Most read story: Budget 2018 - Here's what you need to know at a glance

Note: This story was first published on Thursday May 17

File image of $50 and $100 notes. Source: 1 NEWS

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has revealed the 2018 Budget. Here's what you need to know - at a glance.

Watch Grant Robertson deliver the Budget HERE.

*More children to get free GP visits, with the scheme extended to under-14s from under-13s.

*Lower-cost doctors' visits for all Community Services Card holders, making them cheaper by $20 to $30.

*More people eligible for the Community Services Card - extended to anyone living in state housing, receiving accommodation supplement or paying income-related rents.

*6400 more state houses provided over the next four years.

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*$750m boost in spending for re-building ageing hospital buildings and facilities.

*About $450m towards new schools, and money to hire another 1500 teachers by 2021.

*Around $300m over four years to police to recruit an extra 920 officers.

*New housing insulation programme providing grants to tens of thousands of low-income families.

*Tribunal set up to resolve outstanding Earthquake Commission and insurance claims.


John Armstrong's analysis: Budget went some way to meeting Labour's unrealistic election promises

Grant Robertson’s first Budget falls short of being a real humdinger, but it is no humdrum affair. 

Source: 1 NEWS

It is restrained rather than reformist. It is transitional rather than— to borrow one of the Prime Minister’s favourite words — transformative.

The document is devoid of any “wow” factor. It contains nothing which is likely to grab the public’s imagination.

What is eye-watering is the scale of the cash and capital injections into the public health sector.

Some would come from reprioritisation, which is pulling money from other sectors. Source: 1 NEWS

There is only one thing that can be guaranteed from that funding. With an ageing population, even more moolah will be needed — and soon.

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

The extra spending on health makes this a traditional Labour Budget to its core. The comparative starvation diet imposed on the education sector makes it a very unusual Labour Budget.

The contradiction comes down to priorities — the priorities imposed by the Minister of Finance by his wearing of the clothes of fiscal rectitude.

Robertson describes his first Budget as a “bread and butter” Budget. That is a way of deflecting National’s claim that he has been wasting all the tax revenue flowing into the Treasury’s coffers on fancy cakes.

In preparing the Budget, he had to conduct a difficult balancing act. On the one hand, Labour had to go some way towards meeting the unrealistic expectations the party had raised during last year’s election campaign that it would fix the country’s ageing schools and hospitals if it won power.

On the other hand, Labour did not want to do anything which National would wield as confirmation that Jacinda Ardern and her colleagues were binge spendthrifts.

He needed to serve up a very thick surplus.

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch says there was no lolly scramble in Wellington today. Source: 1 NEWS

Tempted as he might have been to borrow heaps more money to fund the Government’s extensive and expensive capital works programme given current low interest rates, that is a political no-go area. Voters simply don’t like being in such hock.

Robertson’s caution means there is little to dislike in his Budget. Voters would like it even more were it not for one yawning hole — the absence of further measures helping first-home buyers get into a house or apartment.

Simon Bridges labelling of KiwiBuild as KiwiFraud was very cutting. It was biting because there was more than an element of truth in the remark — at least in terms of fraud in the political sense.

Perhaps worse would be KiwiBuild to become a joke, especially in Auckland. The joke would be on Labour.

Given elections can be won or lost on the mood in that metropolis, the broad smiles on the faces of Ardern and her MPs yesterday would fast become a distant memory.


'A necessary response': Predator who abducted, bashed and sexually attacked Auckland woman to remain in jail after decades of offending

Colin Jack Mitchell has been sentenced to preventive detention and jailed indefinitely at Auckland High Court this morning for an attack on a woman at a quarry in Riverhead, Auckland, as well as offending in 1992.

Mitchell, 60, was found guilty in March on three charges over the sexually-motivated attack on a 23-year-old woman in February 2017, as well as a further three charges for offending in 1992.

"You appear for sentence today on six counts in respect of which you were unanimously convicted by a jury in March 2018," Justice Fitzgerald told the High Court at Auckland this morning.

"As you've heard there are three counts relating to offending you committed in 2017 - abduction with intent to have sexual connection, which has a maximum of 14 years imprisonment, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm which has a maximum of 14 years imprisonment and assault with intent to commit sexual violation which carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

"A further three counts relating to your offending in 1992, each of which carries a maximum of 14 years imprisonment under the Crimes Act, as it stood in 1992 - they are abduction with intent to have sexual intercourse, sexual violation through unlawful sexual connection, and rape.

"Not withstanding those maximum finite sentences, The Crown sees that an indefinite sentence of preventive detention is a necessary response to your offending."

Justice Fitzgerald said in summary that Mitchell's offending spanned decades and that combined with the fact that the minimum sentences for his crimes would put him in or around his early 70s upon his release, assuming the full term was served, he could still be healthy enough to be a danger to the community when released, leading to the sentence of preventive detention.

During the trial, the Crown said four strands of evidence pointed to Mitchell as the offender.

Those included cellphone records that put Mitchell in Riverhead at the time of the attack, CCTV footage capturing Mitchell's car in the city and entering the quarry, tyre tread marks left at the scene, and most importantly Mitchell's DNA found on gloves left at the scene.

The woman was picked up in Ponsonby and driven to Riverhead quarry, where she was bashed over the head and knocked out. After coming round, she described her desperate call to police once her attacker had gone.

"I just kept saying I'm whole body was covered in blood. I thought I was dying so I was saying this on the phone," she said.

"I was in shock that they couldn't find me cause I guess on the movies it seems like you call in and you're found."

She eventually made her way to the road where police were able to track her down.

Colin Jack Mitchell
Colin Jack Mitchell Source: 1 NEWS