Sharing Prosperity and Measuring Success

These are just some of the main items in the first of three Budgets this Government will deliver in this term.

As I said, this Government does things a little differently. And that will be reflected in future Budgets.

We have already signalled our intention to take a wellbeing approach to Budget 2019. Changes to the Budget and the process for developing it will be announced later in the year and detailed in the Government’s Budget Policy Statement for 2019.

These changes are about measuring success differently. In the past we have used GDP and traditional fiscal indicators as the only signs of success. And yet, real success means much more for New Zealand and New Zealanders.  

Of course, a strong economy is important. But we must not lose sight of why it is important. And it is most important for allowing us all to have better lives.

That is why our Government is making a formal change to move beyond narrow measures of economic growth and broaden the scope and definitions of progress and success.

Next year we will be the first nation in the world to deliver a Wellbeing Budget reporting our annual progress against a range of measures that highlight the health and well-being of our people, our environment and our communities.  We will use the Living Standards Framework developed by the New Zealand Treasury to help develop our Budget, and to measure our success.

Mr Speaker

Budget 2018 represents the shared desire of the three parties that make up this Government to improve the lives of New Zealanders.

We will work with New Zealanders to create a sustainable, productive and inclusive economy, environment and society.

We recognise that it cannot happen all at once, as we balance all the different priorities. But we have a clear plan. We know what needs to be done and we are getting on with it.

In our plan, all Kiwis help to grow prosperity and get to share in it.  They get the means to provide for themselves and their families, and to be able to live in warm, dry and safe homes. New Zealanders will have a health system which itself is healthy, an education system which has the resources to meet the needs of all learners, a transport system that flows freely and safely, and an environment which is protected and where we lead again on climate change.

I want to thank again the New Zealand First Party and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand for joining the Labour Party in this journey.

This Government will always remember what matters most. 

He Aha Te Mea Nui o Te Ao?

He Tāngata, He Tāngata, He Tāngata.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

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