18 May 2023

Budget 2023 at a glance: What you need to know

2:00 pm on 18 May 2023
Groceries, money, road cones and a bar graph ascending

Photo: RNZ

This year's "no-frills" Budget is spending nearly $11.5 billion more of taxpayers' money over four years, plus $1.9b from the climate response fund, with a focus on cost-of-living and cyclone recovery.

Here's a list of the major spending and projects:

Cyclone recovery

  • $1b for the previously announced Cyclone Recovery Package

'Cost of living' package

  • $1.2b for extending 20 hours childcare cover to include two-year-olds (it currently covers ages 3-5), starting in March next year, equating to $133.20 a week.
  • $618.6m to scrap $5 co-payments for prescriptions
  • $402.6m for expanding Warmer Kiwi Homes, subsidising 100,000 heating and insulation installs, 7500 hot water heat pumps and 5 million LED light bulbs
  • $339.3m for pay parity for ECE and care service teachers and $260m for cost pressures for ECE services including a one-off $3m for Playcentre Aotearoa
  • $327m for free public transport for under-13s, and half-price for under-25s. However, it's worth noting the current half-price fares for the wider public and fuel subsidy is expected to end at the end of June
  • $323.4m to continue free lunches in schools, estimated to save families with two school-age kids $60 a week
  • $35.2m to improve access and uptake of childcare assistance, by introducing online applications
  • $19.6m to give KiwiSaver payments to those receiving paid parental leave

Infrastructure and housing

  • $71b over five years for new and existing infrastructure projects (adds to $45b over the past five years)
  • $6b for the National Resilience Plan, including to address the newly released Infrastructure Action Plan
  • $100m over five years for Rau Paenga, a new infrastructure delivery agency repurposed from Christchurch Rebuild agency Ōtākaro
  • $3.6b to address cost pressures in the current public housing build programme and a further $3.1b for 3000 more public housing places by the end of June 2025


  • Spending $1.9b from the $3.6b Climate Emergency Response Fund, which can only be spent on emissions reductions, and adaptation measures
  • $402.6 million to expand the duration and scope of the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme
  • $370 million for rail infrastructure resilience
  • $300 million in new money for the green bank Green Investment Finance (already announced)
  • $167.4 million in building resilience to future climate events
  • $120 million to expand EV charging infrastructure
  • $100m fund to help councils invest in future flood resilience
  • $50 million for distributed renewable energy projects in isolated communities
  • $39.2 million in improving the mapping of New Zealand's coastline and identifying coastal areas at significant risk of climate-related hazards and natural disasters.
  • $38 million on design of Emissions Trading Scheme and centralised exchange for New Zealand Unit trading
  • $32.5 million to accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen
  • $30 million over three years for clean heavy vehicle grants
  • $24.7 million to improve data on impacts of climate change and adaptation and mitigation
  • $22.9 million to increase Westport's resilience to future flooding. (already announced)
  • $19.9 million to support resilience to climate change for iwi, hapū and the wider hapori whānui by expanding both data quality and access.
  • $10.7 million investment to reduce diesel generation and establish a renewable energy system on the Chatham Islands

Health and disability

  • $2.6b over two years for cost pressures in the health system and reforms
  • More than $1b to increase pay rates and boost staff numbers
  • $864m for the delivery of disability services
  • $147m over two years for modifying school buildings to support students with special needs, including automatic doors, lifts and bathroom refits
  • $27.3m to end the Minimum Wage Exemption, which allows disabled people to be paid at rates lower than minimum wage
  • Permanent half-price fares for Total Mobility services
  • $20m to lift Covid-19 immunisation and screening coverage for Māori and Pacific people


  • $455.4m already announced for new schools and classrooms under the National Education Growth Plan
  • As well as the $260m for ECE operating costs detailed above, $233.9m is allocated for school running costs, and $521 million total operating for tertiary tuition and training subsidies. There are also smaller increases to address wages at NZQA, cost pressures at Pacific schools, ERO, the Independent Children's Monitor
  • $198.7m for 33 school projects in the Christchurch Schools' Rebuild programme
  • $134.4m to expand Māori-medium infrastructure, to support the government's target of 30 percent of Māori students learning in Māori-medium education by 2040
  • $63.1m for property improvements to 175 more schools - focusing on small or isolated schools - by extending the Ngā Iti Kahurangi school infrastructure programme
  • $41.3m to address "historical underfunding" of alternative education
  • $39.1m to support upgrades to cybersecurity and IT at schools and kura
  • $23.6m to boost teacher training enrolments and incentivise overseas teachers to move to New Zealand, targeting an increase of 1700 new teachers
  • $9.9m over five years for expanding the Critical Local Histories programme, which has local iwi and hapū work to add local culturally relevant information to schools' history curriculum, after high levels of interest from schools

Science and technology

  • Includes initiatives to help meet a government target of spending 2 percent of GDP on research and development
  • $451m to set up three research and technology hubs in Wellington
  • $160m to give video game developers a 20 percent rebate, aiming to help keep this growing industry in New Zealand with similar rates seen overseas
  • $75m funding for Industry Transformation Plans, including for Horticulture, Digital and Tourism
  • $38m to have New Zealand join the EU's Horizon Europe initiative, allowing collaboration with European researchers

Economy and business

  • Treasury is no longer forecasting a recession this year, but a return to surplus has been pushed out to 2025/26 in line with a "steady decline" in government expenditure
  • $8.6b for topping up the New Zealand superannuation fund over the next five years
  • A new Trustee tax will increase the tax rate paid on Trusts to 39 percent, expected to net the government 1.12b over three years, including $765m in 2025/26
  • $238m for re-instating the Training Incentive Allowance to incentivise sole parents, disabled people and their carers to study

Māori and Pacific

  • Total Māori package over $825m
  • $200m investment in Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga programme for long-term housing supply and repairs
  • $168.1m for Whānau Ora services
  • $200m for increasing the supply of Māori housing
  • $64.4m for Ngā Tini Whetū, providing support for 650 wāhine hapū (pregnant women) in the first 1000 days of life for their pēpi
  • $34m two-year boost for Te Matatini
  • $18m over four years for Matariki
  • $23m to extend the Te Ringa Hāpai Whenua Fund
  • $14.1m for Pacific Community Resilience and Wellbeing
  • $13.3m to implement the Pacific Languages strategy
  • $12.8m to implement the Pacific Employment Action Plan
  • $3.1m to support Pacific businesses
  • $1.7m to enhance Pacific data and digital inclusion efforts
  • $1m for Tupu Aotearoa programme
  • Cost-of-living Budget centres on cheaper childcare
  • Live: Budget 2023 - 'No frills' spending plan revealed
  • Treasury optimistic over recession risk in Budget 2023