Budget 2023 – disability related initiatives

The following Budget 2023 initiatives may be of interest to the disability community.

Please note this is not a definitive list, and Whaikaha is not the lead agency for most of these initiatives. They have been identified in the Summary of Initiatives for Budget 2023 external URL .

Wage Supplement to Replace Minimum Wage Exemptions 

This initiative provides funding to introduce a wage supplement to replace the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) permits that are currently issued to approximately 800 disabled employees in New Zealand, allowing them to be paid less than minimum wage. A wage supplement will replace MWE permits while protecting existing jobs, ensuring disabled people are paid at least the minimum wage when the supplement is considered. 

Employment Programmes – Oranga Mahi 

This initiative provides funding for six health and employment trial services that support disabled New Zealanders to find and retain work, along with operational support to support the continued delivery of the Oranga Mahi programme. Oranga Mahi services are delivered in partnership with health agencies and community organisations to improve employment and wellbeing outcomes for disabled people and people with health conditions.  

Training Incentive Allowance – Supporting Eligible People to Study 

This initiative provides funding to permanently reinstate the Training Incentive Allowance (TIA) to support higher-level study, beyond the time-limited funding for the initial reinstatement. The TIA provides non-taxable financial assistance to sole parents, disabled people (including those with significant health conditions), and their carers to help them participate in study between New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) levels 1-7. This assists with both one-off costs, such as course fees or equipment, and ongoing costs, such as childcare and transport. 

Peke Waihanga Artificial Limb Service – Cost Pressure 

This initiative provides funding for various cost pressures experienced by Peke Waihanga – the Artificial Limb Service. Peke Waihanga does not usually receive baseline funding from the Crown, instead delivering services on commercial terms. One-off funding is required due to COVID-19 disruption, unexpected legal costs, and necessary upgrades to the organisation’s patient management system. This contribution will help restore the financial resilience of Peke Waihanga and enable sustainable ongoing service delivery. 

North Island Weather Events: Extending Community Support Funds 

This initiative provides funding for the Community Support Fund and the Provider Support Fund, which were established following the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods. The funding will help existing community groups (including Māori, Pacific peoples, youth, ethnic communities, and volunteer groups) and providers (including family violence providers and providers supporting disabled people) to continue supporting their communities in areas affected by the recent North Island weather events. 

Maintaining Momentum Across Te Aorerekura – Accessible Family Violence and Sexual Violence Services for Disabled People 

This initiative provides funding to establish a time-limited, contestable fund, to support MSD-funded family violence and sexual violence service providers to better meet the accessibility needs of disabled people. Providers who apply to the fund will receive an independent, specialist assessment of the accessibility of their organisation and services, with a plan for recommended improvements and funding to implement the plan, enabling providers to respond more appropriately to disabled people.  

Employment Service in Schools – Cost Pressure 

This initiative provides funding to continue Employment Services in Schools (ESIS) in five regions. ESIS supports disabled students with careers and transition support, work experience, placements and on-the-job employment support to participate fully in the labour market. It also supports employers to provide appropriate work environments and equips whānau and schools to assist the transition into education, employment, and training. 

Employment Programmes – Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Musculoskeletal Pain 

This initiative provides funding to pilot the delivery of vocational rehabilitation and pain management services for 150 people living with musculoskeletal pain or impairments. It will also enable MSD to evaluate an existing rural vocational rehabilitation service. These services will assist people to stay in or move into work through cooperation between the person, rehabilitation professionals, employment specialists and employers.  

Care Response for Disability Support Service-eligible Tamariki and Rangatahi – Cost Pressure 

This initiative provides funding to enable Oranga Tamariki to continue to provide appropriate care responses for its tamariki and rangatahi whaikaha cohort. Price pressures inherent in serving this cohort have arisen as the result of the repeal of section 141 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, pay equity claims and implementation of the Fairer Funding Framework. 

Learning Support Modifications to School Buildings 

This initiative provides funding for the purchase and installation of special needs modifications in schools, including automatic doors, lifts, fencing, hoists, and bathroom modifications over a period of two years. 

Learning Support in Kaupapa Māori and Māori Medium Schooling 

This initiative provides funding for specialised Learning Support Coordination and facilities in schools and kura providing Kaupapa Māori and Māori medium education. It provides resourcing for Māori-led design and delivery of solutions to strengthen the capacity and capability of these schools and kura to plan and coordinate responses to the learning support needs of ākonga in partnership with whānau. 

Health and Disability Sector Support Worker Minimum Wage Rates Adjustment 

This initiative provides funding to meet an agreed 3 percent minimum wage increase for the health and disability sector support workers from 1 July 2022. This increase builds on previous wage increases under the Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Act 2017. 

This initiative is outside the multi-year Health spending announced at Budget 2022. 

Removing Prescription Co-payments for all New Zealanders 

This initiative provides funding to remove the $5 cost of prescription co-payment for all New Zealanders. This will also result in changes to the level of Temporary Additional Support and Disability Allowance paid. 

This initiative is outside the multi-year Health spending announced at Budget 2022.  

North Island Weather Events: Primary, Community, and Residential Care Recovery 

This initiative provides funding to support provision of primary, community and residential care services to the population affected by the North Island weather events. The provision of an increased level of support to the affected population will decrease the acuity and frequency of these patients presenting at hospitals. It also provides additional funding for air ambulance services and to improve the accessibility of virtual primary healthcare services. 

This initiative is outside the multi-year Health spending announced at Budget 2022. 

Whaikaha – Supporting Tāngata Whaikaha Māori and Disabled People – Cost Pressures 

This initiative provides funding for the continued delivery of support to tāngata whaikaha Māori and disabled people and their families. The funding will address increases in volumes as well as inflationary pressures for disability support services.  

Whaikaha – Continuing to Establish a Ministry of Disabled People 

This initiative provides funding to continue the establishment of Whaikaha as the new Ministry of Disabled People. The funding will allow roles to be established that extend the organisational capability and capacity of Whaikaha in the areas of people, culture, communications, and policy. 

Maintaining Momentum Across Te Aorerekura – Safeguarding Adults at Risk and Disabled People from Violence and Abuse 

This initiative provides funding to ensure that adults at risk and disabled people receive safe and appropriate support from violence and abuse. This specifically addresses the barriers for disabled people and provides for a tailored response.