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Hamilton Mayor comments on Budget

Hamilton Mayor comments on Budget

25 May 2012

A zero Budget from the Government may still have some positives for Hamilton is the view of Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker on Finance Minister Bill English’s Budget.

Mayor Hardaker said while the Government had taken a cautionary approach across the board, funding boosts to science, innovation and research will support Hamilton’s strong research and development sector. Hamilton is New Zealand’s leading region for agricultural science and innovation research.

“The Government is also putting money directly into high-value manufacturing and services research which will provide great opportunities for our manufacturing sector to access leading edge research to improve their processes and products,” Mayor Hardaker said.

It was hoped new money for health would find its way to the city and Waikato Hospital as one of the country’s largest, said Mayor Hardaker.

The Government’s plans to centralise Ministry services will also mean one of three nationwide service centres for the Department of Conservation will be in Hamilton, bringing with it up to 70 staff.

“However with plans to significantly cut core public sector budgets, there are questions over the impact this may have on regionally based departmental staff, including those in Hamilton. It is important departments connect well with their communities and Hamilton is well placed strategically to be a key centre for this.

“It’s certainly not a budget which hands out too many sweets, but nor do the tough economic times we are in support that.

“Our own plans to improve the city’s financial position and get it back on track have seen Council propose through our 10-Year Plan a prudent and sustainable financial strategy which returns the city’s finances to surplus as well as ensuring the city continues to provide a great lifestyle and strong economy for business.”

“Council will be deliberating on the draft Plan early next month, and residents will be well aware that the financial challenges the country is facing are also reflected here in our city.”

ENDS

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