Budget 2023: Overview from the NZFVC

Tue 23 May 2023

The Government announced the 5th Wellbeing Budget on 18 May. It includes funding for family and sexual violence, as well as other key areas. Budget 2023 also includes a gender lens for the first time in Aotearoa.

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Budget 2023

Funding for family and sexual violence

The Government made a pre-Budget announcement of $73.48 million for family violence and sexual violence initiatives. This funding aligns with Te Aorerekura priorities, across 3 focus areas: learning and monitoring, increasing equity by addressing key service gaps and enabling community leadership. Just over half of the funding is allocated to initiatives for tangata whenua, disabled people and children and young people. See the summary of initiatives and the summary on a page from Te Puna Aonui for the details.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has published Budget 2023 factsheets which provide more details. There are factsheets for several of the family and sexual violence initiatives including Child Advocates, Online Help Tools, Kaupapa Māori Sexual Violence Services, Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Approach in Counties Manukau and Services for Disabled People.

Considering Gender in Budget 2023

For the first time, Budget 2023 includes a gender budgeting snapshot. It highlighted that:

“Gender budgeting is a powerful tool for understanding how and to what extent people will be affected differently by initiatives depending on their gender. Applying a gender lens ensures that budgets can support a gender-equitable, inclusive future and do not embed inequalities further.”

15 agencies (triple the number of last year’s pilot) participated in the Gender Budgeting exercise this year. Manatū Wāhine | Ministry for Women supported these agencies to think about potential impacts on women and girls, particularly for Māori, through a Gender Budgeting Toolkit. The Budget 2023 gender budgeting snapshot highlights how this influenced several of the Budget 2023 initiatives.

Researchers from the Public Policy Institute and University of Auckland also highlight how Gender Budgeting helped ensure the benefits of government investments wouldn’t bypass women. They noted:

“This is an important addition to the budget process. The aim is to secure the wellbeing of diverse groups of women, underline structural inequalities, and avoid unintended negative consequences of investment decisions.”

95bfm interviewed the Director of the Public Policy Institute, Jennifer Curtin, about the inclusion of gender budgeting in this year's budget planning process. 

In addition to considering gender, the wellbeing approach to Budget 2023 focuses on the wellbeing of Māori, Pacific peoples, children and the environment.

Update: Manatū Wāhine | Ministry for Women has provided additional information about gender budgeting.

Update: UN Women published Strengthening public finance management systems for gender equality and women’s empowerment: Promising practices and remaining gaps (June 2023). The report highlights promising practices and remaining gaps on gender-responsive budgeting, showcasing country examples and identifying strategies and entry points for more effective gender mainstreaming in policy setting, budget allocation, budget execution, and data transparency.

Other key Budget 2023 initiatives

There are other initiatives funded in Budget 2023 that relate to family violence and sexual violence, as well as children, young people, family and whānau wellbeing. We've highlighted some key initiatives below and reference the page number in the Budget 2023 Summary of Initiatives by Vote.

  • 6.5 FTE to handle the higher than expected number of applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (page 99)
  • extension of Ngā Tini Whetū which supports the wellbeing of hapū māmā, pēpē and whānau in their first 1,000 days (page 102)
  • funding for Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies to expand services and meet increased demand (page 103); funding was also allocated to Whānau Ora for cost pressure from inflation and wage indexation (page 103)
  • continuing multi-stakeholder coordination for 1 year for the Christchurch Call work programme (page 107)
  • continuing the Ākonga Fund for a further 2 years for youth development providers to deliver support for at-risk, vulnerable young people (page 109)
  • Establishing and maintaining the Children and Young People’s Commission, previously the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (page 110)
  • funding for approximately 100 Community Connectors for 2 years to provide short-term support to individuals and whānau to prevent and reduce the impacts of hardship (page 110)
  • establishing "...contestable funds to help strengthen the capability, resilience, and diversity of the social sector by funding community, provider, and sector groups, especially those that work with Māori, Pacific and other ethnic communities" (page 112) see the MSD factsheet Growing a Diverse and Resilient Social Sector

There were a number of initiatives under the Oranga Tamariki Vote, include funding related to the Abuse in Care inquiry (pages 104-105): 

  • progressing the Crown apology and tangible actions for survivors of abuse in care
  • continuing Crown progress on the design and implementation of a new redress system for survivors of abuse in care
  • funding, held in contingency, for agencies to continue to engage with policy and design work on the redress system
  • funding for an interim listening service for survivors of abuse in care
  • funding, held in contingency, to improve records processes for survivors of abuse in care
  • Also see the initiative related to historic abuse claims under the Social Development Vote (page 114).

In addition to funding for the Whānau Ora system, Budget 2023 funded several initiatives to support tangata whenua related to housing, early childhood, Te Matatini, Matariki, hauora providers, Māori education and Māori media. See the Beehive media release Māori Budget continues investment in whānau, whare and whakapapa.

A number of initiatives support Pacific communities related to education, job, language and culture. See Minister for Pacific Peoples Barbara Edmonds media release Budget 2023 invests in Pacific wellbeing and prosperity.

Related to disabled people, $21.1 million is allocated to continue work to establish Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People and $863.6 million to address cost pressures for Whaikaha to deliver existing disability support services. For more information see the Whaikaha Budget 2023 information and the Whaikaha summary of Disability related initiatives. Also see Minister for Disability Issues Priyanca Radhakrishnan's media release, Government increases support to disabled people.

In addition, there were many initiatives in the Budget focused on addressing cost pressures across a range of areas.

More information

MSD provides an overview of Budget 2023 initiatives related to cost of living and recovery from North Island severe weather events. Also see the MSD Budget 2023 fact sheets and the summary of changes from Work and Income.

The Ministry of Justice recapped the Budget 2022 multi-year Justice Cluster funding approach. This approach allocated funding across a mix of areas spanning 3 to 4 years, including the current year. See our Budget 2022 news story for more information about the Justice Cluster budget approach. Also see the Beehive media release that provides an overview of the multi-year funding approach, New approach on law and order delivers. Also see the Law Society's article Access to justice and Budget 2023. To find new funding allocations, in addition to the Justice Cluster, see the Justice Vote (page 99) and Court Vote (page 86) in the Summary of Initiatives

Update: Also see the February 2023 Briefing for Incoming Justice Sector Ministers on the Justice Sector Directorate. The briefing includes an overview of the Justice Cluster. 

Community and advocate responses

Many community organisations and advocates have commented about the budget:

New initiatives welcome but we need to maintain momentum to lift families out of poverty, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Budget 2023 brings 'opportunity to strengthen Whanau Ora in Te Waipounamu', Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu

A positive Budget for the public service and public service workers – PSA, Public Service Association

Women’s Refuge Pleased Government’s 2023 Budget Continues Investment of Family Violence Initiatives, National Collective of Women's Refuges

Social Service Providers Te Pai Ora o Aotearoa reacts to no-frills Budget 2023, Social Service Providers Aotearoa

Budget 2023 won't see our poorest children achieve their dreams, CPAG says, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) 

Budget 2023: Pasifika Futures allocated $34.5 million to continue serving Pacific families, Pasifika Futures 

Rangatahi Advocates Call For Government To Prioritize Young People In Budget, VOYCE

Related media

Helen Leahy: The future is Māori - that’s why we’re investing in whānau, Wanganui Chronicle, 06.06.2023

Government’s work for survivors of abuse in care continues, Beehive media release, 26.05.2023

Budget 2023: The things you might have missed, RNZ, 25.05.2023

Whānau Ora Launches Our Future Is Māori Campaign, A Statement For Greater Māori Aspiration, Scoop, 23.05.2023

Whanau Ora puts ruler across Māori spend, Waatea News, 22.05.2023

Whānau Ora launches new campaign 'Our Future is Māori', Stuff, 22.05.2023

Whānau approach gets Budget boost, Waatea News, 19.05.2023

Wider government pūtea eyed for Whānau Ora, Waatea News, 19.05.2023

Budget 2023: The billions budgeted to maintain the status quo, and retain staff, Stuff, 19.05.2023

Budget 2023: Targeted support welcomed but projects need securing 'for long-term' - agencies, RNZ, 19.05.2023

Budget 2023: How much was given to Māori?, Te Karere TVNZ [te reo Māori], 19.05.2023

TAHUA2023: Over half a billion dollars for Māori, Te Ao Māori News, 18.05.2023

Budget 2023: Youth advocates want more help for struggling rangatahi, RNZ, 18.05.2023

Hipkins says Māori momentum in Budget, Waatea News, 18.05.2023

Budget 2023 delivers 3000 additional public homes, Beehive media release, 18.05.2023

Government tackles winter, waitlists and workforce, Beehive media release, 18.05.2023

Aotearoa’s ‘hidden heroes’ are being stretched to their limits, The Spinoff, 16.05.2023

Cheaper Childcare: 20 hours free ECE extended to two-year-olds, Beehive media release, 18.05.2023

Helping with health costs: Prescription charge scrapped, providing cheaper medicine, Beehive media release, 18.05.2023

When $5 at the pharmacy costs us all $2.65 billion, The Spinoff, 09.02.2023

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