Budget 2019: Vote Health

Budget 2019 is dedicated to delivering better wellbeing for New Zealanders.

Vote Health is the main source of funding for New Zealand’s health and disability system - ACC is its other major source of public funding. It’s a significant investment ($19.871 billion in 2019/20) and makes up about a fifth of government spending.

The Ministry of Health has a stewardship role to oversee positive change in the health and disability system.

We have worked with other government agencies on Budget 2019 initiatives that will have an intergenerational impact on New Zealand’s wellbeing. There are a range of new Vote Health initiatives - the key themes are outlined on this page.

Detailed information on the funding provided for health in Budget 2019 can be found on the Government’s Budget website.

Over the coming weeks we will update key sections on our website to reflect these new initiatives.

Pre-budget announcements

Two pre-Budget announcements included a $12 million initiative over four years to reduce the incidence and improve the management of rheumatic fever in the wider Auckland area, and a one-off $21 million funding boost over two years for ambulance services, along with an extra $17 million over four years to support its service delivery.

Mental health and addiction

Budget 2019 has a major focus on mental health and addiction. Many of the new initiatives strongly align with the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga, the report of the independent inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.


Lifting Māori and Pacific peoples’ health outcomes is another important focus of Budget 2019. Funding for this purpose is included in most health initiatives, as well as being a specific focus of others such as the Māori and Pacific workforce development initiatives and culturally-relevant mental health, wellbeing and addiction initiatives.

Infrastructure and workforce

Strengthening the foundations of our health system – both in terms of investing in health infrastructure and the health workforce – is a strong theme of Budget 2019. Over the next two years an additional $1.7 billion will be invested in health sector capital projects.

Boosting the health and disability workforce is also a focus of Budget 2019, including $24.5 million over four years to fund more graduate registered nurses and graduate enrolled nurses to complete nurse entry to practice programmes. It will also fund more nurse coaches, mentors, supervision and better support for new graduates.

Rural health is getting an additional $18 million over four years to provide more GP training placements in rural and regional areas, and rural locum relief for midwives working in rural settings.

Responding to cost pressures

Budget 2019 provides significant funding increases for some key areas facing cost pressures, such as DHB funding, Disability Support Services, Planned Care, Well Child Tamariki Ora, primary care and maternity services.

Detailed information on the funding provided for Vote Health in Budget 2019 can be found on the Government’s Budget website.

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