Changes to support Kiwi families come into effect

We’re focused on securing our recovery so, together, we can emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. This week, as part of our rebuild and recovery plan, we’re rolling out a number of changes that will make a big difference for New Zealanders and their families.

Here’s a look at just some of the ways this week’s changes will have an impact:

We’re continuing our work to lift children out of poverty. This week, main benefits increased by $20 per adult per week, putting more money into the pockets of families who need it most and helping people put food on the table and afford essentials like warm clothing. This is the first of two main benefit increases announced in Budget 2021, in line with a key recommendation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

We also announced our child poverty reduction targets for the next three years,  so we can keep working towards our goal of making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.

We’re supporting more people into study and work. We know that getting people into jobs is an important part of our recovery – which is why we’re making sure people have the skills they need for work, with changes to the Training Incentive Allowance kicking in this week. We’ve expanded the programme to help around 16,000 sole parents on benefits, carers, and people with disabilities into higher-level study so they can take the next step towards new careers.

We’re also celebrating a year since we launched free apprenticeships and free trades training in targeted areas – which more than 135,000 people have now benefited from.

We’re making sure everyone has a warm, dry place to call home. From 1 July, all private rental properties must meet our Healthy Homes Standards within a few months of any new tenancy, to ensure they’re safe and dry for tenants and families.

This sits alongside the other work we’re doing to improve housing in New Zealand, such as increasing support for first home buyers, closing a loophole that benefits property speculators, and speeding up the pace and scale of house building through the Housing Acceleration Fund. You can read more about all of our work in housing here.

We’re making it cheaper for Kiwi families to buy electric and low emissions cars. This week, our Clean Car Discount came into effect, meaning New Zealanders choosing to purchase an electric or plug-in hybrid car can now save up to $8,625 on their vehicle. By making it cheaper to buy electric cars, we’re helping save families money while also taking action to reduce New Zealand’s carbon footprint.

We’re delivering on our promise to better protect security guards’ pay and working conditions. As part of our ongoing work to strengthen workers’ rights and ensure everyone gets a fair deal, we’ve introduced new protections for security guards. These protections, which will ensure security guards can keep their jobs and retain their pay rates and conditions when a business is sold or restructured, come into effect today. Security guards protect us and our property – it’s time we protect their hard-won employment conditions. 

These are just some of the changes that come in this week, and they’re only part of our ongoing work to secure our recovery. We’re making sure that as we rebuild our economy, we’re also tackling long-term challenges like child poverty, housing and climate change. You can find out more about how we’re doing this here.

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