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Overview

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) was established in April 2020, following a $12.1 billion package announced on 17 March 2020 that provided an initial response to the immediate impacts of the first COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. The CRRF began as a $50.0 billion fund, with subsequent increases required to ensure that sufficient funding was available to manage the impacts of the Delta and Omicron outbreaks.

The CRRF was a funding envelope for budget management purposes, and provided an indication of what the Government would be comfortable with spending in response to COVID-19, if necessary.

As the COVID-19 response starts to become part of standard public service delivery, future COVID-19 related costs will be managed within the standard Budget process. The CRRF was closed at Budget 2022. The final size of the CRRF was $61.6 billion, of which $58.4 billion has been allocated to response and recovery initiatives, leaving a remaining balance of $3.2 billion. The remaining CRRF funding was repurposed for the following:

  • $1.2 billion set aside for any immediate COVID-19-related public health needs that cannot wait until the next Budget cycle
  • $1.0 billion, or $250 million per annum, to offset investments funded from the Budget 2022 operating allowance, and
  • $1.0 billion for a package of measures to support low- to middle-income New Zealanders to manage the rising cost of living.

Alongside the new funding made available, $4.0 billion was returned to the CRRF from underspends . This funding was made available for response and recovery initiatives and is reflected in the pie graph on funding allocation below.

How funding decisions are recorded and reported

The CRRF funding envelope operated similar to a budget allowance, the 'pool' of new operating funding available at each Budget which is set in advance of the Budget in accordance with the Government's fiscal strategy. All allowances and allocations from allowances (funding decisions), including the CRRF, reflect a point in time.

When a COVID-19 response and recovery funding decision is made, it is managed against the CRRF to ensure any fiscal costs do not affect the Government's ability to achieve its fiscal objectives. All the funding allocation information below records where the funding was allocated at the time the funding decision was made.

Funding may change over time in light of changes in the environment that have occurred since the decision was made and how implementation is proceeding. The Government manages its expenditure at a portfolio level and shifts resources between initiatives to best achieve its overarching objectives. These further decisions may result in changes to the amount an agency is planning to spend, when it is planning to spend it, and/or the appropriation impacts of the initiative.

Consolidated up-to-date forecasts are published by the Treasury at each Economic and Fiscal Update. Appropriated amounts are initially set out in the Estimates of Appropriations for the New Zealand Government (generally prior to the start of the financial year) and then amended as necessary through the Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations of the New Zealand Government (prior to the end of the financial year). 

How funding has been allocated

Information on the funding allocation of the Government’s initial $12.1 billion and $61.6 billion CRRF funding at the point the original funding decision can be found here: COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) funding decisions

Information on the Government's initial $12.1 billion funding allocation can be found at: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/121-billion-support-new-zealanders-and-business

A list of announced initiatives funded from the CRRF as part of Budget 2020 (in May 2020) can be found at: Summary of Initiatives in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) Foundational Package

A list of announced initiatives funded through the July 2021 Package can be found here: Summary of Initiatives in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) July Package

The list of CRRF initiatives announced as part of Budget 2021 can be found here: Wellbeing Budget 2021: Securing Our Recovery

Reporting on the status of 114 initiatives funded by the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, prior to the establishment of the Implementation Unit within DPMC, can be found at Implementation Unit Information Releases.

Summary graph showing COVID-19 funding allocation by Vote

The graph below shows the distribution of the initial support package and how decisions have been managed against the CRRF up to Budget 2022 when the CRRF was closed. Some notes on the data:

  • This data sums up all the funding allocated to the COVID-19 response and recovery; from the CRRF and before the CRRF was created. A total of $4.0 billion CRRF funding was added back to the CRRF funding available to be allocated based on analysis of unused funding.
  • This data includes some initiatives that are yet to be announced.
  • Figures may not add exactly due to rounding.
  • This graph has been prepared based on a manually compiled dataset.
  • 'Vote' is a term referring to a group of appropriations, and the mechanism by which Parliament debates and authorises funding each year. In some cases, the Vote where funding was initially recorded does not represent where the funding was eventually appropriated or the current location of the funding (see below).
  • Votes receiving less than $1.0 billion have been grouped into 'Other'.
  • In some cases, the funding has since been re-allocated to another Vote. For example, the funding for Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) was initially allocated to Vote Health. Once the responsibility for MIQ was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, any remaining funding was transferred from Vote Health to Vote Building and Construction.
  • Once funds have been appropriated, agencies have authority to incur expenditure within the scope of the appropriation (usually up to a specified amount). Actual expenditure often ends up being less than the appropriated amount. In some cases, some of the funding was added back to the amount of CRRF funding available to be allocated.
  • The allocations in the graph include decisions to establish tagged contingencies. Tagged contingencies represent funding set aside for a specific purpose but at the time not yet appropriated. A significant tagged contingency included in the graph is the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) tagged contingency of $3.0 billion. This is represented within Vote Business, Science and Innovation (Vote BSI) in the graph, but a significant proportion of the $3.0 billion has now been appropriated to appropriations within other Votes. The latest information on IRG projects can be found on the Crown Infrastructure website.

COVID-19 response and recovery funding decisions by Vote

COVID-19 response and recovery funding decisions by Vote

Expenditure incurred against appropriations created as a result of the response to COVID-19

We have released data on the appropriated amounts and actual expenditure incurred in respect of COVID-19 related appropriations. See Cumulative expenditure for these appropriations to 31 December 2021 totals $33.0 billion.

Some COVID-19 related funding was allocated to pre-existing appropriations. As the Treasury does not regularly collect expenditure information below appropriation level this expenditure has not been included in this data release.