Rebuilding critical public services
Budget 2018 prioritises investment to meet the needs of a growing population and to ensure all New Zealanders have access to quality public services.
The rebuilding critical public services package provides $6.5 billion of new operating funding and $1.8 billion of capital funding. This includes funding in the following key areas:
Budget 2018 puts our district health boards (DHBs) back on track to deliver the quality care New Zealanders expect and deserve, when they need it. It provides investment in core services including maternity services, disability support, air ambulances and bowel screening. We are funding a significant primary care package that delivers low-cost GP visits for Community Service Card holders and widens access. Budget 2018 provides significant operating and capital investment for our hospitals and DHBs to expand service capacity and replace sub-standard infrastructure.
Budget 2018 meets increasing demand for early childhood education (ECE) and schooling, and provides an increase to the school operations grant and ECE support to make up for previous underfunding. Funding is provided to support students with the highest and most complex learning needs through a boost to the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme and other learning support initiatives. We are investing in new schools, rebuilding and expansion work, and delivering new classrooms throughout the country so our children get high-quality education.
Budget 2018 funds a more effective justice system that can properly support our communities. We are significantly increasing police numbers to support stable and safe communities. We are investing in community housing, and providing funding to safely manage offenders in prisons and those serving community-based sentences.
Supporting at-risk families
We are supporting those at risk by expanding family violence services to respond to growing demand, while strengthening service delivery and capability. We are including 17-year-olds in the youth justice system to provide them with appropriate support. A Welfare Expert Advisory Group will advise on how our system can better support all New Zealanders.