Kōhanga Reo, Whānau Ora and Employment major winners for Māori in Budget 2020

By Jessica Tyson

Budget 2020 - Rebuilding Together

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has announced $50bil in funding from Budget 2020 to grow jobs and support New Zealanders and the economy through the effects of COVID-19 and the global recession.

He says the funding will create jobs and grow the economy by backing Kiwi exporters, encouraging entrepreneurship, and helping SMEs thrive in the digital economy.

“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,” Robertson says.

At a glance:

  • $50 billion fund to deliver COVID response and economic recovery plan at centre of jobs budget
  • $4 billion business support package, including targeted $3.2 billion wage subsidy extension
  • $3 billion infrastructure investment and 8,000 public house build programme to boost productivity and create jobs
  • $1.4 billion for trades and apprenticeships training package
  • $1 billion environmental jobs package
  • $3.3 billion new funding to strengthen core services including health and education

Budget 2020 – What's in it for Māori

Māori ministers have announced the Government will invest over $900mil in response to COVID-19 to support whānau, tamariki and all Māori.

That’s almost double what was offered to Māori in last year’s Wellbeing Budget which allocated $480mil to Māori.

Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says, “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.”

The $900mil includes $200mil for Te Kōhanga Reo, a further $136mil to Whānau Ora for the recovery of whānau from COVID-19; the establishment of a $50mil Māori Trades Training fund; $40mil to help tackle the housing challenges Māori face through the Māori and Iwi Housing Initiative MAIHI programme; and $11mil for iwi and Māori non-government organisations.

Supporting Kōhanga, Māori learners and revitalising te reo - $220mil

Māori Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says an extra $200mil of funding for Te Kōhanga Reo will help ensure kaiako are adequately paid and learning facilities are in good condition in order to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

“Securing the future of tamariki, tikanga and te reo is important as we respond to COVID-19, and recover as a people," says Davis.

“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.”

Davis says altogether, Māori education has had a $400mil increase in funding, which will support Māori learners and whānau to reconnect and succeed in education.

Boosting Whānau Ora -  $136mil

Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says the government is providing Whānau Ora with a further $136mil 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,” Henare says.

Henare says health and wellbeing was the first priority when the impact of COVID-19 hit the country, and that is why an extra $19mil 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,” Henare says.

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

Growing Māori job opportunities - $50mil

Employment Minister Willie Jackson says the establishment of a $50mil Māori trades training fund will go towards employment and skills training programmes He Poutama Rangatahi, Mana in Mahi and Māori Cadetships to grow their reach.

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

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

Recognising Māori NGOs - $11mil

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta said iwi organisations and Māori nongovernment 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 $11mil specifically targeted at these groups so they are able to do more for our most vulnerable whānau,” Mahuta says.

Tackling Māori housing challenges - $40mil

Mahuta says an extra $40mil will help tackle the housing challenges Māori face through the Māori and Iwi Housing Initiative (MAIHI) programme.

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

Overall, Mahuta says she is are very proud of the support the government has been able to provide to Māori, iwi, Whānau Ora, Kōhanga, community organisations, ākonga and to whānau up and down Aotearoa.

Davis says the $900mil investment shows the government’s commitment to working together, to help whānau and protect the future for all Māori.

All initiatives included in the Māori Package:

(Total in million. Eg. 2.43 equals $2.43 million)