With Budget Day 2023 days away, early announcements have been made about huge cash injections for cyclone recovery, forestry slash and education funding.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says that while Kiwis are feeling the financial pressures through many challenges, the budget announcements will be centered on getting inflation and interest rates down.
“We’re really making sure that we get the economy in the best shape that we can because that is one of the things that will help Kiwi households’ budgets.
“I think Kiwis will be happy but I also think they’ll see a fairly balanced approach to the budget this year. It’s not a big spend up but it is about making sure that any extra investments we make are targeted to those areas that are going to have an impact on the cost of living for families who are really feeling that squeeze.”
Though he says there is a “significant” portion of the budget allocated for Māori, Hipkins could not reveal the numbers until Thursday.
When it comes to the damning report about slash in Te Tai Rāwhiti and Wairoa, which argues that Ngāti Porou whānau are at risk of becoming homeless and landless within 10 years, Hipkins says his government needs time to get it right as to how to solve the issue.
“We’ve only just received that report and I do want to make sure I do the reviewers the justice of carefully considering it before I make any judgment on the recommendations that they’ve put forward.”
The 44-page report includes 90 findings and 49 recommendations. The main ones include the establishment of an independent Woody Debris Taskforce with funding and involvement of the three local councils and the forestry sector, and more.
But there’s no timeframe on what and how the government will go about dealing with it.
“We want to move through it as quickly as we can. That doesn’t mean it’s going to have to take months but certainly more than a few days.”