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COVID-19 means time to support local

The Government's $12.1 billion package will help support New Zealanders and their jobs from the global impact of coronavirus.

The package includes $8.7 billion in support for businesses and jobs, $5.1 billion for wage subsidies for affected businesses in all sectors and regions and $2.8 billion for income support and boosting consumer spending.

After the sweeping travel bans imposed on Saturday and following further airline cuts, this budget package is hoped to help the tourism industry – and the rest of the economy – from shutting down completely.

"This package is one of the largest in the world on a per capita basis," says Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

"It represents 4.0 per cent of GDP and is more than the total of all three Budgets’ new operating spending in this term of Government put together."

Buy NZ Made executive director Ryan Jennings says now is the time for Kiwis to pull together and focus on products, services and activities that are locally-made and have a local focus.

"With 85 per cent of Air New Zealand’s international capacity cut, there’s going to be a domestic focus on activities over winter," he says.

"Rather than shopping online at overseas retailers and facing lengthy delivery delays, check out what local businesses have to offer.

"The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to prioritise supporting businesses and New Zealanders."

"I want to make it clear that this is not a one-off package, it is just the beginning," says Grant.

"As we go through this crisis towards economic recovery the Government will be constantly monitoring the situation and adjusting its response. As with every action we have taken we will be constantly reviewing every measure to ensure it is getting to the people and businesses that need it the most."

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