Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader
New Zealand First is proud of the difference that Budget 2019 will make for New Zealanders and the country as a whole, says Leader Winston Peters.
“Working collaboratively with our Coalition partners, we are increasing investment in crucial infrastructure, boosting health and welfare funding, and supporting the necessary transition to a low-emissions economy.”
“Most importantly for those who live in the regions, we are investing just over $1 billion revitalising KiwiRail. This Budget provides $742 million over two years for a long overdue upgrade of rail infrastructure, including tracks and maintenance facilities, replacement of ageing rolling stock, and the purchase of two new Interislander ferries.”
A further $300 million from the Provincial Growth Fund is earmarked specifically for regional rail initiatives to enhance regional connectivity and support economic development. This comes on top of the $130 million already committed to rail projects through the PGF.
Defence gets the biggest investment in more than a generation, allowing New Zealand to maintain its critical regional maritime patrol capability for decades to come, and to better support the wellbeing of New Zealand’s veterans and their families.
“For too long, some of our youth have been falling through the cracks of a system which has been underfunded and overwhelmed. We are proud to be part of a Government which is committing $1.09 billion to better treat children in state care and break the cycle which makes the problem a generational one,” Mr Peters says.
“We also have a widely acknowledged mental health crisis. Back in 2017, New Zealand First promised that in Government we would make real change. Today we deliver on that promise, with $503 million set aside for investment in primary mental health care.”
New Zealand First has also worked to deliver extra support for road ambulance services. They will receive a one-off investment of $21 million over the next two years, while agencies consider a more sustainable long-term funding model.
The SuperGold Card, a flagship initiative of New Zealand First is to receive an upgrade which includes improvements to the website and the launch of a new app for Seniors which will be launched before the end of the year.
“Budget 2019 builds on the platform of our first Coalition Budget, grows our policy achievements, delivers on several more parts of the Coalition Agreement, and makes life better for New Zealanders.”