Investing in our people, backing businesses, and upgrading infrastructure and housing throughout the country - it's been another week of progress for New Zealanders as we deliver our plan to recover and rebuild.
Kiwis deserve high-quality care they can rely on, so we’re making sure DHBs have the infrastructure they need to deliver vital services for New Zealanders. That's why, this week, we announced we’re replacing Auckland Hospital’s 50-year-old infrastructure, future-proofing the facilities for generations to come.
While often behind the scenes, away from patients and whānau, it’s the critical infrastructure that keeps hospitals running. This work will get underway while the DHB’s existing infrastructure projects are progressing. Construction on the hospital will also create jobs, employing as many as 350 workers on-site.
After a long period of under-funding, we're tackling the long-term challenge of bringing our hospitals back up to the standard New Zealanders expect. Auckland Hospital is just one of the health infrastructure upgrades being funded by our record $3.5 billion investment to improve our hospitals.
We also announced more than $30 million in funding to support strategic tourism businesses. This investment will help drive domestic tourism through developing regional events and increasing businesses‘ digital capabilities.
The funding will go to 126 tourism businesses in total, and could help protect the jobs of around 3,000 people directly employed in the industry. This announcement means that the $400 million Tourism Recovery Package we announced at Budget 2020, is now fully allocated.
The businesses funded in this week’s package are loved by Kiwis and tourists alike. We’re making sure they get the support and protection they need as we recover from COVID-19 - in line with our five-point plan for economic recovery. By supporting businesses, and positioning ourselves globally, we’re confident this lays the foundation for tourism to continue to be a key part of New Zealand’s economy.
We're expanding the Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities Retrofit programme, making around 1,500 older state homes warmer, drier, and healthier. The upgrades will take place in 30 towns and cities across New Zealand over the next two and a half years.
Full insulation, double glazing, and new heating are just some of the ways we're bringing these older homes up to scratch, and making them meet our Healthy Homes Standards. It'll mean these houses continue to be quality homes for people for another 40 years. Work on these homes is expected to start later this year.
When we came into Government we not only pledged to reverse the large-scale sell-off of public housing, we also promised to improve the quality of public housing available to New Zealanders and their whānau through safer, warmer, drier, healthier homes. This investment in the Kāinga Ora Retrofit Programme honours that pledge.
We announced our long-term plan to help cushion the impact of COVID-19 on our international education sector, and backed it up with an investment of $51.6 million.
The three parts of the recovery plan will run alongside each other and include:
- stabilising the international education sector,
- strengthening the system by ensuring the regulatory settings, policies and practices to support the recovery and rebuild, and
- accelerating the transformation of the sector.
Our recovery plan looks out for students and education providers, and keeps our economy moving as we rebuild in the wake of COVID-19.
As we continue the countdown to Election Day, we'll be bringing you the latest news and announcements - right here on our website and over on our Facebook page.
Look out for the next edition in this weekly series next Friday.