FOCUS AREAS FOR BUDGET 2023
This will be our fifth Wellbeing Budget. The wellbeing approach is designed to drive investments to improve New Zealanders' living standards by tackling long-term challenges as well as addressing the pressures immediately in front of us.
The Public Finance Act 1989 requires the Government to outline the overarching goals that will guide its Budget decision-making, and the policy areas it will focus on in the relevant year. These goals and focus areas will support the Government in making the choices and trade-offs required to produce a Budget that achieves our wellbeing objectives.
The overarching goals set for the parliamentary term are:
- continuing to keep New Zealand safe from COVID-19
- accelerating the recovery and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19, and
- laying the foundations for the future, including addressing key issues such as our climate change response, housing affordability, and child poverty.
The Government's economic plan is for New Zealand to become a high-wage, low-emissions economy that provides economic security in good times and bad. As we shift away from the COVID‑19 emergency response, the Government has become primarily focused on creating a high‑wage, low‑emissions economy, helping New Zealanders to face the global cost of living spike, and consolidating our fiscal position.
Our plan recognises that the global economy is in a period of structural and geopolitical change, with the impacts of climate change being increasingly felt. There are risks to New Zealand from inaction in this context, but also major opportunities for New Zealand's people and businesses to build a high-wage, low-emissions economy.
To lay the groundwork for New Zealand to seize these opportunities, our economic plan identifies five broad areas of effort:
- unleashing business potential to facilitate innovation and deliver the productivity gains required to build a high-wage, low-emissions economy
- strengthening international connections to enhance our flows of knowledge, capital, and skills with the world and build on our existing and emerging sectoral strengths
- increasing capabilities and opportunities by delivering quality education, training, and upskilling in partnership with businesses and communities
- supporting Māori and Pacific aspirations to leverage their unique strengths and potential through inclusive, mana-enhancing partnerships that, in the case of Māori, honour the Treaty, and
- laying strong foundations that support public and private investment in quality, future-focused infrastructure and institutions.
Budget 2023 will continue the Government's progress on the implementation of the economic plan across these five areas.
Budget 2023 decisions will also be guided by the Government's Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, continuing our work to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. There is no silver bullet to fix the long-term disadvantages faced by many children. But our decisions at Budget 2023 will be guided by our ambition to reduce child poverty, address family and sexual violence, and improve education outcomes and housing quality – all key determinants of child wellbeing.