Budget 2023 key points: From health to education to gaming

  • 18/05/2023

Budget 2023 has just been unveiled, with $4.8 billion of operating expenditure plus billions for big infrastructure initiatives.

From the Government's plan to expand the early childhood education scheme to two-year-olds, to getting rid of the $5 co-payment for prescriptions, to a tax rebate for the gaming industry.

Here are the main things you need to know:

  • $1.2 billion over four years towards extending the 20 hours free ECE for Kiwi kids to those aged two. It's currently for those aged three to five.
  • $322 million to help lift the pay of ECE teachers to move towards parity with their kindergarten counterparts
  • $323 million to continue free lunches in some schools
  • $327 million for free public transport for kids under 13, and half-price fares for those under 25
  • $619 million over four years to remove the $5 co-payment for prescription medicines
  • $403 million to expand the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, deliver 26,500 insulation and heating retrofits, deliver 7500 hot-water heat pumps, and deliver 5 million LED light bulbs
  • $6 billion towards a National Resilience Plan to future-proof rail, road and local infrastructure
  • $100 million over five years to a new infrastructure delivery agency, Rau Paenga
  • $1 billion to increase health worker wages and staff numbers - including $63 million for progressing safe staffing and allowing for an additional 500 new nurses, $76 million for over four years to develop the health workforce, $118 million to reduce waiting lists
  • $120 million over four years to expand the network of EV chargers to up to 23 hubs, each with 20 chargers
  • $30 million over three years for a fund to provide grants for the purchase of low emission heavy vehicles
  • $279 million state highway investment package for slope stabilisation, culverts, rockfall protection and other measures to make the main roads more resilient
  • $825 million Maori Budget package, for housing, cyclone recovery efforts, Whanau Ora, Maori education, and Maori tourism
  • $77 million extension to the Apprenticeship Boost scheme to the end of 2024
  • Hiking the trustee tax rate from 33 percent to 39 percent to align it with the top personal rate to stop some taxpayers from circumventing the system
  • Expanding a 'circuit breaker' programme targeting repeat child offenders to Hamilton, Christchurch and Auckland City
  • A 20 percent tax rebate for game development studios to retain talent in the quickly growing industry
  • Three new multi-institution research hubs, focused on climate change and disaster resilience, health and pandemic readiness, and technology and innovation
  • $55.2 million for research fellowships and to train more PhD students