From the Prime Minister
Wellbeing Budget 2020: Rebuilding Together has been prepared and delivered under circumstances that were unimaginable just months ago. The usual Budget preparation and negotiation process was put aside when COVID-19 arrived in New Zealand and we began again.
We began again knowing that we had to lead New Zealand's people and economy through this crisis.
We began again knowing that the global economy was suffering and that New Zealand would be affected in ways beyond our control.
We began again knowing that we had to meet the immediate needs of New Zealanders while also underpinning an ongoing economic recovery.
We began again knowing that we had the chance to reset some things and embrace any opportunity, albeit uninvited and unwelcome, offered to us by the disruption to business-as-usual that COVID-19 caused.
And that is what Budget 2020 delivers.
It ensures that our schools and hospitals will receive ongoing investment so they can provide for our families and whānau. That our vital infrastructure projects will continue in a way that reduces our carbon footprint. That we continue to invest in mental health to support our people.
On our health response, we went hard and early to fight COVID-19 and that success has opened up economic opportunities. Now, it's time to get the economy moving again both domestically and internationally to make the most of the head start New Zealand has with its recovery.
This Budget shows how we are positioning New Zealand for an economic recovery that will make New Zealand the best place it can be to live, study and work.
All of this work has been done through a wellbeing lens that considers the needs of New Zealand’s people and environment alongside our economy. That process, started in the 2019 Wellbeing Budget, is non-negotiable. It encapsulates our approach to every decision we make and every action we take, be it on an everyday basis or, like this, in times of crisis.
Our focus on the things we know matter - our people, our jobs, our education, our health, our environment - has not dimmed, it has grown. The process for the Budget may have changed, but these things are now more important than ever.
So now we begin our rebuild, together.
RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
Prime Minister of New Zealand