The budget drip feed

The actual 2017 budget will be presented to Parliament on Thursday next week, but the Government has been drip feeding spending announcements over the last couple of weeks.

The days of massive giveth and taketh pronouncements on budge night are so last century. The state of the ‘books’ are fairly well known these days, and announcements of most of the smaller spending decisions are done in advance, presumably to try to maximise publicity leading up to an election.

There will be a few ‘surprises’ or speculations confirmed.The Government will want some good news to come out of their ninth budget, albeit now with a new Minister of Finance, Steven Joyce.

There will be interest in whether tax rates are tweaked slightly or not. Opposition parties will say there should be no cuts but they aren’t big enough.

Budget 2017

 On Thursday 25 May, Finance Minister Steven Joyce will deliver the National-led Government’s ninth Budget.Budget 2017 will invest in the infrastructure and public services needed for a growing country while…

Recent spending and budget announcements:

NZ to provide $1.3m for Fiji climate conference

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett and Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee have today announced that New Zealand will provide $1.3 million to support Fiji’s presidency of the United Nations Climate…

$6.7 million Redevelopment for Kaikorai Primary School

Kaikorai Primary School in Dunedin is set to benefit from a $6.7 million redevelopment as part of the Government’s commitment to modernise school infrastructure…

Step closer for new school for Syrian children

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the signing of a letter of commitment between New Zealand and Turkey which will see $1.3 million provided for a new school…

Multi-million dollar safety upgrade for Lyttelton Tunnel

Transport Minister Simon Bridges today announced work is set to begin on a multi-million dollar fire deluge system that will improve safety and reduce the risk of lengthy closures…

Govt $333m Urban Cycleways Programme achieves halfway point

Transport Minister Simon Bridges today marked the halfway point for the Government’s $333 million Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP) with the completion of a section on the Little River Link cycleway.

Budget 2017: Irrigation investment to better manage fresh water

Additional grant funding of $26.7 million over the next three years plus a capital boost of $63 million towards irrigation investments in Budget 2017 will deliver economic and environmental benefits…

Taranaki walk to support economic development

A $3.4 million investment into the Taranaki Crossing is part of the Government’s plan to boost growth in Taranaki, Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say.

Key transport project for Taranaki launched

Transport Minister Simon Bridges today officially launched the Awakino Gorge to Mount Messenger Programme in Mokau.The $135 million programme, part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme, is aimed at…

Budget 2017: $5.2m to fund more teachers in priority subjects

Education Minister Nikki Kaye has announced that Budget 2017 will commit $5.2 million of operating funding over the next four years to expand the innovative teacher training programme, Teach First…

Govt to build 34,000 new houses for Auckland

The Government today has announced a Crown land and building programme that will see tens of thousands of new houses built in Auckland over the next decade. Social Housing Minister…

Budget 2017: $21m to Battle for our Birds

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says DOC will fight this year’s beech forest mast year increase in rat and stoat numbers with a $21.3 million war chest from Budget 2017 for…

NZ provides further $5m in humanitarian aid

New Zealand will provide a further $5 million in relief assistance to pressing humanitarian crises across Africa and the Middle East, Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced.

Budget 2017: Double crewing for road ambulance

Budget 2017 invests an additional $59.2 million over four years to ensure all road ambulance call outs are double crewed, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne and..

Budget 2017: $303.9m for New Zealand Screen grants

Budget 2017 will see $303.9 million allocated to support the continuation of the New Zealand screen industry production grants, both globally and domestically, say Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges…

Budget 2017: $76m for DOC tourism infrastructure

The Government will invest $76 million through Budget 2017 on new and upgraded tourism infrastructure for the Department of Conservation as part of a $178 million tourism infrastructure package, Conservation…

Budget 2017: $178m package for tourism infrastructure

Tourism Minister Paula Bennett has today announced a new $102 million Tourism Infrastructure Fund which has been launched alongside $76 million in new funding for our most important tourism asset,…

Budget 2017: $74.6m to further grow business R&D

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith has today announced an additional $74.6 million in funding through the Innovative New Zealand programme in Budget 2017 to meet the growing demand for…


  1. This might be a dumb question from a certifiable ‘arty farty’ but why is film worth so much government funding? Is it the value of subliminal tourism advertising? A fiscal promotional measure of having New Zealand scenery and, to a lesser extent ‘culture’, as ‘product placement’ in movies?

    $303.9 million seems an extraordinarily large amount compared to $76m DOC Tourism infrastructure as part of $178m [overall] Tourism infrastructure – carefully worded and released to make them seem separate and therefore more – and $74.6m for Business R&D.

    Meantime $333m altogether for Urban Cycleways, $6.7m redevelopment of ONE primary school and just $5.2m for additional teachers in priority subjects [in the entire education system]?

    Interesting word … “priorities”?

    As for movies, this 2015 article hasn’t helped me make any sense of where exactly the ‘return on investment’ is – or even how much the investments and returns are – and, one has to ask, to what extent the funding source might influence or compromise the artistic content? “Culturally important” … as decided by the NZ Film Commission?

    “The commission measures its success on a number of fronts, including developing local actors and directors in the hopes they will make an impact on the international movie scene.”

    Unusual not to consider only the financial ‘bottom line’? This is funding with anticipation of exactly the sort of ‘tangential outcomes’ I mention often regards community & social enterprise initiatives – usually measured in the thousands or tens-of-thousands – which tends to get denigrated, like “Get a real [productive] job”. Yet here it is available to a relative handful of filmmakers …

    “It [the Commission] also seeks to back culturally important films, and has a role in increasing movie-making in New Zealand by overseas filmmakers, which brought in production income of $816m during the year, down on the previous year’s $860m spend.”

    Who decides what is “culturally important”?

    “The commission received $5.4m in grants from the Government and $13.5m from the Lottery Grants Board.”

    $5.4m in 2015 … and now 303.9million!

    “It made a [planned] deficit over the period of $2.25m compared to a surplus the previous year of $3.56m.”

    Any high-wire accountants on here ………… Go figure!

    So PG, its more like “massive giveth and taketh” over Budget Season nowadays …?