this fund.


“The investment will allow groups to contribute to the ongoing response and recovery of the communities they are connected to and support.”


Fruit and vegetable boxes and digital sales platforms for food producers

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says due to COVID-19, food supply chains and food retailers have been disrupted, causing problems with access to food and risking food waste.


“Food at highest risk of being wasted includes the 20% of all fresh fruit and vegetables that move through non-supermarket channels and 10% of weekly egg production.


“This initiative provides funding to purchase primary produce and distribute it to those in need, scale up Fruit in Schools to deliver an additional 100,000 fruit and vegetable boxes to children over 10 weeks, and develop and trial digital platforms to enable other novel solutions to connect food with consumers.”


Boost in funding for family violence services


Budget 20 provided $202.9 million over the next four years to address family violence, and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund underscores our commitment in this area further.


Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice Jan Logie says the additional support for family violence providers is critical at a time when families are spending more time at home, and economic pressures and anxiety have the potential to spark increased violence.


“$13 million will provide therapeutic services and treatment for children and young people who are exposed to family violence. This is especially important at a time when the usual support networks of children and young people, particularly schools, are disrupted due to the lockdown.


“A further $8.6 million over two years will provide grants to around 200 family violence providers to increase their capacity as they respond to the expected increase in demand for their services as a direct result of COVID-19.”


Easing economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on rural and fishing communities


“Our rural and fishing communities already face a lot of challenges, like increased social isolation and reduced access to services. COVID-19 and the ongoing drought have exacerbated those challenges,” says Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor.


“We’re investing $20 million to increase the scale and reach of support to rural and fishing communities, including Māori communities.


“Funding will increase access to support, advice and mental wellbeing services to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19. It will target support to vulnerable groups, and enable community hubs and advisors to facilitate engagement, learning and access to services.


“It will also enable primary sector businesses to receive financial and continuity planning advice to support their recovery.”


Tertiary Student Hardship Fund


“There’s no one-size fits all approach to meeting the financial needs of students who can’t access the general student supports available, so we’ve set up a $20 million hardship fund to help those students get through the next few months and keep them engaged in their studies,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

“A major advantage of this approach is that it can be implemented easily and gets money into the hands of students who need it quickly, distributed by students’ education providers.”


Expansion of the school lunch programme


A major expansion of the free and healthy school lunch programme, funded through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, will see around 200,000 more New Zealand children get a free lunch every school day and create an estimated 2,000 more jobs.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the COVID-19 pandemic has hit many families hard, meaning there is an urgent and increasing need for support.


“A full stomach makes all the difference to a child’s learning, so we have moved quickly to fund a major expansion of the school lunch programme – which will also create jobs.


“The programme will expand over the next year, from feeding nearly 8000 students currently to around 200,000 students by Terms 2-3 in 2021. It will target students in schools with the highest disadvantage.


“Providing a free and healthy lunch at school is one way to help make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child and to make that difference immediately.”


Education Minister Chris Hipkins says $216.7 million in operating and $3.9 million in capital expenditure has been allocated over the next two years to fund the expansion.


“The expansion will build on the current phased roll out, which is on track to deliver free healthy school lunches for up to 21,000 students in Years 1-8 by the end of this year.


“The scale of expansion means work is needed to prepare and scale up during Term 3, including hiring local people and building systems and processes that reduce compliance costs on providers and improve data security.


“Based on what we already know from the way the programme is working, it’s estimated that around 2,000 jobs in local communities will be created from the expansion.”


Free trades training

A $1.6 billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package has been announced


It includes:

  • $334m funding for additional tertiary education enrolments
  • $320m targeted investment support for free trades training in critical industries
  • $412m support for employers to retain and keep training their apprentices
  • $276m funding for Workforce Development Councils and Regional Skills Leadership groups, to be established to give industry and regions a greater voice and help them respond to COVID-19
  • $141m to support high quality tertiary and trades education
  • $32m increased funding to meet demand in Trades Academies
  • $50m for a Māori Apprenticeships Fund
  • $19m for group training schemes to retain apprentices
  • $26m operating and capital for a new online careers advice system.


Education Minister Chris Hipkins says making targeted vocational training courses free – for all ages, not just school leavers – over the next two years will help people who have lost their jobs retrain and also allow new employees in some essential services to train on the job.


“It will include courses linked to industry skills needs, in building and construction, agriculture, and manufacturing, and also vocational courses like community health, counselling and care work. The fund will be available from 1 July 2020.


“The initiative to support employers and group training schemes to retain and keep training their apprentices is critical for continuity. The last thing we want to see is apprentices and trainees having to be let go when we need really them.


“We are also increasing the volume of Trades Academy places in secondary schools by 1,000 places a year from 2021. This will help with our recovery by building up our future skilled workforce.”


Budget 2020 funds the establishment of Workforce Development Councils to strategically plan for the recovery of industries and jobs from the impact of COVID-19.


“Industry skills leadership will be vital in order to address the profound impact of COVID-19 on the labour market and education systems. The intention is to establish the councils in the second half of 2020 so that they can began to provide the crucial industry leadership to support the COVID-19 recovery.”

“The online careers system will be for learners and workers throughout their lifetime to plan and manage their careers. It will help all New Zealanders to understand their transferrable skills and will be particularly valuable for those who can’t easily show a clear work history.”


Employment Minister Willie Jackson says the establishment of 15 Regional Skills Leadership Groups will also help respond to the labour market needs post COVID-19


“These groups will provide a valuable source of on-the-ground, more timely intelligence about regional labour market disruption resulting from COVID-19.


“They will also highlight particular areas within the community that may need particular focus for recovery efforts, such as Māori, youth, Pacific peoples and women.”


He Poutama Rangatahi


Willie Jackson says young people are expected to be hard hit by the impact of COVID-19, particularly young Māori, Pacific people, women, and disabled people.


“Expanding He Poutama Rangatahi will play a key role in kickstarting the recovery by helping people on the margins of the labour market get entry requirements for training and be supported to stay in training and employment.


“We know this programme works and gets people into work. This $121 million investment will move He Poutama Rangatahi to a sustained footing in the regions, and speed up its establishment in urban areas like West and South Auckland, Hamilton, Porirua and East Christchurch.”


Support for Māori trades training


“The Māori Apprenticeships Fund will enable Māori Crown partnerships to support trades training through establishment of group training schemes,” says Willie.


“Māori community groups will partner with the Crown to establish and design group training schemes that employ Māori as apprentices and support the placement of apprentices across a range of workplaces.


“It will work by providing tailored support for Māori employers to take on Māori apprentices.”


Employment Support


Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says the investment in MSD employment support will ensure services are poised and ready to support New Zealanders into work


“We are investing an additional $150m into expanding MSD’s employment support services enabling MSD to respond to increased demand including providing some services to people before they enter the benefit system.


“Other investments include $12.5m towards strengthening employment services for disabled people, $12.1m towards services for those on remand and recently released offenders and $59.6m towards expanding Skills for Industry’s pre-employment and in-work training to support the Government’s Construction Accord.


“Over the months of March and April, significant periods of which were under level 3 and 4 alert, over 9000 MSD clients got into work often through MSD’s collaborative approaches to redeployment and building positive relationships with employers.


“We know that our frontline staff will be integral to responding to the ongoing impacts of COVID for some time to come. We are investing $250m to increase the number of frontline staff to help more people into work.


Transforming the Primary Sector Workforce


Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says farmers, growers and producers will play a critical role in New Zealand’s economic recovery.


“The primary sector will need about 50,000 more people in a post-COVID-19 world. There is no shortage of international demand for our high quality food and fibre. We now need a skilled workforce to help us seize the opportunities that are currently before us.


“There are jobs going all over the country ranging from hands on work in orchards and on farms to professional roles in engineering, science and management.


“We’re investing $19.3 million over four years in a range of initiatives to help thousands of recently unemployed New Zealanders access training and work opportunities in the primary sector.


“In the immediate term, this initiative aims to place at least 10,000 New Zealanders in primary sector jobs by rapidly retraining and absorbing workers displaced from other sectors like hospitality and aviation.


“In the longer term, this initiative supports the growth of the primary industries by ensuring they are able to attract workers to meet current and future needs across the sector and at all levels.”


Investment in environment jobs in the regions


A spend of $1.1 billion will create almost 11,000 new jobs in regional New Zealand to restore the environment. As part of this the Ministry of primary industries has been allocated funds to get populations of wallabies in the Bay of Plenty under control.

The spend is made up of:

  •   •  $433 million for new jobs in regional environmental projects

  • $315 million biosecurity, including weed and pest control.
  •   •  $200 million for DOCs Jobs for Nature Fund

  •   •  $154 million for new jobs enhancing biodiversity on public and private land


Pest Eradication and Management

This $315 million package is made up of four initiatives:


  •   •  $27 million for the Ministry for Primary Industries to get populations of wallabies in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Canterbury and Otago under control

  • $148 million for the Department of Conservation to ramp up pest control and eradication, including advancing Predator Free New Zealand and working with iwi to prevent the collapse of North Island forests.
  •   •  $40m for Land Information NZ to undertake pest and weed control in rivers on Crown land.

  •   •  $100m for jobs to help control wilding pines

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says wallabies pose a threat, economically and environmentally.

“They are a growing threat to farmers because they compete with livestock for food. Three Bennett’s wallabies can eat the equivalent of one 50kg sheep. They can also destroy agricultural crops and plantation forestry and damage fences.”

More jobs in the regions

$433 million will be injected into regional environmental projects that will create 4,000 jobs over five years.

Environment Minister David Parker says the programme will deliver huge benefits to local businesses, accelerate regional economic recovery and advance national and regional environmental priorities.

“This initiative has been designed specifically in response to the impact of COVID-19.

“This investment will contribute to improving the health of New Zealand's waterways and support economic recovery in partnership with local government and farmers.”

Jobs for Nature Fund

Budget 2020 establishes a new $200 million fund to create jobs boosting predator control efforts, restoring wetlands, regenerate planting and improving tracks, huts and other recreational and visitor assets on public conservation land.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says the Department of Conservation will work with councils, iwi and local businesses such as tourism operators to provide nature based jobs.

“We know the pandemic has hit businesses hard and this Government is focused on getting New Zealand working again. As well as getting people back to work, this initiative will support household incomes, and promote mental health and wellbeing for the people involved.”

New jobs enhancing biodiversity on public and private land

This initiative will create more than 1800 new jobs across the country.

Eugenie Sage says the jobs will be primarily in the regions through agencies like QEII and Landcare Trust, regional councils and landowner groups.

“The workers will help protect and restore indigenous biodiversity and habitat, help with revegetation of private and public conservation land and undertake riparian planting.

“There is an opportunity in these regions for people who have lost their jobs in other sectors to move into this habitat work, and the four-year investment programme will give businesses the certainty and confidence to invest and build their capacity and capability.”








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