Finance Minister Grant Robertson told Mike Hosking Breakfast that the Government was looking into the possibility of opening the borders to international students - a $5 billion industry.
"While at the moment it is clearly not a time where people are going to be able to come in, if we continue with our success of getting on top of the virus, then that, along with Australia, marks us out as a place people will want to come to as an international student," he said. "It is an area of opportunity."
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The government set itself $52 billion to spend to tackle Covid-19. So far, it has spent $20b.
The budget next Thursday would deliver "medium and long term plan as well as short term response", he said.
Robertson said central banks around the world were looking very carefully at the economic impact of Covid-19. "While everybody has made pretty dramatic early moves, there's a practical point which is there's not that far to go in terms of interest rates at banks at the moment and so we may start to look at more unconventional monetary policy."
In response to banks' small loans programme, Robertson said they had lent a significant amount of money to people and given to relief to interest-only mortgage payments, but it was not getting the take-up expected.
"Banks have perhaps been a little slow in terms of offering the government-backed scheme alongside some other products, but we're getting there, we're working with them, we made some tweaks to that scheme last week ... what we were saying there is we wanted a scheme that actually got money out of the door quickly."
Robertson also told Hosking the Government is looking into how it can bring non-bank lenders into the business loan guarantee scheme.
"We are looking at how we can bring non-bank lenders into the system ... there are different regimes for how they are supervised in terms of the Reserve Bank and so they fell outside the original group," Robertson told Newstalk ZB.
About 95 per cent of lending was covered under the original scheme, he said.
"There are other lenders out there in the market and we've got an ongoing programme of work to see if we can include them as well."
Questioned about businesses such as manuka honey firms and beer barons accessing the wage subsidy despite rises in revenue, Robertson said he had no regrets about the wage subsidy scheme and that it was designed to ensure people stay attached to their jobs.
"If we hadn't done it, could we be sure that those companies would have kept people on just because they happened to be owned by a wealthy person? The answer is maybe not."
He said the scheme was designed to ensure people were kept on for the 12 weeks and that companies were being audited and asked to return the money if they were not eligible.
Robertson said that the Government was considering whether it would extend the wage subsidy scheme via a "broad-based scheme" or a targeted system.
"We said [in the beginning] it had to be a 30 per cent drop in revenue and that was our target," said Robertson.
He added that things became more was difficult when you start to target assistance by sector.
Robertson said he was "as keen as anybody" to see the country move into Alert level 2.
Level 2 would give the tourism industry "a lifeline", he said.