Introduction from the Minister

Ensuring every New Zealander gets the healthcare they need, no matter who they are or where they live, is one of this Government’s top priorities. 

From July 1 our vision of a truly nationwide health system will launch with the establishment of Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority as permanent entities, and the Ministry of Health’s role strengthened as steward of the new health system. 

Our future health system will be nationally coordinated, regionally designed and locally tailored to address long-standing inequity and the postcode lottery. 

Building a new health system to deliver the healthcare New Zealanders need will take time, and will need investment from the outset. 

A core focus of Budget 2022 is resetting the health system so, from the very beginning, it has the best start. We are investing in the new entities and structures – the foundations of the new health system. 

We are addressing historic underfunding and providing more certainty for patients and providers through the first multi-year funding arrangement for health. 

We are lifting our investment in data and digital across the health system and expanding health services in primary and community care settings, so it’s easier for people to get the help they need, closer to home. 

Budget 2022 also includes funding to develop the health workforce. We need health workers to feel confident they are receiving the training and support they need to continue to provide the best possible care to patients. 

For more information on Budget 2022 initiatives, visit:

Ngā mihi,

Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Health 

Key Budget 2022 health reform initiatives

Setting up new the new health system 

Budget 2022 includes funding to set up new health entities Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority and clear current debt across the system. Debt has built up within DHBs over time as the need for spending has outpaced Government funding.

Funding for Health NZ to meet cost pressures and start with a clean slate as it replaces the fragmented DHB system includes $1.8 billion in year one, as well as additional $1.3 billion in year two. 

The $1.8 billion will be available to cover:

  • the final deficits left behind at the end of the 2021/22 financial year
  • demographic changes for a growing and aging population
  • improvements to health services as the shift is made to nationwide planning 

Making funding available to clear this debt will enable the new health entities to start off on a solid footing with a focus on sustainable operation into the future. The Budget also includes multi-year funding arrangements to support better planning and more consistent health services.

Earlier access to healthcare to take pressure off hospitals 

Budget 2022 includes increased funding for community healthcare, as well as rolling out the new locality approach to primary and community healthcare, to take pressure off hospitals. 

Funding includes $102 million over three years to develop integrated primary healthcare teams that will see specialists like physiotherapists, pharmacists and social workers working alongside GPs to offer greater care, earlier, and closer to home for patients. 

GPs in high-needs areas are also being backed with $86 million of new funding over four years so they can offer more care through improved opening hours and more appointments.

Growing the national health workforce 

Budget 2022 includes funding of $76 million over four years to grow the health workforce, with a focus on primary care. 

This includes $37 million over four years to cover more training places and $39 million over four years for hauora Māori workforce development.

Funding for data and digital capability 

Budget 2022 includes $100 million to develop a nationwide IT system for Health New Zealand while $243 million over four years is allocated to lift the capability of critical infrastructure. 

Further information is available at:

Other Vote Health initiatives

Budget 2022 provides targeted funding for areas that require specific investment, including:

Increased funding for road and air ambulance services

Budget 2022 invests $166.1 million over four years for ambulance services. The funding is planned to add 48 ambulances and 13 other vehicles to New Zealand’s road ambulance fleet and allow up to 248 more paramedics and frontline staff to be recruited to support road ambulance services. This includes 22 staff for the communications centre which responds to 111 calls.

$90.7 million over four years will go towards New Zealand’s air ambulance services. This includes the replacement of some ageing aircraft with modern fit for purpose helicopters and at least one new helicopter with additional crew. link)

More money for more medicines

An extra $191 million over the next two years has been provided in Budget 2022 so Pharmac can buy more medicines for more New Zealanders. Funding will align with the multi-year approach being taken for Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority. link)

Specialist mental health and addiction services

Budget 2022 includes a $100-million investment over four years for a specialist mental health and addiction package which includes funding for community-based crisis services, enhancing existing specialist child and adolescent mental health and addiction services and developing the workforce. link)

Mental health and wellbeing support for children

Budget 2022 will continue to deliver on Labour’s commitment to better mental wellbeing services and support, with 195,000 primary and intermediate aged children set to benefit from the continuation and expansion of Mana Ake services. link)

Funding for Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts

Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts will be made permanent in Auckland, Waitākere and the Waikato.

Last modified: