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Maori win big in budget; Willie Jackson delivers on jobs and training

The Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council and Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has welcomed the significant boost in the budget for Maori. Tukaki paid particular tribute and thanks to the work of Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson, who has secured more than $50 million for Maori trades and jobs programs:

“This has to be one of the strongest budgets we have seen for Te Ao Maori in some time and I know this provides the foundation through which we can continue to build our strengths and reach our aspirations. Its about jobs for our people, its about growing our reach of Te Reo Maori and its about planning for our future where no one is left out – this includes the return of a focused Maori Trade Trainees Program and an extension of adult learning funding so our whanau in their middle years can transition into a second career. $40 million in addition to current funding is also much welcomed for housing and housing initiatives and a further $11 million to further build the capability and capacity of our Maori organisations.” Said Tukaki

“We can always do with more of course but it is good to see that these investments will provide a hell of a boost for our people.” Tukaki said

“But I would also say that Maori will also benefit right across the announced funding packages – that includes jobs in infrastructure and construction as well as a boost for our small business sector when it comes to export potential and the announcements made in respect of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Then there are the additional benefits that will flow to support our Maori tourism industry and hospitality sector. The reality is we could probably boost Maori support across all of those other announcements by an additional $1 billion +” Tukaki said

“We must not rest as a people – we must put our shoulders to the wheel. This is our chance to build and grow; not return to business as usual. This is a good budget, a strong budget at a time of great uncertainty – it provides more certainty”. Said Tukaki

By the numbers for Maori:

  • An increase in Maori initiatives of more than $900 million

  • Whānau Ora receives another $136mil to continue to deliver the support whānau need on the ground and in the communities following the impact of COVID-19.$80mil over four years as part of the 2019 Wellbeing Budget was all that Whanau Ora received.

  • $200mil for Te Kōhanga Reo o Ngā Mokopuna

  • The establishment of a $50mil Māori trades training fund; He Poutama Rangatahi, Mana in Mahi and Māori Cadetships

  • $40 million to help tackle the housing challenges Māori face through the Māori and Iwi Housing Initiative MAIHI programme;

  • $11million for iwi and Māori nongovernment organisations.


  • A $50 billion rescue fund

  • $14 billion has already been announced / this includes the $12 billion in infrastructure fund

  • $20 billon in spending to be spent

  • Fight now: A $15.9 billion spend on things such as:


  • Budget 2020 delivers the biggest ever increase in funding for District Health Boards, as well as additional funding to deliver approximately 153,000 more surgeries and procedures, radiology scans and specialist appointments to help clear the COVID-19 backlog.

Jobs employment / business:

  • $3.2 billion set aside for the extension of the wage subsidy scheme @ $585 per worker

  • $150 million for a short term lon scheme for small business

  • $216 million for Trade and Enterprise New Zealand – this is to increase the number of exporters it can provide support for

  • $400 million for a domestic tourism campaign

  • A new $1.1 billion to create more than 11,000 jobs when it comes to the environment

Housing and infrastructure

  • A new state housing build program for 6000 public houses and 2000 transitional homes

  • Investment in rail has also been bumped up $1.2bn to reach $4.6bn. There will be $246 million to invest in the rail network, $421 million for new wagons and locomotives, and $400 million towards replacing the ageing Interislander ferries and port infrastructure.

Training and education

  • Training in essential trades will be free for two years

  • About $1.6bn has been set aside for the entire Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package which will also help workplaces retain their trainees.

  • $276m of the fund will go towards setting up Workforce Development Councils and Skills Leadership Groups to monitor the job market around the country and plan for recovery.

Social services

  • Almost $80m has been committed to social services, of which $32m will go towards foodbanks and other community food services.

  • A $36m fund has also been established to support community groups which support Māori, Pacific, refugee and migrant communities.

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