Finance Minister Grant Robertson says ahead of next week's Budget announcement that the Govt will be spending $10 bln more over the next five years than the previous Govt promised; Is that it? asks National's Amy Adams

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says ahead of next week's Budget announcement that the Govt will be spending $10 bln more over the next five years than the previous Govt promised; Is that it? asks National's Amy Adams

The Coalition Government's promising $42 billion in net capital spending over the next five years, which it says is $10 billion more than the previous Government was forecasting.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson told a Wellington Chamber of Commerce audience ahead of next week's Budget announcement that the Government had to build "the strong foundations that give every New Zealander the chance to succeed".

"Healthier, more secure, better-educated people have the best chance of getting ahead in life," he said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Finance spokesperson Amy Adams accused Robertson of rehashing old news, saying that he had given the $42 billion figure during the half-year update in December. 

"Business confidence is low with exporters and employers worried about the direction the Ardern-Peters Government is taking New Zealand in. This was Grant Robertson’s opportunity to reassure business leaders about his plan for New Zealand’s future economic growth. Instead he has re-heated five month old news," Adams said.

Robertson said the capital investments to be announced in the May 17 Budget would give "a long overdue boost to Health" to ensure that our hospitals are fit for purpose and can cope with a growing and ageing population.

"Education will also get a significant investment to support our schools to deal with ageing buildings and increasing enrolments.

"We are upgrading our transport network to ensure we have a safe, efficient transport system, and will make the largest investment of our lifetimes into New Zealand’s regions via the $1 billion per year Provincial Growth Fund."

In Housing, Robertson said the Government would provide "a boost" on top of the $2 billion announced in the December mini-Budget for Kiwibuild, including $100 million to combat homelessness this winter.

"This is an issue that has grown over time, and while this won’t fix the problem overnight, it is a significant first step."

Budget 2018 would also reflect the plan  to transform the New Zealand economy to be more productive and more sustainable.

"...We simply cannot drive economic growth by merely increasing our population and speculating on the housing market.

"These are not sustainable drivers of growth.

"Our labour productivity is far below the OECD average.

"To transform our economy we have to work smarter, and get more out of every hour worked. We need to apply our knowledge and innovation to lift our industries and businesses up the value chain."

Robertson said a Budget was always "a balancing act"

"...We have been responsible by making sure we have created the room to make the critical investments we need to, while maintaining New Zealand’s resilience to any future shocks. We are doing this while meeting the Budget Responsibility Rules, meaning we are running a surplus in this Budget and across the economic cycle."

Budget 2018 was the beginning of an economic and social transformation "that must happen if we are to improve New Zealanders’ quality of life and living standards", he said.

"We are investing in the future. We are a positive, energetic government which is managing the books responsibly, so that our country and our economy is one where our children and grandchildren can thrive."

This was the full statement from the National Party's Amy Adams:

The Finance Minister is already reduced to re-announcing five month old news in his major pre-Budget speech this morning, National’s Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Grant Robertson’s key announcement today was exactly what he told us at his half-yearly update in December, namely that there would be a $42 billion capital spend over the next five years.

“It’s bizarre that he has absolutely nothing new to say in the pre-budget announcement for his first budget.

“What this number means in reality is that the Government will be racking up a further $10 billion of debt on behalf of New Zealanders despite having inherited a strong economy and growing surpluses.

“Business confidence is low with exporters and employers worried about the direction the Ardern-Peters Government is taking New Zealand in. This was Grant Robertson’s opportunity to reassure business leaders about his plan for New Zealand’s future economic growth. Instead he has re-heated five month old news.

“This Government is spending more, borrowing more and taxing people more, yet he has laid out no plans for how New Zealand can earn more.

“Actually they are pulling the handbrake on growth by attacking the regions, key industries like oil and gas, and our farmers.

“Surely New Zealanders deserve better than repeating five month old news.”

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“...We simply cannot drive economic growth by merely increasing our population and speculating on the housing market.”

Very good – then please proceed to address the population issue without further delay – a comparative deafening silence thus far.


Christ. They're going to rape me in the wallet. How about spending the money more carefully.

The signal is clear. Any productive person should just leave this country. Your productivity will go towards land bankers, monopolies, government contractors and subsidizing dysfunctional six kid families.

Global competition in jobs and housing. But no no no - we can't have global competition in retail or construction.

Just the other day Labour were setting up another working group (or whatever they named it, it's expensive) into how automation will affect the economy in the future. Meanwhile we're still importing a bunch of "skilled" chefs and taxi drivers - some of the first jobs to be automated in fact.

yup, best move to aussie and pay 45 cents on the dollar to support their 6 kid families and not as a kiwi be eligible for anything yourself.

I wonder why Aussie are tightening the purse strings on "kiwis". Could it be because NZ is a backdoor to Australia for low skilled people that didn't make the cut first time.

Same Bla Bla, same softening rhetoric, same blame, same generic expressions which could mean anything ...

Spending more doesn't mean they are spending it right !!

$100M extra for Motels, I take it ?
what about the numbers of homeless people, are they less, or increasing, how about the new ones who will be made homeless after chasing investors out of the residential market?

We shall see it all on the 17th of May

Same Bla Bla, same softening rhetoric, same blame, same generic expressions which could mean anything ...

Echo, you could have saved yourself the last few months' worth of your comments and summarised them all with that one sentence.

If offered an AI Bot service it could cover most of the daily posting, including mine, yours, Eco's, RPs etc etc. There are enough partisans here to sink a ship.

I'll admit I pine for the days of Unaha-Closp when we can be rid of all politicians and be administered by benevolent AI. Unfortunately, while I manage a lot of my household and my life with the help of AI, it's not yet ready to govern.

But we can at least hold our current and previous governments more equally accountable, can we not?

As Christopher Hitchens once noted, the one unforgivable sin is to be boring. If we cannot aim for complete objectivity, we can at least aim for entertaining commentary.

Haha, I thought he/she was Scandanavian, not a sentient general-purpose drone. "Unaha-Closp's Retrospective Construction Agreement made the drone liable for an Incurred Generation Debt. It began working to pay off the Incurred Generation Debt Loan Agreement". I'll also admit to Googling "Brock Landers" and "LARP".

Gotta say, that certainly is appropriate for these times and topics, too haha:

"Unaha-Closp's Retrospective Construction Agreement made the drone liable for an Incurred Generation Debt. It began working to pay off the Incurred Generation Debt Loan Agreement".

Sure there would be some sticking points to write rules for e.g. generational NZ slang inclusions (where the generation is assumed from reviewing the body of comments). Drawing from similar comments online that share similar bias, insults etc. But replying to comments directed to the bot usually becomes the old game of 'avoid the question, insult the other party'. Bots often can easily be detected somewhat due to the patterns & fixed rules they follow. Even ones that are built with some machine learning tools. Often the bots end up sounding childish due to flaws in design not being able to cope with a conversation. We don't yet have the tech to replace an organic conversation, (no Turing test winners yet), and we would miss the unique views those authors write, (whether or not they have the conviction to believe them or are role playing). However I do not doubt they would certainly appear sufficient so that many commentators respond to them. Even now many will still feed trolls, both requiring less actual conversation and more just mudslinging at each other. But that is in part the interesting thing about human relationships & communication online, it can be more artificial, appear disconnected and childish. Related bot story attached where a social site element had bots added and then removed due to no bots policy

Echo, I own a motel and we get asked for accommodation from WINZ regularly (cause we're affordable 3 star). We have stopped taking many of them unless they're a family with children. The sad truth is that most are jobless and spend their days lurking around the motel with alcoholic drinks in hand and they generally leave their room in... "a not clean condition" (I'm trying really hard to be very polite)

... oh dearie me ... sorry Steven Joyce ... my apologies for doubting you .... your pre-election shtick that the Labour Party had a mega $ billion black hole in their funding model was correct ...

Taxinda has promised wildly .... offered way way more than was prudent to the electorate ...

... and now they're actually in government .... the holes are appearing .... in Labour's promises , and in their finances ...

As I tanked up the Toyota Corolla this morning .... $ 219.9 for 91 octance .... up 12 cents since Taxinda's announcement of a new raft of petrol taxes .... oh dear .... sorry Joycie ... I'm man enuff to admit that you were right ... and I was wrong ... $ 2.20 per litre .... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr .....

right so the new zealand government sets the international oil price now?

No, but they set the first dollar of the price of petrol.

Kelvin Davis has announced a $ 25 or so tourist tax .... I feel so much better now .... our 3.7 million visitors are gonna be whacked with a new tax too ...

...I'm so glad that we can all suffer together ... as Taxinda and her Taxminions roar around the economy ... searching for pockets to pick ...

Oh well is that so? How dare this CoL steal National's ideas, haven't they got their own?!??!!

Sneak taxes. Only way they can do it now after having to back off before the election when their wholesale tax agenda became apparent. Can’t get it through the front door? Go round the back then.

As John Key notes, a levy is different from a tax in many ways and you should google it.

Don’t care what you call it but it is revenue for the government. Personally I have no great regard for Mr Key but it is totally counter productive to justify any action by comparing it to something that, in your opinion, is worse. Anything at all above hell must therefore be heaven.

Not to justify it, just to highlight that it was done before and it was excused before by many who would condemn it now because it's done by the wrong team.

But I actually agreed with John Key on this "levy" - why not use it to help fund infrastructure that tourists will benefit from too? And as he noted, it indeed won't make a blind bit of difference, and these sorts of things aren't uncommon from my experiences traveling.

point taken. To generalise, I believe that successive governments of either party have had far too much inclination to boost revenue by any means they think can be eased through at the time.Amongst it all we are plagued by the dead hand of a bloated and self serving bureaucracy of empire builders, and if that could be addressed, then there might not be quite such a need for increasing that revenue. Much easier to go for, and too many competing for, the cream on top of the pail and not worried about the milk dripping through the rusty bottom.

Much like Aus environmental levy for visiting certain areas, set at less than a percent of the total costs of a trip.

waiting for you to squeeze "taxidermists" into your post

Well thanks but no thanks. Too likely to tell me to get stuffed.

Appropriate username

Ouch! Even more painful than been labelled a noxious plant.

Are you buying gas in the middle of nowhere? We're paying $2.10 for 95/98 round my ways.

$2.02 Mobil Mt Albert

More cows or more ppl, Minister you got to choose one to grow economy.

There is no third option for NZ.


.... neither ! ... there is a third option .... technology ... more research and innovation ... increased productivity .... heading ourselves up the knowledge wave ....

Your slogan is as dry as a bone.

The key for the 4th industrial revolution is held either in the Chinese or American's hand. All others, including NZ, are marginalized.

China will run out of credit before that..
China’s debt buildup since the global financial crisis has been one of the largest in modern history, with total debt-to-GDP rising to an estimated of 317 per cent at the end of 2017 (or 282 per cent if we exclude financial sector debts, compared with 158 per cent at the end of 2008).

Really? Europe is just an irrelevant little blob on the map these days is it? And the rest of Asia too? Can't say I have a lot of hope for an industrial revolution from Africa or South America.. but you never quite know where the next genius will emerge from.

Your argument skills are becoming worse xingmowang. Surely even you can understand what a false dichotomy is. You cannot even respond with clear arguments either. It is neither one of your options or the other. Both are framed poorly and bear no complete control over NZ or the NZ economy. But I am trying to gather why you even bothered to make these poor arguments in the first place. There is such a lack of purpose to them it is hard to guess. Did you have anything in your head when you were writing them? Say a thought towards wanting to encourage or advertise something? While you are trying to herd cats over a stream I would advise you to think of a better mechanism. Threads often will not go your way.

wow I agree with GBH for once... about tourism, wine, tech, need to travel some more X

That will fall under More ppl category.

Exporting wine and tech is not immigration nor is smoking today?

xingmowang technically everything falls under the more people category (it is a poor argument & false dichotomy). Of course there are thousands of actual other better options (& combinations). NZ is not just limited to agriculture & tourism for instance. But then you only need a company directory to see that, oh look we have one go browse it sometime. Also every country needs an immigration department. Even this country cannot even handle growth with the population it has.

Correct Xingmowang

If you choose the "more people" option then you automatically need more of the first option

There is another option. People should stop wanting more, much more than they need.
We don't have to grow so fast and we don't need so many luxury goods.

In-correct, a) technology and b) value add ie improve productivity and margins.

On top of that you assume we have to grow, but on a finite planet consuming more raw materials to grow has limits and we are at them, ergo to still grow (even if that is possible) its imperative we do more with less.

Then finally raw GDP is just a crap figure to look at, more sensible is to look at GDP per capita as that impacts us as individuals.

So the Q is do you want all NZers to grow richer? or just have more NZers? my answer is the former.


Utter nonsense. What NZ needs is better productivity.We have lagged behind on this for decades. We most certainly do not need more cows.Let me quote the CEO of Landcorp,our biggest farming business;"Finally,our reality is that we will need fewer animals on our land and more crops.We will need to shift our land uses from farming animals to more forestry and plant products."
The malign effects of unrestricted immigration can be seen all too clearly in the obscene levels of the Auckland house market-though there are other contributory reasons.

Throwing more $ at a problem doesn't solve it per se, it might help solve the problem but only "might". What is certain though is that someone, people who work specifically, have to pay for the $ thrown

No more taxes was stated by Jacinda wasn’t it?
Every week they are coming out with a new one.
Yesterday I heard they were looking at taxing people who owned property that were around where new transport infrastructure had been put in!
Certainly wasn’t put in by the COL!
They are getting more pathetic and disintegrating and showing that they are so far out of their depth it is not funny!

That will occur in rates anyway. Maybe if you looked back through 9 years of National (and indeed the 9 years of HC) it will become obvious that Govn's if they cant tax by the front door will do so by the backdoor eg asset sales are in effect a tax. Demanding un-realistic returns from SOE's are in effect a tax. The biggest objection to these is they are regressive.

Oh and lets not forget who put up GST.

Just another angry bitter old boomer who cannot accept the fact that National stuffed up the election because they had no mates to get them over the line. It was Nationals election to lose. Stupidly they went for Winston's seat and his party vote. Is anyone surprised that Winston chose Labour after that happened. He lost his seat. Just imagine how he felt about National after the humiliation of that happening. National took a calculated risk in trying to get rid of New Zealand First and it backfired. If Labour's win was not within the rules they would not be in power. National will lose the next election if they do not start getting a few mates in Parliament.

Great post Gordon I completely agree with you.

If The Man 2, is as old as he says he is, I find it just astounding that someone can come-across so uneducated and parochial.

It's really Labour's responsibility to be the Government which moves NZ on from Rogernomics - since they brought it in.

Ardern is doing that.

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