Budget 2023: The key points from Government's $1 billion Cyclone Gabrielle, Auckland flooding package

Budget 2023 includes a $1 billion package of initiatives to support the recovery and rebuild for regions impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary floods.

It has just been unveiled on Sunday by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Finance Minister Grant Robertson ahead of the main Budget event on Thursday.

Here are some of the main points about the package:

  • It includes $941 million in total operating allowance and $195 million in capital. This is on top of the nearly $900 million already allocated in the aftermath of the weather events

  • Regions will be able to apply for funding from a $100 million flood protection fund for infrastructure like stopbanks that can protect their communities from flooding 

  • An additional $275 million is being allocated to help fix and rebuild state highways on top of the $250 million granted right after Cyclone Gabrielle. Regions will also be able to request some of this funding to repair broken local roads

  • $200 million has been earmarked to repair North Island rail, focused on the North Auckland Line, the Palmerston North to Gisborne Link, the Auckland metropolitan network, the North Island Main Trunk and the East Coast Main Trunk

  • The Government is committing to returning to all schools impacted by the events to their pre-weather state. There is $31 million for immediate costs and $85 million for ongoing work.

  • $35.2 million towards employment programmes and services to help Kiwis affected by the weather events

  • $10 million to fund community-based mental wellbeing support, including $3.7 million to expand the Mana Wke programme into Hawke's bay and Tairāwhiti

  • $8.85 million to fund air and road transport to ensure isolated communities receive healthcare, fund alternative provision of acute healthcare, and repair hospital facilities

  • $35.4 million to support farmers and growers by allowing access to expert advice to inform decisions on health and safety and animal welfare, urgent maintenance, and to help with the transport of essential supplies

  • $782,000 for the replacement of school library resources

  • $12.6 million to plan and rebuild biodiversity, heritage, visitor and other conservation sites damaged in the weather

  • Treasury estimates the damage from Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods to range between $9 billion and $14.5 billion, with $5 billion to $7.5 billion relating to government infrastructure

  • The Finance Minister says while the Budget 2023 package is significant, it's not the end of the Government's support