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Budget 2019: What people are saying

Labour – alongside our partners in Government, New Zealand First and the Green Party – are proud to deliver New Zealand's first ever Wellbeing Budget. It has received glowing reviews from experts and the media... 

Budget 2019 focuses on tackling the long-term challenges, such as the mental health of New Zealanders, lifting children out of poverty, and taking action on climate change. 

Have a read of just a few reviews below and share this page on social media to help get the word out about our first ever Wellbeing Budget.


"Where do we start? There is a lot of great stuff in the 2019 budget that will help New Zealand come to grips with the issues drugs are causing.

The $1.9 billion allocated for mental health and addictions is a big deal. We needed some fresh thinking and a way to get people help, early. The most significant announcement tackles this head-on: a new, universal frontline service will be set up. Over 300,000 Kiwis should be able to access free mental health and addictions help from their doctor’s clinic, iwi health provider or other services in a few years time.

The thinking behind this is bold – so is the $455 million allocated... And it’s reassuring that existing services will be better supported, and there’ll be more specialist services in schools and prisons."

-Ross Bell, executive director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation


"It’s heartening to see further investment in freshwater, particularly around water allocations, wetland restoration and mitigating weeds and pests in lakes. In terms of science and innovation, the top-up for kauri dieback research will provide a much-needed boost to the 2018 investment to save one of Aotearoa’s most iconic trees. This should enable scientists to accelerate strategic research into new tools to combat this pathogen."

- Dr Andrea Byrom, director of NZ's Biological Heritage National Science Challenge (via Science Media Centre)



"Great news in this budget on vulnerable children, on beneficiaries, on mental health, on reducing sexual violence. Te Ara Oranga, for example, will enable a better approach to methamphetamine addiction and treatment in the North, moving from a focus on moral detriment and punishment to health and community restoration. All of this is well overdue and will bring relief to the immense pain in some of the darkest, most abandoned corners of this land. Those who work to sustain our communities will have their load lightened. It will also help address the symptoms of long-term poverty for Māori."

- Rev Hirini Kaa, lecturer in history at the University of Auckland


"The government has earmarked positive contributions to venture capital, innovation, infrastructure and climate change. A new $300 million fund will help fill the ‘capital gap’ for New Zealand firms that expand beyond the early start-up phase. That’s great news for mid-sized start-ups." 

- Kirk Hope, chief executive of Business NZ


"There are significant elements of the budget which will assist those in greatest need in what is currently an inequitable New Zealand society; noteworthy, are the indexation of family benefits; early child education support; mental health and addiction services; corrections services and child wellbeing services, mainly family and sexual violence."

-Cath Conn, head of department of Public Health, AUT 



Today’s Wellbeing Budget takes seriously the need for a step-change in the way we support the wellbeing of New Zealand children. What is clear is that, avowedly and explicitly, this is a budget prepared through the lens of children – something unheard of previously. 

The measures taken in this budget, coupled with the $5.5 billion Families Package, mean the child poverty reduction targets the government has recently confirmed are not only aspirational and ambitious but also appropriate and achievable.

- Andrew Becroft, Children’s Commissioner


"We welcome this move to assist farmers to become more environmentally sustainable so we can safely swim and fish in our lakes, rivers and streams.  This is public money going to the benefit of private farming businesses to meet the expectations of New Zealanders.

- Martin Taylor, chief executive Fish & Game New Zealand


"We welcome the funding for Future of Work and Just Transition development. The boost to apprenticeships and trade training is a crucial component in achieving a Just Transition and is especially welcome."

- New Zealand Council of Trade Unions