'Behind every single dollar is an un-met need' - Adern explains thinking behind first Budget

Jacinda Ardern has defended her first Budget as prime minister with a passionate defence in Parliament this afternoon.

Responding to opposition leader Simon Bridges' scathing assessment, Ms Ardern said this years Budget laid a foundation for the future.

"Budgets, even when designed to serve an entire country - an entire population - is still a very personal thing, because behind every single dollar is a story," Ms Ardern said.

It follows comments from the Opposition calling the Budget a “brain drain”. Source: 1 NEWS

"Behind every single dollar is an un-met need.

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"No decision in this budget was made lightly. No decision was ever flippant or less important than the other. Each was considered, it was prioritised; it was balanced to form some firm foundations for the future."

Ms Ardern also took the time to thank Finance Minister Grant Robertson for his work on the budget.



Hundreds of Wairarapa farmers gather to seek answers on Mycoplasma bovis outbreak

Over 100 frustrated farmers have packed a church in Pahiatua looking for answers and information over the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis.

Representatives from MPI, Dairy NZ, Beef and Lamb, Federated Farmers and local politicians are giving speeches to concerned farmers informing them on the current status of the outbreak.

Only one farm in Pahiatua has been confirmed to be infected with the disease, the government-owned Rangesdale Station.

Frank Peters says having to cull his stock is an overreaction. Source: 1 NEWS

However Graeme Dyke, a neighbour of the station, says he's angry with the lack of communication from MPI.

He says neither he or the other 12 neighbouring properties were officially informed that testing had begun or the the station had tested positive to the disease.

Dyke says despite cattle from the infected farm previously mingling with his bull breeding stud, MPI haven't restricted the movements of his herd and has declined his requests to test his herd.

Despite that he says now no one will buy any of his herd.

Thirty-nine properties across the country have been infected with the disease and over 22,000 cows are due to be culled.

Frank Peters struggled to contain his emotions as he talked about sending 670 cows to their deaths as the Mycoplasma bovis disease spreads. Source: 1 NEWS

The disease poses no risk to human health.

Frustrated farmers gather in Pahiatua
Frustrated farmers gather in Pahiatua Source: 1 NEWS

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'I think he’s done a pretty damn good job' – former Labour Minister Michael Cullen on Budget 2018

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has "done a pretty good job" during the reading of his first Budget, former Labour finance minister Michael Cullen has said.

Mr Cullen spoke to Q+A's Corin Dann about Finance Minister Grant Robertson's first Budget after it was announced in parliament today.

"The problem that Grant's had to face in this Budget is balancing between a number of promises," Mr Cullen said.

"Firstly, as far as possible, Labour's pre-election promises, but then, knowing for a fact that there are coalition and supply partners like New Zealand First and the Greens, but also following his own pre-set fiscal rules around operating expenditure being something around 30 per cent of GDP

"And from what I know of the figures so far, I think he's done a pretty good job."

Mr Cullen spoke to Q+A’s Corin Dann on Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s first Budget. Source: 1 NEWS