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Source: New Zealand Labour Party

Budget Day is a moment for the Government to clearly define its priorities: we are dedicated to keeping Kiwis safe from COVID while driving a recovery that leaves no one behind.

Here’s what people are saying about the Budget.


Budget 2021 and our economic recovery

“Ardern’s deft handling of the pandemic… has allowed the economy to recover sooner than expected.” – Bloomberg

“Take that Ruth. This is Labour fighting back.” – RNZ

“A steady as she goes Budget – with a social conscience.” – Chapmann Tripp

This Budget cements Grant Robertson’s place in a trifecta of great finance ministers.

Sam Stubbs, Kiwisaver Managing Director

“Labour is using its political capital and absolute majority to try and solve three very hard, closely interlinked problems: endemic poverty, low wages and low productivity.” – Danyl Mclauclan, The Spinoff

“New Zealand has far lower debt compared to the size of the economy than Australia, Canada, the UK or the US.” – Justin Giovannetti, The Spinoff

“Grant Robertson delivered a pointed riposte to the 1991 Mother of All Budgets.” – Raf Manji, Stuff

“Budget 2021 shows the Government looking to strike a balance between fiscal consolidation and addressing some significant issues.” – ANZ

“There is no doubt in our minds that the stimulus provided will provide further impetus to the economy in the immediate future.” – BNZ

Boosting benefits

“Today’s spending announcements are important. They will make a difference to thousands of Kiwis who need more help.” – Brad Olsen, Infometrics economist 

“That’s going to make a big difference for low-income households.” – ANZ

“Labour’s big welfare boost helps those left behind by COVID and soaring house prices – and comes not a moment too soon.” – The Guardian

Having the extra money will be a complete blessing and will help up us to live better.

Angel Kaur, mother of six

“Shamefully low benefit levels caused unnecessary suffering for thirty years, so we’re thrilled the government has today promised to end that dark legacy.” – PSA

Lifting more children out of poverty

“Today’s announcement of an increase in the main benefits … is a significant step towards addressing New Zealand’s child poverty.” – Save the Children

This will make a massive difference to the wellbeing of children and families.

Kindergartens Aotearoa

“This is an important and significant step forward for children living in poverty and hardship and is well on the way to meeting the Government’s 10-year poverty targets.” – Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft

“Families must be encouraged that the government has started the journey to finally unwind the damage begun 30 years ago.” – Susan St John, founding member of Child Poverty Action Group

“As well as symbolically righting a wrong from 30 years ago, the benefit increases are also expected to lift up to 30,000 children out of poverty.” – Stuff

“We are delighted that there has finally been a move towards increasing benefit rates and lifting our children out of poverty.” – Whānau Āwhina Plunket Chief Executive Amanda Malu

Cushioning the impact of job loss

“Social unemployment insurance creates breathing room to get good job matches – which is better for employees and employers.” – Rosie Collins, Sense Partners economist 

Reducing our carbon footprint

“The combination of these investments should lead to many more electric vehicles on our roads.” – Drive Electric

“The budget includes funding to support over 40,000 farmers, helping to meet greenhouse gas and clean water requirements from on-farm practices.” – Prof. David Noone, University of Auckland

“We see today’s announcements as important initiatives to advance climate action in New Zealand.” – Sustainable Business Council and Climate Leaders Coalition

Redevelopment of Scott Base

Fantastic – we’re in celebration mode today.

Antarctica New Zealand

“The redevelopment of Scott Base will now ensure we have a future-proofed facility for New Zealand’s ongoing research in Antarctica.” – Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel

“The redevelopment of Scott Base will ensure continued support for critical and urgent research that helps New Zealand and the world to prepare for the challenges of climate change and mitigate the worst of its consequences. … This is a very proud moment for the Antarctic community!” – Prof. Nancy Bertler, Victoria University and Antarctica New Zealand

“Investment in Scott Base in Antarctica is a welcome science investment.” – Prof. David Noone, University of Auckland

Investing in greener infrastructure

“This is an outstanding level of investment from the Government which is truly revitalising rail for New Zealand.” – KiwiRail

“We’re really excited. … Rail is a critical part of our low-carbon future and it’s great to see this returning to its spiritual home at Hillside.” – Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins

“The $1.3 billion set aside for improving rail is good news.” – Amanda Larsson, Greenpeace

Supporting business

“Business should be happy … with more for infrastructure and trades training, and debt being properly managed.” – Sam Stubbs, Kiwisaver Managing Director

Investing in our wellbeing

“Today’s brilliant news means more adults will now receive access to cochlear implant technology.” – Southern Cochlear Implant Programme

“We are absolutely delighted with this new funding, which underlines the Government’s commitment to the Smokefree 2025 goal.” – ASH

“The pre-announced funding for cervical cancer self-screening and improvements to breast cancer screening is an important equity issue for wāhine Māori.” – Dr Lara Greaves, University of Auckland

More whānau into healthier homes

“We welcome today’s announcement as one that will help more New Zealanders to have better health outcomes, and as a step to helping prevent respiratory illnesses.” – Real Estate Institute of New Zealand

“We are pleased to see that such a basic component of wellbeing – shelter – has been prioritised.” – Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu


This Budget is the first of three recovery Budgets – part of our plan to drive a COVID recovery that doesn’t leave anybody behind. It lays the foundations for coming out of COVID stronger by addressing long term challenges like housing, inequality and climate change, while making sure we can continue to grow the economy, keep debt down and create jobs.

For more details on Budget 2021 initiatives, click here. Or check out the 10 highlights of the Budget.

MIL OSI