Every year the Government releases the budget, showing how they will spend the money New Zealand has available from taxes and loans the following year.

The 2022 budget allocates $128.4 billion which goes towards addressing issues in health, education, the cost of living, climate and more.

The Government released the 2022 budget today. Here’s what you need to know:

Cost of living 

The Government has allocated $814 million for the cost of living.

This means 2.1m New Zealanders will receive $350 from the Government to help with rising costs from the war in Ukraine and the Covid pandemic. 

You are eligible if you earned less than $70,000 in the last tax year and are not already receiving the Winter Energy Payment.

If you’re eligible, you don’t need to apply. Payments will be made directly to the account connected to your IRD number. 

From August 1, there will be three payments of $116 deposited on the first day of the month for three months.

Public transport

$132m has been allocated to extending the 50% reduction in public transport costs for two more months.

The half price fares for public transport was set to end at the end of June. It’s now been extended through July and August.

The fuel excise tax and road user charges reductions will also be extended for two months.

Extending road user charges and the fuel excise will cost $235m.

The half-priced fares for public transport will become permanent for Community Services cardholders in Aotearoa.


$11m has been allocated to getting more supermarket competition in Aotearoa.

Budget documents say legislative changes will be introduced today and “ would remove barriers to new retailers entering the market”.

A Commerce Commission report from earlier this year found a lack of competition in the supermarket industry was leading to higher food prices in Aotearoa.

The $11m is designated to a Ministry of Business and Development investigation into how to improve competition in Aotearoa.


This budget includes the biggest investment in health in Aotearoa’s history - $12.4b.

This is part of the Government’s plan to replace the country’s district health boards (DHBs) with new national organisations Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority.

These organisations will officially launch on July 1 and this budget lays out how they will be funded for the next two years.

This includes $1.8b more to the current health system funding, which the Minister of Health Andrew Little said in a statement is partly to clear debts “so Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority can have a clean start”.

The Māori health authority was allocated $168m over the next four years for commissioning of services.

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare said in a statement the Māori Health Authority will be able to use this money “to fund services that best suit our people and the services they are asking for”.

“It means Māori will now be treated by the right people, in the right way.”

Establishing the Ministry for Disabled People

$100m has been allocated to the Ministry for Disabled People.

All disability support services will be handled by this ministry.

Minister for disability services Carmel Sepuloni said in a statement this was the start of a move towards “a whole-of-life approach to disability rather than viewing disability as a ‘health issue’”.

Mental health and addiction services

The budget is boosting mental health and addiction services by $202m.

The government is introducing $100m to strengthen specialist mental health and addiction services such as hospitals and clinics.

An example of this is Canterbury’s Hillmorton project which will receive funding for 80 more spaces in its acute inpatient mental health unit.

The other $100m will go towards programmes like Mana Ake.

The Mana Ake programme provides mental health support to primary and intermediate-aged kids in Canterbury and has now received funding to expand to Northland, parts of Auckland and other areas. 

And the Piki programme which provides free mental health and addiction support to people aged 18 to 25 in the Greater Wellington region will also get a boost.

Decile school system gets scrapped

The decile school funding system is being replaced with an equity index and $300m is going towards this.

The decile system has been around since the 1990s and determines the amount of funding a school gets based on the socio-economic status of its students. The lower the decile, the morning funding the school receives.

Funding of the equity index will still be based on the socio-economic status of students but will draw on a much wider number of factors in determining the issues those students face and what is needed to overcome them.

It is thought this new system will allow better understanding of the needs of students within a school and more targeted solutions for ensuring students can attain an equitable education no matter what school they go to.

More support for first home buyers and renters

Government loans and grants to first-time home buyers have become more widely available.

House price caps for the First Home Grant have been raised in many parts of the country and removed entirely for the First Home Loan.

An extra 7000 First Home Grants and 2500 First Home Loans have been funded.

A $350m Affordable Housing Fund will be introduced which will support the development of affordable homes for low-to-moderate income families. 

Emissions Reduction Plan

The budget allocates $4.5b towards the Emissions Reduction Plan, which will fund New Zealand’s effort to meet our emissions budget by 2025 and establish plans and strategies to meet our budgets through to 2035.

Re: journalist Zoe Madden-Smith broke down what is included in the Emissions Reduction Plan here.

What else this year’s budget money is going towards: 

-   $349m to buy 29 new trains and 140 train carriages

-   $300 to $1000 dental grants for low-income families

-   $166.1m to buy 48 ambulances and hire 270 more paramedics and other emergency response roles

-  Increases in the income level requirements for hardship assistance which will lift an estimated 6,000 to 14,000 more children out of poverty

Top Image: New Zealand money. (File photo) Photo: iStock

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