Budget 2021 investments
Budget 2021 contributes significantly to our policy goals for the next three years:
- Continuing to keep New Zealanders safe from COVID-19
- Accelerating the recovery and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19
- Laying the foundations for the future, including addressing key issues such as climate change, housing affordability and child poverty.
Keeping New Zealanders safe from COVID-19
We have to continue to keep New Zealanders safe and confident about how we will manage any resurgence of COVID-19
Aotearoa New Zealand's response to COVID-19 has saved lives and livelihoods. But there is no room for complacency. To maintain our success and keep New Zealanders safe, we need to adapt our response to the ongoing impacts of the virus while continuing to deliver on key initiatives.
We have allocated just under $1.5 billion for the COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation programme. Just over $1 billion of this funding has been provided for advanced purchasing of the COVID-19 vaccines and $357 million has been provided to the Ministry of Health to design and implement the immunisation programme. We are continuing our COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with enough of the Pfizer vaccine for all New Zealanders over the age of 16 to get the two doses they need to be protected free of charge. At the border, managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities will ensure New Zealanders and critical workers are able to come home and enter the country, while keeping Aotearoa New Zealand safe from community transmission.
As well as continuing to ensure an effective and immediate response to COVID-19, we are also looking to the future. Funding of $30 million has been provided to support domestic and international research on, and the potential for domestic manufacturing of, a COVID-19 vaccine. And in the event of a resurgence and a change in alert levels, we have reserved $5.1 billion in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF), which can be deployed to provide financial support to employers and workers. Our response will continue to be to react quickly and provide New Zealanders with unprecedented support to keep safe.
Using the CRRF, this Budget provides funding for border services, immigration services, and key arts and cultural entities while revenue levels are affected by lower international travel rates.
While we have successfully resumed much of our normal economic activity, many other countries are struggling with the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, making the global economic outlook more uncertain. Opportunities like quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand will enable further economic activity and support our economic recovery, while keeping COVID-19 out of our communities. We will continue to seek opportunities for businesses and New Zealanders, while also protecting New Zealanders' wellbeing against a COVID-19 resurgence.
Our approach to this pandemic means we are well placed to manage ongoing health and economic risks related to COVID-19. It also provides an opportunity to build back better and shift towards a more sustainable and inclusive economy.