31 May 2024

What is in Budget 2024 for Māori?

9:34 am on 31 May 2024
National Māori Action Day protesters, opposing government policies toward Māori, in central Auckland ahead of the release of Budget 2024 on 31 May 2024.

Hundreds march on Parliament during the Budget to protest the government's policies towards Māori. Photo: RNZ / Jessica Hopkins

Finance Minister Nicola Willis says she's confident the Budget will deliver for Māori.

Willis said her government was focused on Māori needs, rather than targeted Māori funding.

So what is in this budget for Māori?


The disestablishment of Te Aka Whai Ora, the Māori Health Authority is set to save the government $35.5 million.

Frontline services previously delivered by Te Aka Whai Ora will now be delivered through increased funding for Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora.

Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti said the budget prioritises frontline health services and workers.

"We want the health sector to plan for the future with confidence, knowing our government will always prioritise increased investment for the services it delivers," he said.


$1.5 Billion will go towards education property. That includes $12 million over four years for Kōhanga Reo property maintenance.

Education Minister Erica Stanford said the total investment includes funding for new schools, classrooms and school maintenance.

"This investment will also allow us to make repairs and upgrades to existing buildings improving these learning environments for students and their teachers," she said.

Funding for Te Kawa Matakura, a qualification focused on mātauranga-a-iwi, will be reprioritised.

This will contribute $21.9m to the savings target for the Ministry of Education.


Ongoing funding of $40 million for new supply and capability of Māori housing has been cut. This returns uncontracted funding.

And $20 million of funding for Rangatahi transitional housing has been returned to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, this funding was also uncontracted.

Kapa Haka

The Matatini received another boost in this years budget, from 2025 they will get $48.7m over three years.

That goes with the $34m over two years the National kapa haka festival received in Budget 2023.

Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka said the funding will enable Te Matatini to embed a regional kapa haka model.

"Financial certainty for Te Matatini over the coming years is one thing, however, it will also ensure that through kapa haka, Te Reo Māori and Māori culture can be enjoyed all throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand. This will help us celebrate the ongoing revitalisation of our language and tikanga," he said.

Te Arawhiti - Māori Crown Relations

Over the next year, $3.6 million will go toward the Crowns Response to Wakatū Litigatation and related proceedings.

The case, the longest running property dispute in Aotearoa, concerns land around Nelson which was meant to be reserved for Māori, known as the Nelson Tenths.

While $9.5 million of funding for historical Treaty of Waitangi Settlement Claimants will be returned to the Crown.

Claimants will still be able to access the funding to which they are entitled.

Other Funding Cuts

Grant funding for the Aotearoa Reorua (Bilingual Towns and Cities) Programme has been reduced by more than half. Funding will be reduced by $0.7 million per annum, leaving approximately $0.4 million per annum of funding.

Funding for Mātauranga Māori-based approaches to reducing agricultural emissions has been scrapped. All uncommitted funding from the initiative will be returned and will contribute $37 million in savings for the Ministry of Primary Industries over four years.

The initiative was originally funded through the Climate Emergency Response Fund.

* The $9.5 million of funding for historical Treaty of Waitangi Settlement Claimants will be returned to the Crown. An earlier version of this story incorrectly said it would go to Te Arawhiti.