Budget 2020: Where the Government is spending big to rebuild New Zealand after coronavirus

The Government has delivered a massive $50 billion budget to help New Zealand recover in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The cash splash will be spread across all walks of life and will provide targeted assistance to help Kiwis cope.

Here's how that cash will be spent:

Wage Subsidy 

The wage subsidy will be extended but now it will be targeted. If businesses can prove at least a 50 percent loss of revenue over the 30 days prior to their application period when compared to 2019, their wage subsidy will be extended for a further 12 weeks. 

The subsidy extension has been allocated $3.2 billion.

Free Trades Training

With unemployment predicted to rise, the Budget has allocated $1.6 billion to provide Kiwis with a chance. Now, New Zealanders of all ages will be able to receive free training in trades such as construction, agriculture, community health and counselling for the next two years.

As well as the billion dollar trades package, the Government has provided millions to help New Zealanders stay employed.

  • $334 million for additional tertiary enrolments

  • 320 million for targeted investment support for free trades training in critical industries

  • $412 million for employers to retain their apprentices

  • $276 million for Workforce Development Councils and Regional Skills Leadership groups to give the regions a greater voice in the response to COVID-19

  • $141 million to support high quality tertiary and trade education

  • $50 million for a Māori Apprenticeship Fund

  • $19 million for group training schemes to retain apprentices

  • $26 million operating and capital for a new online careers advice system

The government says the cash will keep 140,000 jobs over the next two years.


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

  • This extra cash is in addition to a $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme and Provincial Growth Fund infrastructure investments.

  • Ministers will consider which projects to progress out of 1934 submissions - it's estimated they have a combined value of $136 billion.


  • Tourism was hit hard by COVID-19 with border controls meaning cash dried up overnight - but the Government has stepped in to protect one of New Zealand's biggest industries with a $400 million Tourism Recovery Fund.

  • The cash will be divvied up between a nationwide domestic tourism campaign,targeted advice for businesses on how to adapt to the changing industry and protection of assets.


The NZDF will get a huge boost of $1.7 billion, Defence Minister Ron Mark says is "vital.

Budget 2020: Where the Government is spending big to rebuild New Zealand after coronavirus
Photo credit: Newshub.

Where will the cash go?

  • $676.5 million in operational funding over four years - this will support the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 

  • $666.3 million for Navy, Army and Air Force "readiness and frontline capability".,

  • $10.2 million to improve NZDF internal security.

  • $188 million in contingent operating funding over four years to support scheduled projects. Release of this money is conditional -Cabinet must approve individual cases.

  • $$840,000 to Veterans' Affairs from COVID-19 response and recovery fund

$898 million has been earmarked to replace NZDF's aging Hercules fleet - however this will need Cabinet approval before it is released. 


The Government will give $900 million in funding to ensure Māori are supported. 

This will be split into:

  • $50 million for a Māori trades training fund

  • $136 million for Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies to continue delivering care packages and support to Māori communities

  • $200 million to keep te reo Māori alive to ensure teachers are adequately paid and facilities are in good order

  • $11 million for targeted housing innovation