Budget 2018 to 'set out the steps' for a transition to low-carbon economy

Budget 2018 will prioritise health, housing and education, but also pave the way for New Zealand's economic transition into a low-carbon economy, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said today. 

At the printing of the Budget today in Wellington, Mr Robertson told media it was not just made up of his "own blood, sweat and tears, it's the work of Ministers, many, many officials, the Treasury in particular who do just a sterling job". 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said it would lay the foundation “that's fit for the place we find ourselves in the 21st century”. Source: 1 NEWS

When asked by 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch if it could be considered a "catch-up Budget", Mr Robertson replied that it "was a Budget that has a plan for our future".   

"That lays the foundation for a New Zealand where we have really strong public services and where we have an economy that's fit for the place we find ourselves in the 21st century."

"We all know the economy needs to make a transition, a just transition, to a lower carbon economy, we want to set out the steps for that."

He said the Government have been clear that "it will take time to make the changes that need to be made, but what this Budget does is lay out the plan to do that". 

Mr Robertson said there would be a "re-prioritisation" in some sectors, however the focus of the Budget would land on health, education and housing. 

"In other areas we're talking about expenditure that hasn't come to fruition, so it was allocated in a previous Budget but the project concerns hasn't worked out and we're re-prioritising that money to other areas."

He said Budget 2018 would deliver on the coalition and confidence and supply agreement over the three year term. 

"Clearly there are some areas where we will need to phase things in over time."

Grant Robertson showed off the front page to journalists in Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS



About 40 per cent of Pacific people in NZ live in overcrowded homes, statistics show

Statistics New Zealand says about four in every 10 Pacific people live in crowded homes in New Zealand, with the highest rates among Tuvalauan and Tongan households.

Overall, about one in 10 New Zealanders lived in crowded homes in 2013, Stats NZ said, and that rate has changed little since the early 2000s.

Senior Analyst Dr Rosemary Goodyear said "crowding, especially severe crowding, is linked with poorer health, higher rates of infectious diseases, and poorer educational outcomes for children.

"We found that people living in crowded households are less satisfied with life, and more likely to be short of cash for everyday needs or a visit to the doctor," Dr Goodyear said.

About 20 per cent of those with Maori ethnicity lived in crowded homes, while 18 per cent of those with Asian ethnicity did.

Less than five per cent of those of NZ European ethnicity lived in a crowded home.

According to Stats NZ, a family in need of more bedrooms lives in a crowded home - a home is "severely crowded" if two or more bedrooms are needed.

Therefore, couples with two children aged under 18 would need two bedrooms in their home to not be crowded.

If their two-bedroom home had seven people living there, that would rate as "severely crowded", as it would need two more bedrooms.

Front view of suburban house and driveway in Auckland New Zealand
House in New Zealand (file picture). Source: istock.com

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'Treats us like dumb savages' - Iwi accuse winery of 'strumming... racial tension' after proposed fix for controversial Te Mata track

A scathing public letter by Hawke's Bay iwi has accused Craggy Range winery of fanning racial tensions, after they last week proposed options to rectify the Te Mata Peak walking track.

The controversial 2.4km track was last year carved into land on Te Mata Peak which Craggy Range owns south of Hastings.

A huge backlash from Ngati Kahungunu iwi who accused the track of "scarring" the sacred Te Mata Peak, led to Craggy Range deciding to remove it on December 23, 2017.

Last week, the winery released five possible options to Hastings District Council on how to do this.

But today, Ngati Kahungunu iwi leader, Ngahiwi Tomoana, released a letter to the media, addressed to Craggy Wines director Mary-Jeanne Hutchinson, alleging their past assurance to remediate the track was now "disingenuous".

Last week's expert land report commissioned by Craggy Wines confirmed remediation would never get the land back to its original condition, and resulted in protests.

"Your barrister and professional director were naïve in trying to frighten us with legal action. Your manager is caught in the headlights and doesn't know his way forward but again he treats us like dumb savages from the wopwops," Mr Tomoana wrote.

In the letter, Mr Tomoana said the agreement with Craggy Range winery in December 2017 was that the track would be "remediated as best as possible but not to its pre-track INTEGRITY".

The land is sacred to Maori with the peak believed to be the face of an ancestral chief. Source: 1 NEWS

"However, last week we got a 'take or leave it' proposal from your manager, director and barrister that was underwhelming and relegated your previous promise as disingenuous," Mr Tomoana said. 

"The capacity to mitigate this issue must come from the top. It's not about just the track anymore, because the polarisation it has caused is strumming the strings of racial tension of lynch mob potential, watered and fed by your director, barrister and manager whose integrity I have lost faith in."

Craggy Range winery responds

In response to the public letter this morning, Craggy Range responded to 1 NEWS, denying that they had encouraged racial tensions or made legal threats.

Craggy Range CEO Mike Wilding said he was disappointed Mr Tomoana chose to send his letter to media.

"Craggy Range has not 'threatened legal action' at all. What we have said is that Craggy Range could itself face legal action from other parties if we attempt to remove the track," Mr Wilding said.

"We've said that should Mana Whenua and Hastings District Council not be able to agree between themselves to any of the remediation solutions put forward by independent experts, then we would have no option but to resort to seeing through the resource consent that was granted by HDC on 17 October 2017, which is still legally binding.

Craggy Range winery has presented alternative options for keeping the Hawke’s Bay track. Source: 1 NEWS

"I refute entirely Ngahiwi’s claims that we are fanning racial tensions, when in fact we have done nothing more than put forward a set of open and reasoned arguments for the options that are open for them to decide from.

"Our entire focus is on delivering the best solution for the community, but we cannot implement one that our experts have advised leaves the landscape and community in a worse position."

Craggy Range director Mary Jean Hutchinson whom Mr Tomoana addressed in his letter as "your estranged friend" also released a short response.

"I would always take Ngahiwi's call, so I'll respond to him in person, not through the media," Ms Hutchinson said.

Ngati Kahungunu chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana with the Te Mata track. Source: 1 NEWS

Ngati Kahungunu chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana has spoken of the iwi’s unhappiness with the proposed repair Te Mata track by Craggy Range winery. Source: 1 NEWS