21 May 2021

Budget 2021: What you need to know

5:00 pm on 21 May 2021

This year's Budget has delivered benefit rises, money for Māori housing and an increase in Pharmac's budget.

Here are the key Budget announcements.

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Photo: Dom Thomas

Benefit rises

Main benefit rates will be increased by between $32 and $55 per week by April 2022.

Benefits rise in two stages: $20 a week on 1 July this year and the rest on 1 April 2022.

Student allowance and student loan for living costs go up by $25 a week on 1 April 2022.

Sole parent support rises $36 to $434 a week. Supported living payment for a sole parent rises $36 to $485, for a couple with children it goes up $42 to $320, and a couple without children will be entitled to $305 a week. The payment for a single person 18 and over will rise to $359 a week.

Jobseeker support goes up $55 for a couple with children (to $283) and couples without children ($268). For a single person 25 and over the increase is $48 to $315.

Housing for Māori

$380m to be spent over four years on about 1000 new homes for Māori, including papakāinga housing, and repairs to 700 Māori-owned homes and expanding support services.

$350m is ringfenced from the $3.8b Housing Acceleration fund for housing for Māori.


A $200m increase over four years for Pharmac to pay for medicines and other health treatments.

$2.7 billion extra over four years for district health boards.

$486m for scrapping all 20 District Health Boards and replacing them with a new Health NZ body - including $98.1m to establish the Māori Health Authority.

$126.8m towards Hauora Māori programmes run by the Māori Health Authority.

$16m for Pacific health providers to implement the Ola Manuia Action Plan

$100.3m to improve air and road ambulance services.

Employment and training

The Training Incentive Allowance extended to more courses from July.

Government begins work on a Social Unemployment Insurance scheme that could provide those who lose their jobs with about 80 percent of their income.


$1.7 billion over four years on school and early childhood education and $470m on tertiary education.

$52.8 million for a one-off funding package for property upgrades and maintenance at state-integrated schools

Climate change

$300 million to the Green Investment Finance Ltd for investment in low-emissions technologies.

Scott Base

Budget provides money to safeguard the future of Scott base, with $306m investment including for replacing the windfarm, and operating costs of $38 million

Read also: The Budget and why it matters: What you need to know

Read all RNZ coverage of the 2021 Budget

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