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Wellbeing Budget 2019 investment in MSD

30 May 2019.

The Government has announced a significant investment in MSD and our work to help New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent.

MSD will receive extra funding of around $1.3 billion over the next four years across a range of initiatives.

The new funding contributes to three of the five Government priorities for Budget 2019:

  • lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities
  • reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing, including addressing family violence
  • supporting mental wellbeing for all New Zealanders, with a special focus on under 24s.

The key initiatives that have received new funding for the next four years are outlined below.

Welfare overhaul

This funding addresses some of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations, at an overall cost of more than $600 million over four years, by:

    • indexing main benefits to the growth in net average wages
    • lifting abatement thresholds for those on benefits who work, in line with minimum wage increases
    • removing deductions from benefits for sole parents who don’t declare the name of the child’s other parent

Employment assistance

  • Up to 263 new frontline MSD staff to help people into sustainable work – $76.3m
  • 1,850 extra places in the Mana in Mahi employment programme – $49m

Family violence and sexual violence

  • Family violence and sexual violence initiatives (as part of the multi-agency Joint Venture) – $124m

Communities, children and youth

  • Manage claims from people who have experienced abuse in state care – $93.7m
  • Establish independent monitoring of the state care system for children and young people – $18.9m
  • Cost pressure funding for contracted service providers – $24.9m
  • Programmes to improve child wellbeing – KickStart and KidsCan - $3.2m
  • Supporting evidence-based policy on child wellbeing by continuing the Growing Up in NZ study - $17.1m
  • Social work sector – improving professionalism through managing mandatory registration - $2.1m


  • Enhance the SuperGold Card through a new app and website, and better promotion of available discounts– $7.7m
  • Allowing working ACC weekly claimants near to and over 65 to receive Superannuation or the Veteran's Pension – $9m
  • Modernising and simplifying New Zealand Superannuation and the Veteran’s Pension

Disabled people and those with health conditions

  • Support around 2,600 disabled people and people with health conditions to find and stay in meaningful employment, increase their knowledge and skills, and improve their health and wider wellbeing – $26.3m
  • Strengthen MSD’s Office for Disability Issues to improve support and advocacy for disabled people – $6.4m

MSD core operating model and infrastructure

  • Address cost pressures in our operating model, such as remuneration and accommodation, and reduce risk in critical IT systems – $398m

MSD is also receiving funding for initiatives led by other agencies in the areas of housing, education and managing offenders.

More information about the initiatives that have received funding is available in our Budget factsheets.

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