Friday, May 31, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 31/5/24

There WAS something in the Budget for Maori – it’s the farm sector and rural communities that Willis overlooked

Agriculture – the backbone of the economy – was not mentioned in Finance Minister Nicola Willis’ first Budget speech. Nor was there any mention of “farming” or “horticulture” or “rural”.


Maybe there’s something for the farm sector in the deluge of press statements from Ministers eager to lay claim to having secured something for the sectors in their domains of responsibility…

But no. There was nothing from Agriculture Minister Todd McClay, or his three associate Ministers, Nicola Grigg, Andrew Hoggard and Mark Patterson.

Patterson also is Minister of Rural Communities.

He had no news for his constituents in that portfolio, either.

While farmers were getting on with the job of farming, the protest mob organised by the Maori Party was complaining about the Government ignoring Maori and doing terrible things to the Treaty of Waitangi.

But Willis said in her Budget speech:

Funding in Budget 2024 will support hospitals and specialist services. It will also support community health providers, GPs, Māori health services, mental health services and aged care services. It will ensure our health system continues to be there for New Zealanders of all stages and walks of life.


In Budget 2024, the Government is investing $2.9 billion in schools and early childhood education, including $441 million of reprioritisation. This includes funding for kōhanga reo, playcentres, kindergartens, kura kaupapa Māori, special schools, intermediate schools, secondary schools, charter schools and the work that goes on in classrooms across the country.

And …

Our Government is proud to have found funding of $49 million to support Te Matatini and bring kapa haka to life in the regions. This will help all New Zealanders join in the ongoing revitalisation of te reo Māori and Māori culture. Tihei mauriora!

For the record, here’s the Budget Speech and the related press statements:

Latest from the Beehive

30 MAY 2024

The Budget Speech

I move that the Appropriation (2024/25 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time.

From the Finance Minister…

Budget 2024 restores discipline to spending to get the books back in order, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.

Budget 2024 delivers overdue tax relief to 3.5 million New Zealanders so they can keep more of what they earn.

Budget 2024 sets out the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy, ease the cost of living, deliver better health and education services and restore law and order, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.

From the Associate Finance Minister (and ACT leader)

Associate Finance Minister David Seymour says this Budget makes a good start in reducing low value government spending, and there is more efficiency to be found in future Budget cycles.

The PM’s pitch …

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says Budget 2024 delivers on the Government’s promises, with savings across the public sector being reinvested in frontline services and meaningful tax reductions to support hard-working Kiwis.


The coalition Government is boosting education spending by $2.93 billion over the next four years to improve student outcomes, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.


Health will get a significant funding boost of $16.68 billion across three Budgets as part of our plan to invest in frontline services such as emergency departments, primary care, medicines and public health to ensure New Zealanders can get the healthcare they deserve.


Frontline Police numbers will be increased by 500 officers by the end of 2025 to help reduce crime and improve public safety, Associate Police Minister Casey Costello says.

A focus on supporting frontline Police in this year’s Budget will keep our communities safer, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says.


Budget 2024 lays the foundations for a better performing infrastructure system, with investments to ensure Kiwis spend less time waiting in traffic, that improve our climate resilience, and in modern classrooms that support our kids to achieve at school.

Disability Issues

Critical support services that improve the lives of disabled people, their families, and those who care for them will receive significant investment through Budget 2024.

Regional Development

Supporting regional productivity, prosperity and resilience will be at the heart of the Regional Infrastructure Fund, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.

Māori Development

Secure long-term funding of $48.7 million from 2025 will ensure the future of Te Matatini prospers with the support of the Government, Māori Development.


Budget 2024 confirms a $2.68 billion investment in roads, rail, and public transport to unlock economic growth and enable Kiwis and freight to get to where they want to go quickly and safely.

Tertiary Education and Skills

Budget 2024 sets the path for a sustainable tertiary education sector that supports and incentivises hard working learners, businesses, and tertiary education providers.


Revenue from the Waste Disposal Levy will be spent on a wider range of projects supporting the environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation in addition to minimising waste.

Emergency Management and Recovery

Budget 2024 invests more than $1 billion in a package of initiatives to further support the rebuild and recovery of communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and the 2023 Auckland Anniversary floods to improve New Zealand’s emergency preparedness.

Climate change

Responsible and effective climate related initiatives that support New Zealand to reduce emissions, and adapt to the future effects of climate change are a priority, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

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