From the Prime Minister
Welcome to the Coalition Government's first Wellbeing Budget. It's something you will have heard a lot of talk about and now it's a reality.
It's a reality because while economic growth is important – and something we will continue to pursue – it alone does not guarantee improvements to our living standards.
Nor does it measure the quality of economic activity or take into account who benefits and who is left out or left behind.
We know for example that New Zealand has had strong growth for a number of years, all the while experiencing some of the highest rates of suicide, unacceptable homelessness and shameful rates of family violence and child poverty.
Growth alone does not lead to a great country. So it's time to focus on those things that do.
Our five Wellbeing Budget priorities show how we have broadened our definition of success for our country to one that incorporates not just the health of our finances, but also of our natural resources, people and communities.
They show that we are doing things differently by:
- supporting mental wellbeing for all New Zealanders, with a special focus on under 24-year-olds
- reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing, including addressing family violence
- lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities
- supporting a thriving nation in the digital age through innovation, social and economic opportunities
- creating opportunities for productive businesses, regions, iwi and others to transition to a sustainable and low-emissions economy.
There are real people behind every one of these priorities and this Budget will give them the opportunities they don't currently have. The opportunity to be trained or retrained, to have a warm, dry home, to escape the cycle of family violence or to grow a business and achieve success.
I am proud of this Wellbeing Budget. It positions our country to begin tackling our long-term challenges and puts in place what we need to make a difference now and for generations to come.
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister of New Zealand