The Public Finance Act 1989 requires the Government to set wellbeing objectives through the Budget Policy Statement and explain how these are intended to support long-term wellbeing in New Zealand. These objectives are intended to be relatively enduring, which reflects that sustained investment across multiple budgets is needed to address some of New Zealand's most significant, intergenerational challenges. The wellbeing objectives are interdependent and separate from the shorter-term goals and focus areas, which are intended to support the choices and trade-offs required as part of Budget decision-making.
Our wellbeing objectives for Budget 2022 are:
- Just Transition - supporting the transition to a climate-resilient, sustainable and low-emissions economy
- Physical and Mental Wellbeing - supporting improved health outcomes for all New Zealanders and minimising COVID-19 and protecting our communities
- Future of Work - enabling all New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses to benefit from new technologies and lift productivity and wages through innovation
- Māori and Pacific Peoples - lifting Māori and Pacific Peoples incomes, skills and opportunities, including through access to affordable, safe, and stable housing
- Child Wellbeing - reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing, including through access to affordable, safe and stable housing
These objectives are enduring and continue to focus on areas the Labour-led Government identified through extensive wellbeing analysis during 2019 and 2020. This work took a collaborative and evidence-based approach, using the Treasury's Living Standards Framework and incorporating advice from sector experts and the Government's Chief Science Advisors to identify the broad areas where there are the greatest opportunities to make a difference to New Zealanders' wellbeing.
Compared to the wellbeing objectives that formed the basis of Budget 2021, our objectives have been slightly revised to reflect an increased emphasis on the need to address housing access and affordability and the ongoing but evolving impacts of COVID-19.