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Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.

New Zealand

Last update 25 Aug. 2020


Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.

1.Climate mitigation measures

  • Sustainable transportation

    Auckland Transport Infrastructure
    The New Zealand Government is providing an investment package in public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure, helping the region's economic recovery while reducing emissions. This investment is expected to create 800 jobs and protects around 200 jobs on the two projects already underway.
    This 182 million NZD investment is part of the COVID-19: Infrastructure Investment Fund.
    Contact Ministry of Transport
  • Others

    Response Recovery
    Phasing Out Problem Plastics and Implementing the Waste Disposal Levy Expansion
    To reduce the increasing amount of rubbish ending up in New Zealand’s landfills, the New Zealand Government is to fund new recycling infrastructure and expand the national waste levy scheme. This will help reduce climate pollution and make New Zealand more resilient to volatile global markets post-Covid as there will be more New Zealand-based recycling capacity. Waste currently represents about 5 per cent of all New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing waste will therefore contribute to reducing our emissions.
    This 124 million NZD investment is part of the broader COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
    Contact Ministry for the Environment
  • Sustainable transportation

    Response Recovery
    Building a New Rail Maintenance Facility
    The New Zealand Government is investing in a new rail maintenance facility in Christchurch which will support hundreds of construction jobs and ensure a strong future for South Island rail networks.
    This 39 million NZD investment is part of the COVID-19 Infrastructure Investment Fund.
    Contact Ministry of Transport
  • Sustainable transportation

    Nationwide cycleway package
    To encourage mode shift and reduce emissions from light vehicles, the Government is committing 220 million NZD toward cycleways.
    This investment is part of the COVID-19 Infrastructure Investment Fund.
    Contact Ministry of Transport
  • Sustainable transportation

    Establishing a network of hydrogen-fuelling stations
    The New Zealand Government is investing in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, with the establishment of a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. These stations will begin to supply zero emission fuel to trucks, buses and commercial fleets from 2021.
    This 20 million NZD investment is part of the COVID-19 Infrastructure Investment Fund.
    Contact Ministry of Transport

2.Climate adaptation measures

3.Cross-cutting measures

  • Urban/rural development (energy access etc.)

    Response Recovery
    COVID-19: Infrastructure Investment of 3 billion NZD
    This initiative provides funding for investment in infrastructure to kick-start New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking several investment opportunities. The investment package includes about 210 million NZD for climate resilience and flood protection projects, 155 million NZD for transformative energy projects, about 180 million NZD for large-scale construction projects and 50 million NZD for enhanced regional digital connectivity.
    Note: Specific investments are detailed in the mitigation and adaptation sections, although not all investment projects have been announced.
    Contact New Zealand Treasury
  • Urban/rural development (energy access etc.)

    Response Recovery
    Improving Food Security and Enhancing Biodiversity in the Chatham Islands
    The Chatham Islands will receive close to 40 million NZD for projects that will improve its infrastructure, provide jobs and training opportunities for locals. Of this is 1.69 million NZD allocated to two projects to develop and strengthen the local fishing industry, improve food security and enhance biodiversity.
    This 40 million NZD investment is part of the broader COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
    Contact New Zealand Treasury; Ministry for Primary Industries

4.Other environmental measures

  • Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agriculture

    Response Recovery
    Jobs for Nature: Supporting Employment Through Environment Projects
    This 1.1 billion NZD initiative will focus on the swift redeployment of a portion of the labour market who are facing job insecurity into new temporary nature-based jobs that support regional environmental projects. Projects will include boosting predator control efforts, restoring wetlands, planting, and improving tracks, huts and other recreational and visitor assets on public conservation land. Included in this is:
    - A 2.5 million NZD boost for South Westland to enable local businesses to retain approximately 50 staff while they do different work until their businesses are able to function again.
    - A 162 million NZD investment in improving the health of New Zealand’s waterways, including restoring mini wetlands, stabilising river banks, removing sediment and providing for fish passage.
    - 2.5 million NZD to Te Arawa Lakes Trust to see wetland restoration, catfish and aquatic weed control, pest eradication, monitoring water takes and discharges, and beehive management.
    Contact Ministry for the Environment; Department of Conservation; Ministry for Primary Industries

5.International Cooperation

  • COVID19 recovery and climate change mitigation

    Response Recovery
    New Zealand remains committed to spending at least 300 million NZD on climate change initiatives over 2019-2022 as announced by our Prime Minister at UNGA in September 2018.

    To secure climate co-benefits and in line with the New Zealand Aid Programme’s efforts to mainstream climate change, climate change considerations will be proactively integrated into COVID-19 recovery support across the New Zealand Aid Programme. This will be based on five guiding principles:

    1. Integrating climate change into COVID-19 recovery efforts systematically

    2. Considering stimulus measures that can also deliver long-term climate benefits

    3. Preparing the workforce for jobs relevant to a climate change future

    4. Supporting countries’ use of incentives to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions

    5. Improve how we measure the success of recovery by capturing effects on climate change objectives.

    (New Zealand's total aid programme for the period July 2018 - June 2021 is 2.2 billion NZD)
    Contact Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade