Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister David Clark have made a pre-Budget announcement to provide our ambulance services with certainty. The announcement includes a one off funding injection of $21 million over the next two years to help relieve immediate budgetary pressures, as well as an increase in operational funding of $17.2 million over four years. New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball also accompanied the Ministers to make the announcement, having been a vocal advocate for the ambulance services.
“New Zealanders know we have high quality ambulance services in St John and Wellington Free Ambulance, but we can’t take them for granted,” says Winston Peters.
“They are a critical service and we are pleased that we have been able to secure this additional funding for them.”
Currently only 72 percent of the operating costs of ambulances is government funded. The remainder of their funding is dependent on charges and generous donations from the public. St John has called for 95 percent government funding.
“New Zealand First has long called for action to ensure a secure future for our ambulance services. This announcement is a welcome first step in that direction,” says Darroch Ball.
“We need to develop a sustainable funding model for ambulance services. This budget boost will support these services in the interim so we can develop a secure funding model for the future,” he says.