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Jacinda Ardern hints at what's to come in Budget 2020, saying it will prioritise supporting people to stay in their current jobs or move to new ones

Jacinda Ardern hints at what's to come in Budget 2020, saying it will prioritise supporting people to stay in their current jobs or move to new ones
Jacinda Ardern. Getty Images.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is describing Budget 2020 as a “jobs budget”, which focusses on supporting people to stay in their current jobs or move to new ones if needed.

“Our number one priority is jobs,” Ardern said on Wednesday - the eve of the Budget.

Ardern didn’t detail how the Budget will help keep people employed. All eyes will be on whether the 12-week wage subsidy is extended, and the extent to which further support is targeted.

“Our plan is to invest. By investing we will create jobs and get the economy moving again,” Ardern said.

“We believe when times are hard, you don’t cut - you invest.

“We will run the ruler over every line of expenditure, no question we need to ensure our expenditure provides value for money and supports our primary goal of jobs.

“But the notion that at this time of need we would make cuts to the essential services so many New Zealanders need more than ever is not only immoral, it is economically wrong.

“That’s why yesterday we made the biggest investment in health funding in two decades. It’s why on Monday we delivered pay equity for early childhood teachers. It’s why one of the first things we did when the virus hit was to increase benefit rates to ensure those who lost their job had more to help them through.

“Now more than ever we need our schools and hospitals, our public houses and roads and railways. We need our police and our nurses, and we need our welfare safety net. We will not let our team of 5 million fall when the times get tough, instead we will strengthen the blanket of support the Government can provide. We are rebuilding together, not apart.”

Ardern warned New Zealanders to brace for a “very tough winter”, as the country faces the most challenging economic conditions since the Great Depression. 

“Businesses will fail and close. Government revenue will decline," she said.

“But every winter is followed by spring, and if we make the right choices we can get New Zealanders back to work and our economy moving again quickly.”

Ardern reiterated Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s comments that the Budget is simply one step in the recovery.

“Dealing to the virus quickly also allows other economic opportunities. A possible trans-Tasman bubble when safe could see New Zealand and Australia opening up greater tourism and trade opportunities while our borders have to stay closed to the rest of the world, offering some additional reprieve for our tourism and hospitality industries,” Ardern said.

“But the next stage in our journey of rebuilding together is recovery…

“Budget 2020 is but the first step in this phase.

“In normal years the budget sets out the Government’s economic plans for the following year in detail. This budget is different. It is not business as usual, instead it is a tailored solution to a unique situation.”

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I have little faith that they will get any done to help businesses get going again except waste more taxpayers $$$.
They have not excuted anything good for the economy since elected and National also have not shown any ideas that may give them a shot at next election.
I fear we need to get real and expect an extended Winter with no spring for a longtime.


These professional politicians and councillors live in la-la land and do not know the real fear of losing your livelihood. They are protected inside a bubble and cannot relate to the normal person. This was shown first hand with John Key when denying the housing crisis. They do not care about us. Until their privileged positions are truly at risk then we will always be down the list of their priorities.


Little faith, surely they can add to the success they have achieved on kiwi build and other projects.
Winston has managed to get $75M for racing, $20M for new race tracks and $3M for online betting !
How can that not be of benefit to NZ getting govt funded online betting, ALL while Pharmac gets ONLY $10M for drugs.
We have the cream of the crop running the show !

Pfft, small change. Shaney boy got $3 billion to buy votes with. Shows just how desperate for power the socialists really are. After all, They Know Best, not the people who do the work, who are labelled as uneducated, ignorant and racist, unless they tow the Party line.

The evil socialists are handing out money to the wrong people, not the right people! A good capitalist party would hand out money to the right people.

Sounds like you a lotto player.


and Alakazam, jobs for all.


Yes, my thoughts too. Just how can a Gubmint reverse a business owner's decision that, I've had a good run, let's just liquidate the whole show at the end of the wage subsidy period, let a Greater Fool pick up the pieces, and I'll just go fishing. With appropriate distancing, natcherally....

My doubt exactly. With entire economic sectors dependent on foreign income at peril from Covid shutdown and a sharp post-Covid global slowdown, how much hope do we have on maintaining employment numbers in these sectors.

I was hoping the funds being wasted on paying wage subsidies to zombie industries would be reallocated to retraining the unemployed for work that would help build infrastructure, return manufacturing of critical goods to NZ and strengthen areas of vulnerability in our supply chain.


More works of national significance on the cards? "Here ya go ex-pilot, this is a shovel, you dig like this, smoko is at 9, 10:30, 12, 1:30, and 3. Don't forget to disinfect your handle twice a day, but never mind the latch on the porta-loo."

So what exactly would your solution be? Have them fly empty planes every 10 minutes between Queenstown and Auckland just to keep pilots in the pilot's seat?
Another case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.


As long as it's jobs for all in the 18-25 year age group, I'll be happy. High youth unemployment is a disaster - just look at Europe.

Plenty of conservation, freshwater and agricultural land improvement work to be done - well and truly more than enough for jobs for all.

Make New Zealand Biodiverse Again :-).

I doubt I'll see New Zealand ever be more biodiverse than it is today in my lifetime.

Do you think we've passed a tipping point?

However, biodiversity decline is rampant as pests and habitat loss push increasing number of taxa toward extinction. Among our plants, 289 are threatened and 749 are at risk meaning they will be extinct in the next century. This is nearly 40 percent of the total number of New Zealand's indigenous plant species. Indigenous freshwater fish have suffered even greater declines, with 74 percent currently at risk or threatened. Of the 417 bird species still present in New Zealand (56 are already extinct), over 40 percent are now threatened or at risk. Our indigenous lizards are also in serious risk of decline with approximately 85 percent threatened or at risk. Our two endemic marine mammals (New Zealand Sealion and Maui's Dolphin) are both threatened. Combined with the substantial reduction in the extent and health of indigenous ecosystems, these threatened species statistics indicate the parlous state of our remaining indigenous biodiversity.

Well to increase biodiversity, we'd need to see more species in the future than there are today. And evolution doesn't work that quickly (my lifetime). Definitely hope that native species can flourish a bit more in some areas though and already are.

Biodiversity can migrate - we've added Rock snot, M. Bovis and Covid-19 recently and with Climate Change some killer hornets and Asian Sea Squirts around the corner

There is that. Depends on whether these new additions add, or just displace though.

Kate time for hard economics not feel good dreams


I cant believe - with no real health updates to discuss that she is still being allowed to hold what is in effect a 40 min party political broadcast every day on National TV.

It feels more and more like a communist state with broadcasts controlled by the Government - where is the media in all this --holding to account -

Yesterday = we had three questions about the media merger - but only one about the data dump and e mail to ministers saying dont talk to the media -- self interest at heart all around!

you can always watch the response committee which they roll out national supporters for three hours each day, after the first week it turned from something worthwhile to a national party broadcast,
so both sides are doing it.

Not really, the committee has all sides involved and expressing their views. That is also the correct forum for such discussion. The daily COVID updates have turned into 5 minutes of health and 35 minutes of whatever else Jacinda wants to talk about, with the ear of most of the nation. No other party has this platform.

What is different in the USA? Trump doesn't seem so happy with his press conferences.

Why mention the USA? we are talking about OUR politicians. Please dont try and sidetrack the discussion

He was spectacular on "Obamagate". The "biggest political crime ever" in US history, and Trump cannot name what that supposed crime is. His response, "You know what it is!" Goodness...what a wagon people have hitched themselves to.

I suspect you'd be the first one shouting if they didn't hold the press conference (what are they hiding?) or if she didn't answer reporter questions (such a dictator) or if only the health minister showed up (too scared to show her own face).

If you are really concerned about this press conference being only about the health issues, then why do you care about questions being asked about a data dump or emails to ministers around talking to media - those are beyond the scope of a health update.

Exactly. If our Lord and Saviour Sir Don Key did the same, they'd praise him for uniting the nation and keeping everyone up to date.
There's no way to please people who are still butthurt that National screwed up real bad and lost the support of the majority of New Zealanders.
It's hilarious seeing people here talking about dictatorship, authoritarian govt, communism etc. These people have no idea what the hell they're talking about when they spit those words into every conversation about politics.

My thoughts too, every time I see "Jacinda's a communist" wailing I cringe at how out of touch it is to the people in the world actually suffering under real authoritarianism. It just shows the extent to which many Nat voters are crybabies with no idea what is happening in the world beyond the end of their driveway.

Agreed, it's just bizarre.

So many folk claiming to be skeptics, "I'm just questioning, they're not conspiracies" all while frothing over the same limited set of talking points bandied about by the same right-wing American sources, Judith the Minister for Oravida, and a couple of local pundits. A choir of individuals all purporting to sing their own song.

Fascinating isn't it how often 'free thinking' sounds suspiciously like an Alex Jones soundbite.


Just watching this. She is a class act, Churchillian, and unbeatable, despite the clowns around her, Grant Robertson and Andrew Little excepted. Imagine If she had a few more competent ministers!
Go Jacinda! A leader for these times. She is absolutely on top of it, prepared, articulate, in control, unflappable. Her reference to Norm Kirk was masterly: all people need is a job, a home, someone to love and something to hope for.


Needs that /sarc tag, shurely?


Nope. No sarcasm. She is a class act, and has grown by the day during this crisis. And I’m not a natural Labour fit. National has a serious problem with Bridges. He may well be sincere, well meaning and competent, but he isn’t capable of galvanising a nation to action. Peters would do a better job, and he’s been National’s leader in waiting since the 80s. They just didn’t know it,


I don't doubt she is a superb communicator, but what is written above is mostly puffery devoid of substance. Cheer leading is great in itself and whilst it is certainly important to carry the nation along, let's not pretend that will create jobs.

Churchill and Hitler were both superb communicators, but one drove his nation to utter destruction and the other exhausted his nation so much they threw him out once the costs had been rammed home for four and a half years.

Mother Jacinda

I don't like character attacks, they are smoke screens for laziness or ignorance.

It doesn't matter how smart you are if you don't take the time to stop and think.

Just as it doesn't matter how much you stop and think if you're not smart.

You prove Godwin's Law in every comments section, could set my watch by it.

Ralph thank you for the most sane comments. Others are just PC Brain washed. Lord help New Zealand because none of our Politicians have areal clue to get this Country up and running

Could be better. Needs more references to Hitler, jackboots, and communism combined.

You are welcome and thanks for the support.

It's a pity most people don't like an historian when history is repeating.

Yes she can talk and she has delivered on the LD. I hope she cam handle this but not holding my breath.
As you say the people of she only had competent people areound her. She can't drag the rabble alone.

Few things here Pietro that may be create them a few issues is how are they going help people keep the home/get a home, keep their job/get a new job, which leads to something to hope for, not just hot air. Remember it's probably only half the newly unemployed who are on job seeker, there a whole lot of others hoping the can delivery, not just talk about delivering. Again the track record of KB is the bar they have set...and thats's a fairly low to non existent bar. Fingers crossed on your points.

People also need to feel that they aren't being dumped in the non-winners group on a whim or by some arbitrary decision. Oh, your business is essential, yours is not. No, it is, carry on. Oh hang on, no, it's not. And now, somehow, somebody ate a bat in Wuhan and now it looks like the police here might be given power to enter your house without warrant?

Police can already enter your house without a warrant.

If only we responded to the looming disaster that is climate change with such swift action and measures. I wonder how big the ambulance at the bottom of that cliff will be.


Yeah right , except the die is cast , business closures are looming large , and concomitant job losses are on their way .

The collapse in the hospitality sector is a massive ,and all those people will have either no income or no ability to spend in the economy .............the knock -on effects are likely to be tsunami -like

WP already positioning himself on that for the election, telling the immigrants if they dont have a job go home, and tourism and hospitality are the larger employers of people on working permits.

Tens of thousands of migrants around the country are facing unemployment; many low-wage workers have barely enough savings left to be able to afford food and rent, far from being able to pay for flight tickets to their home country when travel becomes feasible.

Calls from various groups to provide emergency benefits to migrants are being "considered by the Cabinet".

So, when you come to NZ on a temporary work visa - do you not have to come in with a pre-booked return flight?

Don't you just need to show enough money coming in that you can afford it rather than actually have it booked?

Otherwise an airline cancellation might be able to compromise your visa.

Interesting the Fed and MIT's recent research highlighting that cities that took more strict non-pharmaceutical interventions against the 1918 flu pandemic experienced less severe economic impacts than those who did little. Really makes you wonder whether people have considered the economic cost of not having isolation / lockdown in their thinking. Were they just assuming there'd be no economic effects of a pandemic badly mitigated? Are they ignoring Sweden's predicted recession because it does not suit?


GUIDE To Wasting Taxpayer Money:

Step 1: Subsidize BOTH the wage bill and rent costs of businesses (beyond 12 weeks) whom otherwise would go bust.

Step 2: In-debt younger generations by borrowing billions to subsidize the aforementioned businesses.

Step 3: Have the IRD continue loaning to and refinancing EXTREMELY risky businesses at interest rates entrepreneurs dream about.

Step 4: Make NO money available for entrepreneurs and continue to dis-incentivize startups with punitive welfare regulations and tax rules.

Step 5: Ask Zombie companies to write a wish list.

Step 6: Agree to pay all government borrowing back in foreign currency rather than NZD.

Step 7: Front to the already Bailed-Out-Legacy-Media and say how well you're doing.

Drop Mic.

Story of the last decades, indeed.

Am surprised we're now seeing Bridges purport to care about mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future when that's been modus operandi for a while now.

Recession needs restructuring. If Ardern delays it we will need bigger one eventually.

Can I just get a Jacinda/Bill/John/Grant State Executive Committee instead of having to choose between a party that talks about stuff but pathologically can't or the party that could have if they wanted but didn't think there was a problem at all.

That’d be great alright. We’d only need a Board of a dozen or so as long as they stick to the core business of governing and leave the rest of us to live our own lives and work it out for ourselves. The problems arise when these plonkers decide to be all things to all people !!!


I have Cindy on the TV as I type this ................and as a wage payer , I have a very great fear of whats on the horizon ...........I will be laying off staff or reducing hours as soon as the wage subsidy runs out.

( Luckily I have a pseudo name on this site )

Furthermore , I will not be taking any risks whatsoever, at my age there is no way in hell I am taking any financial risks that could damage us financially in our future retirement .

That means , cutting expenses to the bone , no new debt , no new hires , and literally zero spending on anything unless its essential to the business .

Even those Friday staff lunches at the local eatery are over , we can a "bring a plate" for Friday lunch in the office kitchen instead.

Partners in the practice taking clients to golf or dinner or a rugby match are also over . Our clients have been squealing way too much about our fees , so its time to do things differently .

We will be redoing the annual Practice Budget ( I have done it in draft during lockdown ) and its going to be most austere, so there is some selling to be done to get it accepted

Good luck Boatman. My experience is professional services are a thing people think they can do without, until they can't. All the best for the coming few months, I think we'll all need it.

Sell that boat quick boatman, Trademe is filling up fast!


A perfectly economically rational response, Boatman. And the thing is, the Gubmint doesn't know how many businesses are gonna do exactly the same thing, so no way to predict the impacts until those ex-employees turn up at WINZ. They are flying blind, and the 'investing in Jobs' blather is just - blather.

Still, glass half full. There may well be New Jobs in the Horsies Industry......

I don't see why investing in jobs - government jobs - can't be quite easily done. I think we'd get far more benefit from that, than continued funding of private sector business. Tourism, for example is an industry that might never recover to where it was previously - even if a vaccine is found.

Government jobs are productive in a wealth creation sense, and when I use the word wealth I mean creation of physically useful stuff like food, shelter and clothing and not in some vague theoretical sense.

Sounds like the stuff they've been talking about investing in - food, shelter. (clothing mentioned less)

Yes Boatman, bang on and the same comments I’m hearing around my circles as well. We’ve done that in our business, with more economies to come. The focus will be on service delivery to clients with a ‘no frills’ cost structure. Maybe some good will come of it but the social and economic costs can’t yet be reckoned. Good luck, keep the faith, storm clouds continuing to build.

Cruze on down here Boatman, we can go fishing.

Bring a few slabs of tinnies, and you can both Irrigate the parched paddocks before setting sail....

It was coming anyway, folks.

Don't blame the current leadership

Leadership that is not accountable is called mis-leadership.


Once you start dishing out the dosh it's bloody hard to stop, people and business expect it, money from heaven. Bloody site easier than working for it.

Yes, I don't know why we'd be extending the wage subsidy - it was for 12 weeks. It has served its purpose and served it well.

Everything is opening back up. I thought the criteria for getting it was that you expected to lose more than 30% of your income during the three month duration AND that you agreed to keep the staff employed once the lock down finished.

So how does SkyCity announce 700 redundancies having taken more than $20m in wage subsidies? Does it have to return the wage subsidy taken for those 700 staff now to be made redundant? It's the big corporate entities that soaked up the lion's share of that subsidy. They are back at work as of tomorrow.

The main reason I can think of, in the positive and remembering there are arguments on both sides is, to create investment certainty a while longer until people are actually spending. Effectively delaying the 'resizing' until the fog is somewhat clearer.

I am certain the rules said you had to give it back, you can't take the money and sack anyone.

I think we'll see what is happening in the US - people don't spend - they save during periods of uncertainty;

So I hear what you mean by 'investment certainty', but I don't think the private sector will ever bounce back to what it was. I think we were generally over-serviced pre-COVID and now we'll have 4m less people temporarily in NZ as int'l tourism remains stalled.

We are a very different country emerging from this COVID crisis.

The lack of will to spend might be one of their huge and lingering problems.

Uncertainty is a big reason for low commercial investment and it might be the government is about to find out that consumer confidence works the same way and is just as important as business confidence and for the same reason.

Absolutely. People will be hunkering down for a while, especially as interest rates keep being pushed down and those who need to spend (e.g. pensioners) have even less to spend (over and above reduced income to workers).

Extension of wage subsidy to protect employment with the hope that things get back to normal soon / before the subsidy runs out OR unemployment will will hit the sky in days.

Wage subsidy helps not only the employees but employers also as are able to maintain their trained staff and also many employers have profited out of it.

Oh, honestly, I am sick to the gills of hearing "many employers have profited out of it", 'it' being the Wage Subsidy. If accounted correctly (and if it isn't then that's fraud), every cent of the Wage Subsidy belongs to the Employees whose IRD numbers were tendered in the employer's application for it. The correct accounting is simple: debit Bank/Credit Owed to Employees, when subsidy is received. As employees are paid out, the accounting is Debit Owed to Employees, Credit Bank, Credit PAYE liability, credit KS liability etc etc. There's NO PL entry whatsoever. So no possibility of Profit.


Yep, it was a great scheme targeted at employees. And I don't think there has been a great deal of fraud - in the main it went to employees. But the second half of the bargain - that you would keep those employees employed in the aftermath is where it's going to unravel.

We cannot avoid a wave of downsizing/redundancy - the government will have to become the 'last employer standing', so to speak.

im still waiting for the well being budget

Personally ...I wish to become a Politician and Public Servant and suggest that we all become the same.

Then we can talk and write till the cows come home, till the rivers run dry, till the Super Markets all shut as we run out of options and staffing levels to flog a Dead Horse daily and bet on the outcome as per Winny Peters.

Whose munny is it anyway??.

These billions we 'Invest?!" after putting these Tri-Party stakes in power, just goes to prove, we do not have enough brains so we must employ all resources to get the dollar cost averaging and betting on Lotto and the race to the bottom and promote all people up the Property Ladder and give free change to the way we work and keep the Balls rolling every Saturday and Wednesday evening and the Weekend Race Track extravaganza ticking along so that we can spread the dollars evenly and "Fix" all races including POMS/EU/NZ/CNN/US/etc,etc & associated people joined at the Hip, so we do not break the ties that bind.
We must have equality and no betting on results or % ages in the coming years as we age.
The past few years we have tried Q.E. bought and paid for by Ancient Mariners and Bomb Disposal operatives, trying to get the Middle East and Russia and Venezuela and the USA on par with Pumping up and down Gas prices and oiling the Works...They even tried pumping and dumping Stock exchanges and ramming and milking each others concerns with different Paper Weights and zero and one electrifying currencies, but the Printing Machines just ran out of Money, during the Corona Virus hits of the entire World and Tourist Estimations and destinations and the spread of Fiat issues, became Paramount, but nobody wanted to swap their Fiat for a plane ticket or a hotel room, nor a Cinema Ticket, hence the White House became the epicenter of all flicking and hand washing and drug taking money, printed and smeared with a Digital Virus, to kill off all other viruses created by our Eastern Blocked and Hand Wringing, but in denial Nations.
So let us all join together as one Nation, One true Public Endeavour, but plus of Course Zero animosities and create one Currency, no Swaps, No Bonds, No credit, where credit is due, and avoid the default, no matter who 's fault is bankrupting and bemoaning our dear, but poor Nations and Relations it is.

May the true Public Benefactors and Servants and Workers avoid the pitfalls of not working together by xeroes and ones and spend the rest of our lives in printing a fair trade and a free for all...currency.

Why bother Working, those at the Top are shirking their Responsibility.............Not Me.

Nuff said??!!....I ain't their Slave. I wanna be a Free Man.

Think about it....or War and Peace may be written in a different a cost to all concerned>>>like Me.

PS...Trade embargo on this suggestion...I wanna clip the Ticket....

I think you're saying, stop bailing out the private sector? Then the government becomes pretty much near to the last employer standing. Point is, there is so much work to be done in New Zealand. I think I'd rather the government become an employer than an (un)employment subsidiser.

In other words, the future of work is with government, until such time as capitalism's creative destruction runs its course. We've been here before (i.e., NZPO (i.e., post + telecom), NZR, MoW, MoH, NZEC, Water Boards, government banks and insurance companies etc.).

What about creating a new army of new beneficiaries that Labour has done recently? Most of them NEVER worked and never will because they don't want and the system of nanny state supports this as much as they can.
Why do I have to pay crazy taxes, take 2-3 jobs to support my own family and someone else who has easy, pleasant life? Is Labour planning to force at least 50% beneficiaries an get employment???