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Budget 2021 supports Pacific people’s wellbeing approach to strengthen recovery efforts 

Budget 2021 supports Pacific people’s wellbeing approach to strengthen recovery efforts 

  • 24 May 2021

Minister of Finance Hon Grant Robertson delivers Budget 2021.

Pacific peoples will benefit from a $108 million Pacific package as part of Budget 2021, which will continue to support Pacific communities’ wellbeing through the rebuild and recovery from COVID-19.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio says it is a significant investment for Pacific communities who have been hard-hit by the outbreak of COVID-19 in the past year.

“With the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou goals as a guide, the Pacific package puts a strong focus on Pacific wellbeing and continues the Government’s commitment to ensuring that Pacific peoples are leading this work to achieve confident, thriving, prosperous and resilient communities,” Minister Sio says.

Budget 2021 makes this possible through tailored business, health and education initiatives that bolster the vital holistic work Pacific communities are already doing across the country, he adds. 

Of the $108 million Pacific package, $53.1 million of new funding will be invested to deliver Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) initiatives, which support Pacific people into earning and learning opportunities, create cross government Pacific Wellbeing Strategy and help Pacific businesses impacted by COVID-19.

These initiatives include:  

  • Tupu Aotearoa Programme –investment of $30.3 million over four years, for continuing expansion of Tupu Aotearoa and additional places to help Pacific peoples into employment, training and education opportunities;
  • Pacific Wellbeing Strategy -A further $6.6 million will be used to establish the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy to lift Pacific outcomes and support their aspirations; and
  • Economic Development - $16.2 million (over four years) will support Economic Development for Pacific communities’ content including working with local regional partners to provide guidance and enable innovation that respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

“The Tupu Aotearoa programme is a key part of rebuilding the Pacific economy by ensuring Pacific peoples have the tools they need to quickly recover from the impacts of COVID‑19,” Minister Sio says.

“Funding from Budget 2021 builds on the rapid expansion of the programme in recent years and lays the foundations for an increase in participants so that more Pacific people can have access to sustainable employment and tertiary education pathways.

“The Pacific Wellbeing Strategy will assist government agencies to work better together, align their efforts, coordinate their work and focus their energy and resources on priority issues Pacific people are leading to lift their wellbeing.”

This work will create a framework to measure Pacific wellbeing so the impacts of government projects for Pacific people are clear and transparent, he continues. 

"In response to the impact of COVID-19 on the Pacific economy, Budget 2021 provides investment to accelerate the recovery of Pacific businesses by working with localised regional partners to provide guidance and enable innovative business practices to help support businesses to get back on their feet, faster."

The $108 million Pacific package includes:

  • a $30.3 million boost to assist the Tupu Aotearoa programme to support approximately 7,500 Pacific peoples into employment, training, and education across Aotearoa New Zealand, funded from the CRRF;
  • investing $6.6 million to support establishing the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy – a cross-government initiative that will develop ways to measure Pacific wellbeing across government work programmes and initiatives;
  • supporting Pacific businesses through the impacts of COVID-19 with $16.2 million for business support services, funded from the CRRF;
  • $20.8 million supporting Pacific bilingual and immersion education in the schooling system, made up of $12.4 million of new operating funding and $644,000 of new capital funding from Budget 2021 allowances, with $7.8 million of repurposed funding from Vote Education;
  • $5 million operating funding and $16,000 capital funding to deliver sustained professional learning and development to embed Tapasā as a tool to address social inclusion in the education sector;
  • $5.1 million for the development of two new Pacific language subjects, gagana Tokelau and vagahau Niue as NCEA Achievement Standards subjects; and
  • $16 million to support the implementation of Ola Manuia: Pacific Health and Well‑being Action Plan 2020-2025 funded from the CRRF.