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COVID-19 economic response measures

The information below outlines government measures introduced to cushion New Zealanders against the impacts of COVID-19 and help reset and rebuild our economy.

Support for businesses

The Treasury has compiled a resource for business, which includes information on key COVID-19 support packages and how to access them. Download the latest version of the guide here: Government support for businesses recovering from COVID-19 (as at 16 February 2021).

The Treasury has also created a handy guide to the Business Finance Guarantee scheme, available here: Business Finance Guarantee scheme 

Where to find more information about:

How banks are helping customers through COVID-19: Banking response to Covid-19 ( 

The latest data on how banks are supporting businesses through the pandemic: Business lending data ( 

COVID-19 Support for employers: COVID-19 Support for employers (

Business tax changes: COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) - Tax changes to support businesses (

Income support: COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) ( 


Overview of measures announced

September 2020

At midday on 28 September 2020, changes took effect relating to who is eligible for the Leave Support Scheme and the length of payments. Find out more about these changes on the Work and Income website: Changes to the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme ( 

August 2020

On 21 August the Government announced a new two-week wage subsidy available to businesses that experienced a 40% revenue drop across a 14-day period between 12 August and 10 September when compared to a similar period last year. Applications for the COVID-19 wage subsidies have now closed. If you have staff who meet certain health criteria and can't work because of COVID-19, you may be able to apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.

Post-Budget 2020

After Budget 2020, $20.2 billion remained in the CRRF fund. Investments made since then include:

  • extension of the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the COVID Income Relief Payment for those who lost their income as a result of the pandemic
  • extension to the Small Business Cashflow Scheme, and
  • additional funding for personal protective equipment for health providers.

Further support for ongoing health, border and economic response measures has occurred, and investment of $760 million to help councils upgrade their Three-Waters infrastructure.

As at 20 July, $14 billion remained in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund, which is now being set aside in the event that, for example, New Zealand experiences a second wave of the pandemic.

May 2020: Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund

Budget 2020, delivered by the Minister of Finance on 14 May, complemented the initial response to COVID-19. The core of the Budget focused on meeting cost pressures and supporting public services to fight and rebuild from COVID-19. The $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) established in the Budget supports initiatives from the Budget and further measures announced since.

A summary of the initiatives funded from the CRRF can be found here: Summary of Initiatives in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) Foundational Package

March 2020: Initial Economic Response Package

On 17 March 2020, the Government announced an initial $12.1 billion COVID-19 Economic Response Package. As the situation changed, the package was expanded.

Hon Grant Robertson: $12.1 billion support for New Zealanders and business - 17 March 2020 (

You can view the COVID-19 Economic Package at a Glance as at 15 April 2020 via the link below.

COVID-19 Economic Package at a Glance: He Waka Eke Noa: We Are All Working Together - April 2020

January 2020: the New Zealand Upgrade Programme

As announced in January 2020, the Government will also invest $12 billion in significant infrastructure projects under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

Hon Grant Robertson: Growing and modernising the NZ economy - 29 January 2020 (

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 16 February 2021