What you need to know: Budget 2020

Budget 2020 will see the wage subsidy scheme targeted and extended, free trades training and apprentices, 8000 new public houses and intends to create thousands of new environmental jobs.

Budget 2020. Grant Robertson.

It is part of a new $50 billion Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, allocating: 

  • $4 billion business support package, this includes a targeted $3.2b to extend the wage subsidy scheme
  • $1.4 billion for free trades training package
  • $1 billion environmental jobs package
  • $3.3 billion for health and education
  • $3 billion for infrastructure and 8000 public house build programmes
  • Wage subsidy scheme

    Budget 2020’s wage subsidy extension sees a $3.2 billion boost to the scheme, paying for eight additional weeks to the businesses most hard hit by Covid-19.

    From June 10, businesses that have lost or expect to lose at least half of their revenue in the 30 days prior will be eligible for the wage subsidy extension.

    Already, $10.7b has gone to employers to keep their staff on via the original wage subsidy scheme.

    Free trades training and apprenticeships

    Free trades training for all ages is being rolled out in Budget 2020, costing $1.6 billion.

    Education Minster Chris Hipkins said extending the free targeted vocational training courses from just school leavers to all ages would help people who had lost their jobs from the Covid-19 fallout.

    “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."


    A targeted tourism recovery fund gives $400 million to the struggling industry, however, no further details were given on this funding.

    Tourism Minster Kelvin Davis said they will look at what support the industry needs in days to come.


    The Government is putting $3b into infrastructure projects, on top of the $12b set aside last year.

    The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group has already received almost 2000 submissions for projects and will “soon decide” which ones to fund.


    Rail is getting an extra $1.2b, brining the total funding for rail to $4.6b.


    Eight thousand new public and transitional homes have been promised in Budget 2020, estimated to cost $5b.

    It also puts $570 million aside for income related rent subsides to support the build programme.

    The insulation and heating programme will get a $56m boost, Housing Minister Megan Woods said.

    Environmental jobs

    Expected to create an estimated 11,000 new jobs, $1.1b will go to environmental jobs in New Zealand.

    Climate Change Minister James Shaw said the funding “will not only help restore our natural landscapes, native bush, waterways and coast, it will give thousands of people access to well-paid work so they can continue to provide for their families”.

    $433m for new jobs in regional environmental projects
    $315m biosecurity, including weed and pest control.
    $200m for DOCs Jobs for Nature Fund
    $154m for new jobs enhancing biodiversity on public and private land

    Social Services boost

    $79m boost to social service providers
    $36m in grants for community groups
    $22m for family violence services
    $20m for rural and fishing communities
    $20m tertiary student hardship fund for 2020
    $15m boost to Fruit in Schools and digital sales platforms for food producers

    School lunch programme

    About 200,000 more children in New Zealand will get a free lunch in the extension of the school lunch programme.

    Just over $4b has been set aside for this.

    Disability Support

    $833 million to take pressure off disability support services
    $12 million for “innovations”
    $4.4 million to pay for in-between travel costs for disability carer


    Defence gets $1.77b in operating and capital.

    Of the $50b Covid fund -
    Already spent: $13.9b
    Already committed to the immediate response and economy: $15.9b
    Remaining: $20.2b for future use