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News / July 1 is a milestone day for the Coalition Government as a suite of Government initiatives come into effect

July 1 is a milestone day for the Coalition Government as a suite of Government initiatives come into effect

July 1 is a milestone day for the Coalition Government as a suite of Government initiatives come into effect

Posted July 01, 2020
Media Release

July 1 is a milestone day for the Coalition Government as a suite of Government initiatives come into effect today.

These include:
· Paid parental leave extending to 26 weeks and by $20 morea week
· Free apprenticeships opening to tens of thousands
· Pay boost for early childhood teachers kicks in for up to17,000 qualified teachers· Farm Debt Mediation scheme begins operating
· Cheaper building levy saving homeowners and businesses money

The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw. Parents with children due on or after 1 July will now be eligible for 26 weeks of paid parental leave. This is a full six months of leave to support them and their child’s first months of life.

Apprentices in any industry or people wanting to train in targeted areas will have between $2500 and $6500 in costs per year paid for them, making it easier for New Zealanders who want to train in industries where demand is expected to grow as the country recovers from COVID-19. Tens of thousands are eligible.

Early learning centres up and down the country will receive a funding boost from today to improve the pay of up to 17,000 qualified teachers working in education and care services. As they respond to the impact of COVID-19 to our society and economy, the Government says they remain committed to fair pay for lower-paid workers, especially the workers who have helped get the country moving again. Budget 2020 provided funding of $151.1 million over four years to help bridge the gap between the pay of ECE centre teachers and teachers in schools and kindergartens.

The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme will require creditors to offer mediation to farmers who default on payments before they take any enforcement action. Total farm debt in NZ is $62.8 billion – up 270 per cent on 20 years ago. Farmers are especially vulnerable to business down-turns as a result of conditions that are often outside their control, like weather, market price volatility and diseases like Mycoplasma bovis and Covid-19.

People undertaking consented building work will be left with more money in their pocket now that the lower Building Levy rate has come into effect. The Building Levy will be reduced by 13 per cent from $2.01 to $1.75 per $1,000 of the total build cost if the consented work is over the $20,444 threshold. The change will result in direct savings for homeowners and developers looking to do building work that requires consent and equates to savings of about $80 based on the average residential new build in Auckland, or $5,200 for a $20 million commercial project.