Budget Speech

The Budget Speech is the Budget Statement the Minister of Finance delivers at the start of Parliament's Budget debate. The Budget Statement generally focuses on the overall fiscal and economic position, the Government's policy priorities and how those priorities will be funded.

Budget Speech
Published: 30 May 2019
Also published on the Treasury website.

Budget Priorities, part 3

Mr Speaker,

Our next priority is Supporting Māori and Pasifika Aspirations.

As a Government we have committed to doing things differently for Māori and Pasifika.

The evidence in the Wellbeing Outlook shows Māori and Pacific peoples score consistently lower on most areas of wellbeing relative to the general population, including in measures of income, education and housing.

That is why this Government has made targeted support for Māori and Pasifika aspirations a priority for Budget 2019.

The centrepiece for this is the allocation of an additional $80 million to support whānau through Whānau Ora.

We are also investing a further $50 million to reduce health inequities for Māori and Pacific peoples by providing targeted services and support, and growing our Māori and Pacific health workforces.

To further help Māori open up economic opportunities, the Government is investing $56 million over the next four years to unlock the potential of Whenua Māori. Current research shows that 600,000 hectares, nearly 40 per cent of Māori land, is underdeveloped.

Mr Speaker,

Seventy-six per cent of those in high security Corrections settings identify as either Māori or Pacific. The reimprisonment rates of people released from high security are above 70 per cent.

That's why the Wellbeing Budget contains $98 million in funding for a new kaupapa-based corrections pathway, including for high-security prisoners. The initiative is co-designed by Whānau Ora, Corrections, the Ministry of Social Development and Iwi, and aims to tackle the long-term challenge of Māori overrepresentation in the prison system. I want to credit Minister Kelvin Davis for his role in leading this work.

The new pathway will enable people to experience a Māori and whānau-centred approach for all of their time with Corrections.

We are acknowledging that our system does not work for the majority of Māori. This is a system change and a culture change for our prisons.

Mr Speaker,

Our languages speak to our sense of belonging, our identity and our understanding of how we came to be here.

The Government has an aspiration that basic te reo Māori will be spoken by a million people in Aotearoa by 2040. Nearly $10 million in this Budget will fund Te Taura Whiri, the Māori Language Commission, and support an increase in certification for te reo teachers.

A further $14 million is being invested over the next two years to support Te Māngai Pāho to fund more te reo Māori and Māori focussed content for broadcast across the motu.

Pacific languages in New Zealand are also an important part of our cultural wellbeing. However, without action we risk losing a sense of culture and belonging for our Pacific people. The Budget provides $20 million to establish a new Pacific Language Unit, with a set of language support functions to help ensure the survival of Pacific languages in New Zealand.

Through this Budget we're investing $27.4 million to ensure Pacific students and their families have the skills, knowledge and opportunities to pursue any education pathway. We're also investing $14.5 million to place up to 2,220 Pacific young people into employment, education or training.

This Budget supports Pacific businesses through an $11 million investment in the Pacific Business Trust to expand the delivery of a range of business services, and support economic development activities focussed on growing Pacific businesses and job opportunities.

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