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Budget 2019 - Scoop Full Coverage

The 2019 New Zealand Budget was delivered on Thursday 30 May.

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For previous budgets see...
BUDGET 2018 - [Labour's December 2017 Budget update - link] - BUDGET 2017 - BUDGET 2016 - BUDGET 2015 - BUDGET 2014 - BUDGET 2013 - BUDGET 2012 - BUDGET 2011 - BUDGET 2010 - BUDGET 2009 - BUDGET 2008 - BUDGET 2007 - BUDGET 2007 - BUDGET 2006 - BUDGET 2005 - BUDGET 2004 - BUDGET 2003 - BUDGET 2002 - BUDGET 2001 & BUDGET 2000


Gordon Campbell: On The Morning After Feeling From The Wellbeing Budget
Allegedly, there are 628 different synonyms for “well-being” 654 Well-being Synonyms - Other Words for Well-being so there should be one that fits your own response to the Wellbeing Budget.

IMO, “in the pink” is the closest fit. Meaning: not socialist red, but a lighter shade of pink that’s been spread thinly across a slew of social and infrastructural spending initiatives that – with a couple of exceptions – are disappointing in their scale and scope.

It isn’t transformational. From mental health to the rail network to improving the state of the waterways, much of the spend will merely be playing catch up for the previous decade of neglect. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallacy Of Political Moderation
This ‘myth of the political centre’ is a shared belief among politicians and journalists alike. (It dovetails nicely with journalism’s ‘myth of objectivity’, which promotes a similarly ideal fiction of even-handed moderation in all things.) More>>

BusinessDesk: Economists Largely Positive But Sceptical About Parts
Economists were largely upbeat about the government's 2019 budget but say Treasury's forecasts may be too optimistic.

The Treasury lowered its growth forecasts but still sees gross domestic product growth of 3 percent in the 12 months to June 2020 and 2.8 percent the following year.

Ramped up government spending also saw it narrow the predicted surplus over the next few years, essentially narrowing the operating balance excluding gains and losses by $9.2 billion between now and June 2023. More>>

Newshub Nation interviews:

The Conversation: Support For A Lower-Emission Economy
Robert McLachlan: A decade ago, one of New Zealand’s leading scientists, the late Sir Paul Callaghan, put forth his vision for the country in his book Wool to Weta. He envisaged New Zealand emphasising green high-technology industries and reducing dependence on agriculture... More>>


Lyndon Hood: Better Analogies For National Pilfering Budget Data
After the Treasury Secretary's tragically doomed effort provide a metaphorical image for the budget data breach, and the rash of media attempts that followed, we never got an analogy that really covers all the bases. Until now. More>>


14 August: Publication Of Background Documents For Budget 2019
Background documents for Budget 2019 are now available from on the Treasury website... More>>

"Clumsy Response To A Serious Issue": Treasury Head Was "Unreasonable" On Budget Breach
Outgoing Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf was "clumsy", unreasonable and fell "well short" of expectations in his handling of the Budget data breach, a government report has found. More>>

New Budget Arts Funding: Fairer Wage For Grant Artists, Creatives In Schools

The vital contribution and huge value the creative sector brings to New Zealand is recognised in this year’s Budget with $11.157 million over four years for two new initiatives, the Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern said today. More>>

Budget Breach "Hack" Claim Response: Government Advice Timeline Revealed
The government has finally given some clarity around the timeline of who knew what, and when , regarding Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf's claim Treasury's website had been hacked. More>>

Defence Capability Plan 2019 Released
The Defence Capability Plan sets out the Government’s indicative planned investments in the New Zealand Defence Force. More>>

10-Month Crown Accounts: Tax Revenue Above Forecasts (So Far)
Core Crown tax revenue of $71.1 billion was $2.3 billion (3.3%) above forecast. Within this, other individuals tax was $0.9 billion (24.1%) above forecast, corporate tax $0.6 billion (4.8%) and GST $0.5 billion (2.6%) above forecast. More>>

Accommodation, Energy Use, Screen Industry, ISPs: Four Surveys To End
The surveys will cease because Stats NZ is under significant cost pressures and is no longer able to run them based on present funding. Some of these surveys were run in consultation, and with funding, from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. More>>

Budget Breach: SSC Will Investigate Treasury Secretary's Response
State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced an investigation into recent questions raised concerning the Chief Executive and Secretary to the Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, and his actions and public statements about the causes of the unauthorised access to Budget material. More>>

Report & Video: PM's Post-Budget Post-Cab
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opened her post-Budget post-cabinet press conference with a run down of her post-budget week plans, her assessment of the post-budget response from mental health, and a summary of the government's new investment in DHBs. ... More>>

(Note see also pre-budget announcements below)

The Budget Speech



From Parliament:




NZ First


Non-Parliamentary Political Reaction:

SOEs, etc

Health Sector Reaction:

Education Sector Reaction:

Science and Tech Sector Reaction:

Union Reaction:

Welfare/Poverty Sector Reaction

Finance, Tax & Analysis:

Business Reaction


Other Reaction


Government Pre-Budget Announcements:

BusinessDesk Pre-Budget Coverage:

From RNZ:

Pre-budget statements and wishlists:

Selected coverage of pre-Budget announcements and drama:

No Crime: Search Engine Flaw Allowed Previews Of Budget Docs
Following Tuesday's referral, the Police have advised the Treasury that, on the available information, an unknown person or persons appear to have exploited a feature in the website search tool but that this does not appear to be unlawful...
- ...a specifically-worded search would be able to surface small amounts of content from the 2019/20 Estimates documents.
- A large number (approx. 2,000) of search terms were placed into the search bar looking for specific information on the 2019 Budget...
- This would return a few sentences - that included the headlines for each Vote paper - but the search would not return the whole document. More>>

Two Recommendations Not Accepted: Govt Responds To Mental Health Report
Mental health Foundation: “We’re very pleased to see a renewed investment in mental health services, especially at the community level,” MHF chief executive Shaun Robinson says. “Demand for services has increased by 75% over the last 10 years and funding hasn’t kept pace with this demand. This demand must be met and we’re glad to see the Government recognises this and is investing in this area.” More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget Leak
No doubt the Police will carry out their investigation of the Treasury Budget hack with more courtesy and nuance than they showed when pursuing the source of those Dirty Politics emails... More>>

National Releases Budget Info: 'Systematic Hack' Referred To Police
Treasury has gathered sufficient evidence to indicate that its systems have been deliberately and systematically hacked. The Treasury has referred the matter to the Police on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre. More>>

RNZ Live Blog: Education 'Mega Strike'
Members of the two teachers' unions - NZEI and the Post Primary Teachers' Association - are striking after refusing to settle for three pay rises of 3 percent each. Talks with the Education Ministry have been deadlocked for months and the government has insisted it will not increase the total value of its offers... More>>

LVRs Remain For Now: RBNZ's Orr Sees 'Resilient' Financial System
Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr is less concerned about housing loans but is still fretting about a third of dairy debt and is also flagging the rapid growth in lending to the horticulture sector. More>>

27/5/19 - PM And FinMin's Post-Cab: Mental Health Inquiry And Budget Responsibility
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson for the last post-cabinet press conference before Thursday's budget. The Government will also announce its delayed response to the mental health inquiry this week. More>>

26/5/19: New Service For Young People Leaving Care
The Wellbeing Budget contains funding to build a new nation-wide Transition Support Service which is expected to help around 3,000 young people over the next four years after it starts on July 1. More>>

23/5/19 - Robertson Speech: Budget Sees Wider Debt Target
"New Zealand is well positioned to face this instability and uncertainty, but we are not immune from its impacts. Growth rates are set to be lower than we have seen in recent years..." More>>

Budget Announcements: Family And Sexual Violence Response
The family and sexual violence package, which sits across eight portfolios, is the result of the first ever joint Budget bid from multiple government departments. More>>

'Wellbeing Budget': Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
There has been a fair amount of attention in the media here and internationally on this year’s budget – our country’s first Wellbeing Budget. Enough for me to be invited to the recent Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, to talk about our approach... More>>

Budget 2019: "More Than 1,000 Homeless To Be Housed"
Jacinda Ardern said Budget 2019 is breaking the cycle for long-term homeless people by giving them a permanent, warm and safe home, and support services to help address the causes of homelessness. More>>

Welfare Report Release: Government Announces Three Changes
Despite there being over 40 recommendations, the Government has only committed to three changes in this year’s budget, which include an end to sanctions on sole parents, changes to the abatement rate, and additional frontline staff. More>>

Budget: More For Teacher Training
The Government is pumping more resources into addressing the long term challenge of teacher shortages in our schools by training or supporting 3280 additional teachers over the next four years… More>>

Budget: $16M For Census Fix, Improvements
The government is committing an extra $10.36 million to fund Statistics New Zealand's preparations for the 2023 national census after lower than anticipated participation and completion marred the results of the 2018 census. More>>

PM's Post-Cab Video & Report: Delays, Mental Health, And Statistics
Prime Minister Ardern said that the Government's response to the mental health and addiction inquiry would be delayed until closer to the budget... Ardern and James Shaw announced a budget funding increase for the census. More>>

No Comment: PM's Post-Cab 15/4/19
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed cabinet signoff on the year's "wellbeing" budget. She described some of its goals but declined to comment on any specifics... She also discussed the case of a New Zealand nurse believed to have been abducted by ISIS while working with the Red Cross in Syria in 2013. More>>


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