“A real game-changer” – how we’re supporting Kiwis

Supporting New Zealanders is at the heart of our approach as a Government, and we’re working hard to tackle the big issues Kiwis are facing.

While long term challenges like child poverty won’t be solved overnight, we’re putting in place policies that make a real difference for New Zealanders.

Here are some of the ways we’re supporting Kiwis, and what people are saying about the impact these programmes are having:

Healthy school lunches

By providing free lunches in schools, we’re making sure Kiwi kids get a nutritious meal, so they can focus on their learning. Our free and healthy school lunch programme, Ka Ora Ka Ako, has been rolled out to schools and kura across New Zealand - and it’s making a big difference in the classroom, with more than 58 million lunches delivered to 220,000 tamariki.

  • 👍 In all the years of educational initiatives [I’ve seen], this is the one that has made the single biggest difference for our kids… It’s phenomenal in terms of well-being.
    Ragne Maxwell, Porirua College principal
  • ✏️ A real game-changer… Having a good, healthy, packed lunch is really challenging for some of our students… this has broken down some of those barriers for us.
    Greg Sharland, Mana College acting principal
  • 💬 This has been a fantastic initiative for the children and the wider community. 400 students are provided with a nutritious healthy meal every single day at my school alone, parents get to keep money they would have spent on lunches to cover other expenses and locals have job opportunities – a win win in my mind.
    Craig McFadyen, Ngongotaha School principal
  • 🥪 Everyone's eating the same lunch, everyone gets the opportunity to have lunch – so there's no judgement there. It's yummy and she gets to try different things. We're really grateful.
    Amanda Key, mother

Free trades training

Kiwis across the country have picked up tools and built themselves a new path, through our free trades training and apprenticeships initiative. Since 2020, the scheme has helped 190,000 Kiwis to gain new skills or retrain, growing our workforce and boosting our economy.

  • 💬 This is a life-changing opportunity not just for the apprentices, but for the employers that employ them.
    Keith Kelly, business owner
  • 🔧 Learners from all walks of life are showing great interest in industries that have not been in demand the same way before… it's heartening to see so many young people and women picking up trades.
    Danny Reilly, executive dean of engineering and applied technologies at UCOL
  • 🦺 We feel confident about hiring new apprentices…This also means that the funds we typically pay toward apprentice training could be used to support further training which in turn means we can produce apprentices who are better skilled.
    Rhys Doesberg, employer

Free period products in schools

We rolled out free period products to all schools and kura in 2021, and since then, more young people across the motu have been able to gain access to these essential goods. By making period products freely available we’ve removed barriers for students and their whānau, so that our young people can focus on their education.

  • 👍 Good on the Government for taking a stand and not forcing families to choose between food on the table or sanitary products for their daughters.
    Stephanie Ockhuysen, Stuff
  • 💬 This is a very exciting and momentous occasion for human rights and therefore women’s rights in New Zealand. It’s a giant step towards gender equity in schools — and life.
    Vicki Scott, Crimson Organic founder
  • ✏️ There’s less of a reason not to come to school… I was really impressed to see it's making a difference and a statistically significant difference to young women.
    Amy Hacker, Paeroa College principal
  • ❤️ It’s an awesome idea. It's incredible that we have the opportunity to get period products for free.
    Sarah Watson, Paeroa College student

Boosts to income

We know things are tough for many people right now. We’re doing what we can to ease the pressure by putting more money in Kiwis’ pockets. From increases to student allowances, benefits, and superannuation, to providing extra support like the Winter Energy Payment, we’re continuing to support New Zealanders with the cost of living.

  • 💭 It means that we won't have to worry nearly as much about our financial situation.
    Eliot Forrest, youth advocate
  • 💬 This will make things a lot easier to be able to get their sports things, and to just buy normal clothing, underclothes, socks, winter wear and stuff like that.
    Rose Gerrard, carer
  • 🌡 Those have been the months that I’ve suffered with cold previously… It’s a no brainer. I’m very, very grateful.

Those are just some of the ways we’re supporting Kiwis across the motu. As a Government, we’re committed to building on our record and continuing to make real progress on the issues facing New Zealanders, through good times and bad.

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