Budget 2019

Education Budget 2019 highlights

Budget 2019 provides the education sector with $2.05 billion of gross ($1.551 billion net) new operating funding over five years, and $1.47 billion of capital2 over 10 years.

Vote Education

Budget 2019 allocates $1.66 billion of new operating funding over five years and $1.47 billion of capital over 10 years for Vote Education. This new funding includes:

    • $265.6 million of new operating funding for schools to replace school donations. Around 1,700 schools are eligible to join the scheme, benefiting up to 494,000 children and their families. This is designed to take financial pressure off families, and to benefit eligible schools by making their revenue more certain.
    • $722.6 million of operating spending and $286.8 million of capital funding to meet cost and demand pressures in the early learning and schooling sectors over the next five years. This includes: 
      • $296.3 million to meet increased demand in early learning and increasing school rolls 
      • $235.7 million for a general 1.8% increase in early learning subsidy rates and schools’ operations grants
      • $286.8 million of capital and $60.9 million of operating funding for school property growth
      • $110.9 million to meet cost and demand pressures in learning support, including:
        • $7.2 million to meet cost pressures facing alternative education providers and attendance services
        • $24.8 million to increase funding for early intervention services
        • $9.9 million to increase support for deaf and hard-of-hearing students
        • $4.1 million to increase funding for assistive technology
      • A further $913.3 million of capital in contingency to deliver more teaching space in schools out to the year 2030, bringing the capital provision for the first phases of schools growth over the next 10 years to $1.20 billion. This moves school investment onto a longer-term basis, enabling better planning and saving money.
      • New funding to maintain and enhance learning support (in addition to $110.9 million for cost and demand pressures as above): 
        • $217.3 million (plus $95.0 million of capital) to fund approximately 600 new learning support coordinators in schools from the start of the 2020 year. They will identify and plan for the learning support needs of children and young people. 
        • $7.6 million to create a more inclusive education system: $5 million for the learning and wellbeing of gifted learners; and $2.6 million for 80 places in the Te Kura Big Picture programme to support learners who are at risk of disengaging from education.
      • $57.2 million for initiatives to increase teacher supply by 3,280 teachers. Funding through Votes Tertiary Education and Social Development raises this total to $95.0 million over five years. 
      • $40 million for the removal of NCEA fees, which is expected to benefit more than 145,000 households.

Vote Tertiary Education

Budget 2019 allocates $389.8 million of operating funding over five years for Vote Tertiary Education. This funding includes:

      • $197.1 million towards the Reform of Vocational Education, to build a strong and sustainable system that delivers the skills learners, employers and communities need to succeed
      • $154.8 million for an overall 1.8% increase in tertiary education and training tuition subsidy rates
      • $24.6 million for measures to increase teacher supply (as above).

Reprioritised Funding

Budget 2019 funds some of the increased spending by reprioritising $500.1 million of funding from Vote Education and Vote Tertiary Education. Reprioritisation includes:

      • $197.1 million from fees-free tertiary education and training, in line with updated demand expectations.
      • $102.8 million from forecast underspends in the Investing in Educational Success initiative, due to a lower than expected uptake of Communities of Learning (Kāhui Ako), and time taken to appoint people to the roles.
      • $95.0 million from a one-off saving due to the end of the funding recovery exemption applied to Tertiary Education Institutions affected by the Canterbury earthquakes no longer having to be recorded as an accounting liability.
      • $60.0 million from 2018/19 underspends in the Tertiary Tuition and Training multi-category appropriation, due to 2018 calendar enrolments being lower than the level budgeted for.

Other Votes

In addition to Vote Education and Vote Tertiary Education, over the next five years $31.6 million of operating funding and $1.6 million of capital funding for Budget initiatives related to the education portfolio are included other Votes. Among these are:

      • $17.7 million of operating funding over five years for improving the quality of the education system included in Vote Education Review Office.
      • $13.3 million of operating funding for teacher supply initiatives included in Vote Social Development.
 $ MillionVote EducationVote
Tertiary Education
New operating funding      
Cost pressures 722.647 154.777 877.424
Replacement of school donations 265.573 - 265.573
Learning Support3 224.924 - 224.924
School property 165.751 - 165.751
Reform of Vocational Education 0.000 197.132 197.132
Teacher Supply 57.168 24.572 81.7404
Māori and Pacific initiatives 70.897 - 70.897
Other 156.489 13.330 169.819
Total new operating funding 1663.449 389.811 2053.260
Total funding identified for reprioritisation -111.803 -388.345 -500.148
Net new operating funding 1551.646 1.466 1553.112
New capital funding      
Property 1317.184 - 1317.184
Other 106.596 50.000 156.596
Total new capital funding 1423.780 50.000 1473.780

Further information

Budget 2019 Information Release


1 $2.06 million of new spending, partially funded by $500 million of reprioritisations.
2 This includes $913.3 million of capital funding for the school property programme, which is held in contingency to be allocated over the next 10 years.
3 This excludes $110.9 million of Learning Support funding that is counted in the “cost pressures” row.
4 This excludes $13.3 million of operating funding for teacher supply initiatives included in Vote Social Development.



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