Changes to benefits and taxes on 1st April

The 1st of April is the beginning of the financial year in New Zealand. As a result, benefit rates increase from this date, as part of what is called the Annual General Adjustment – when benefits are adjusted to match the increase in the consumer price index or in the average wage.

The benefit that is paid while people are looking for work is called Jobseeker Support. A single person on Jobseeker Support without children will now get $353.46 a week, up from $337.74, while a couple without children will receive $601.46 a week, up from $574.70. A single parent will now get $494.80, and a couple with children will qualify for $635.10 a week.

There are two benefits which support families. The Best Start credit is paid to all families until their baby turns one (as long as they are not receiving paid parental leave). This payment has increased from $69 a week to $73. The Family Tax Credit, or Working for Families, has risen from a maximum $136 to a maximum $144 a week for the oldest child in a family, and from $111 to $117 per week for subsequent children.

Superannuation is paid to New Zealanders aged 65 and over. From 1st April, a single person in this age group who is living alone will get $46.20 more a fortnight, and a couple will get an extra $71.08.

A student allowance is paid to people to help with their living expenses while they’re studying. This has also increased – for example, the allowance for eligible students under 24 will go up by $27.94 to a maximum of $314.15 a week after tax.

In addition, on Monday the minimum wage rose from $22.70 to $23.15, which is a 2% increase. This is a smaller increase than in the past few years under the Labour government and is less than the current rate of inflation of 4.7%.

One other change introduced on Monday relates to landlords. They can now claim 80% of their mortgage interest expenses, and from April 2025 they will be able to claim 100% of those costs. This represents a $2.9 billion tax break for landlords over the next four years. The government hopes that this will help reduce rents, as landlords’ costs will be lower. However, several academics and economists have said it’s unlikely that people’s rents will decrease.


benefit – money paid by the government to people who are unemployed, sick or have little money

subsequent – happening or coming after something else

fortnight – two weeks

eligible – if you are eligible for something, you are able or allowed to do it

landlord – a person who owns a house and rents it to someone else

mortgage – money borrowed from a bank to buy a house