The Budget allocates $3.4b for hospital and specialist services and $2.1b for primary care, community and public health through Health New Zealand. $1.77b is allocated to Pharmac. The free breast screening programme for women aged 45 –69 will be extended to include women up to the age of 74. The Gumboot Friday initiative will receive $24m to provide young people with free mental health counselling. The Government also pre-commits funding over the next two budgets to help the sector plan and invest for frontline healthcare delivery and workforce retention.

The $5 fee for prescriptions is back for most people from 1 July, with exemptions for under-14s, over 65s, Community Services Card holders and their dependents who are 14–17-years old.

For education, $2.9b in new funding is set aside over the next four years, including:

At tertiary level, the first-year fees free policy is being replaced with a final-year fees free policy. Interest rates on student loans will increase by 1% for five years for people overseas from 1 April 2025.

Disclaimer: This blog has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms only. The blog should not be relied upon to provide specific information without also obtaining appropriate professional advice after detailed examination of your particular situation.