The Public Finance Act 1989 requires the Government to set wellbeing objectives through the Budget Policy Statement and explain how they are intended to support long-term wellbeing.
Our wellbeing objectives for Budget 2023 are:
- Just Transition: supporting New Zealanders to transition to a climate-resilient, sustainable, and low-emissions economy.
- Physical and Mental Wellbeing: supporting improved health outcomes for all New Zealanders, particularly the mental wellbeing of our young people.
- Future of Work: equipping New Zealanders and enabling 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.
Reflecting the intergenerational nature of many of the challenges to New Zealanders' wellbeing, these objectives are intended to be relatively enduring. The Budget 2023 objectives continue to focus on broad areas where there are the best opportunities to improve New Zealanders' wellbeing, as outlined in the first Wellbeing Budget in 2019. They are informed by extensive wellbeing analysis, and also incorporate advice from sector experts and the Government's Chief Science Advisors.
In its recently published Wellbeing report (Te Tai Waiora: Wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand 2022), the Treasury identified areas important for improving New Zealand's wellbeing that are broadly consistent with past budgets' wellbeing objectives. These include safe and affordable housing and Māori and Pacific skills and opportunities. We have made slight revisions to the objectives for Budget 2023 to reflect an increased emphasis on improving our young peoples' foundational literacy and numeracy skills, educational experience, and mental health outcomes (see next section).