29 May, 2020
It is a Wellbeing Budget – investment in health is critical. The brief is to keep everything going as well as being prepared for further response to the pandemic, with a total investment of $5.6b in services and $755m in capital investment, including:
Transport infrastructure receives $197.1m operating total and $1.1b total capital, including $399.5m to replace the ageing inter-island ferries, and $421.7m to replace ageing locomotives and upgrade maintenance facilities.
The Budget invests nearly $1b for the core provision of education services, as well as $186m from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, specifically for supporting distance learning for students during lockdown.
The primary sector’s critical role in economic growth is acknowledged in a core package of nearly $500m. $193.5m is pledged to continuing the Mycoplasma Bovis Eradication Programme and $79.6m for rebuilding the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) infrastructure.
New Zealand Department of Justice court buildings receive a $163.5m capital upgrade for health and safety. Emergency services receive $47.8m to upgrade its communication network.
Some expenditure, such as that for adult education and water safety, is relatively small but could make a difference for many.