Tagata Pasifika The Pacific voice on New Zealand television since 1987

What the Government’s Wellbeing Budget means for Pacific communities

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Marama T-Pole | Presenter

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced his fourth Wellbeing budget this week and a big focus this year was on how to help families cope in increasingly trying times. With the rising cost of living, housing affordability and COVID-19 continuing to impact the wider health system, what was in it to help our Pasifika families at this time? With it a whole lot of pros and cons for New Zealand’s Pacific communities, Social Policy Analyst ‘Ana Ika and Political Commentator Richard Pamatatau join us to discuss the budget.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The rising cost of living has been felt in the pocket for months and there are several measures to help families this winter. They include:

Cost of Living help

  • A $350 ‘cost of living’ payment for people earning up to $70k
  • Extending half price public transport for another 2 months
  • Emergency dental grants go up from $300 to $1000

Other key spend areas

  • Health sector gets $11.1 billion to continue reforms
  • $2.9b is earmarked for climate issues

Employment

  • $8m will go to the Tupu Aotearoa programme for Pacific employment and training
  • $15m will get invested into Pacific businesses
  • $1.6m for the Pacific Work Connect Programme, for Pacific migrant support services.

Housing

  • A package to build 300 homes over the next 10 years in Porirua East

Education

  • $18.3m for the TOLOA Arts and STEM Programme
  • $2m for Pacific Education Foundation Scholarships
  • $13m for Pacific bilingual and immersion schooling workforce
  • $13.7m to implement the Government’s commitment to deliver a Dawn Raids historical account

Health

  • $15m is ear-marked for the Pacific Provider Development Fund
  • $20m is available for Diabetes prevention ins South Auckland

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