Wairoa Star, Wairoa East Coast by STUART NASH 22 May 2018
THE government’s first Budget is a Budget for the regions.
The Budget delivered last week will transform the economy and improve living standards, especially for those in provincial areas who have been neglected for too long.
We can finance good economic policy and good social policy. We are rebuilding the foundations of our core public services – health, education, housing and police.
We want people to be able to live in a warm dry home, have access to high quality health services, a great education for our kids, and to feel safe in their communities.
Our economic and social policies are directed at the regions. In regional economic development, we’ve got the Provincial Growth Fund. This includes significant investment in the one billion trees programme and support for regional rail projects.
The fund represents the single biggest investment in the regions in our lifetimes. It will create economic development opportunities, sustainable jobs, contribute to community wellbeing, lift the productivity potential of regions, and help meet New Zealand’s climate change targets.
The Budget also sets aside funding for the establishment of the New Zealand Forestry Service. We are connecting up our transport assets and infrastructure like ports and primary producers. We are investing in a new forestry service across regional New Zealand.
In places like Wairoa, these decisions will make a difference.
Our job in our first budget is to fix the immediate problems, but to also look ahead, to plan for change and anticipate challenges. We can’t fix nine years of neglect in one budget. This is the first of our three budgets this term.
We are being responsible with the money we spend. We are running surpluses and managing debt so that future generations are resilient to shocks like natural disasters and global economic downturns.
We want thriving regions and that means building infrastructure and investing in the people to make that happen.
In our plan, all Kiwis help to grow prosperity and get to share in it.
‘Our job in our first budget is to fix the immediate problems, but to also look ahead, to plan for change and anticipate challenges’