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 4

Mr Speaker,

The next priority is Building a Productive Nation so that New Zealanders thrive in the digital age.

Productivity growth is a key driver of incomes, both at a household and country level. But New Zealand has struggled for decades to be productive. We are committed to turning this around.

This will require industries and businesses to innovate and adopt cutting edge technology. It also means New Zealanders will need to acquire new skills to take advantage of the opportunities in the changing job market.

Budget 2019 allocates $157 million into innovation, with initiatives to support businesses to become more productive and develop high value low-emissions products. $26 million of this will go towards helping commercialise science and research and turn ideas into products and services.

This package will support the Government's target to invest two per cent of New Zealand's GDP into research and development by 2027.

Mr Speaker,

There is evidence of a gap in our domestic capital markets, which may be slowing the growth of New Zealand firms. This gap is not being filled by current venture capital.

In a productive economy it's important to have well-functioning early stage capital markets and a healthy start-up ecosystem. New start-ups are well served but expansion after the start-up phase is not well supported.

So Budget 2019 establishes a new $300 million fund to support the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund in making venture capital investments to take start-up businesses to the next level.

The Guardians of the New Zealand Super Fund will support this new investment though governance and by leveraging their investment expertise.

Mr Speaker,

The Government wants to make sure New Zealanders are equipped with the skills they need to adapt and thrive as their workplaces change, and to ensure young people entering the workforce are well prepared.

This Government has launched a vital reform of our vocational education and training system. We need more high quality accessible trades training and apprenticeships. But at the same time our polytechnic system is struggling. We need better coordination with on-the-job training and a nationwide coordinated system that supports quality regional provision. This Budget allocates $197 million to support these changes.

The Wellbeing Budget boosts Mana in Mahi, the programme that subsidies employers to take on apprentices, extending the places available from 150 to almost 2,000, and progresses towards our goal of 4,000 places.

An additional $26.6 million is allocated through the Provincial Growth Fund to extend He Poutama Rangatahi to assist young Māori and Pacific people who are not in employment, education or training and are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Wellbeing Budget continues the development of the School Leavers Toolkit to better equip young people for life after leaving school. The goal of this programme is for all secondary schools students to have access to programmes which will provide civics knowledge and skills, financial literacy, and key workplace competencies.

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