'A plan for transformation' - Grant Robertson says Budget lays foundations for New Zealanders to have better lives.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Labour-led Government's first Budget sets out the first steps in a plan for transformation of our economy, public services and the way we work together to improve the lives of all New Zealanders.

"This is a Government that does things a little bit differently and you can expect our Budgets to look a little different also," Mr Robertson said, as he delivered his first Budget.

"We are committed to being responsible, not just fiscally but socially and environmentally," he said. 

"Budget 2018 lays the foundations for New Zealanders to have better lives in the future. 

"This starts with making sure that all New Zealanders have access to high quality public services that they need and deserve such as health, education and housing," the Finance Minister  told Parliament.

Health, education, housing and other critical public services receive overdue investments today he said in a release.

"Our public services have been underfunded for too long and there has been a failure to appropriately plan for the future. That changes today."

The coalition Government is rebuilding the critical services Kiwis expect their government to provide - modern hospitals, classrooms kids can learn in, public housing for those who need it, efficient transport systems and safe communities, he said.

The Budget makes responsible investments for the future, while delivering a surplus of more than $3 billion and taking a responsible approach to debt reduction, he said.

"We are committed to living within our means and having a buffer to deal with the risks and shocks that a small country like New Zealand inevitably faces," the Minister said.

This starts with making sure Kiwis have access to high quality public services, says the Finance Minister while delivering the Labour-led Government's first Budget. Source: 1 NEWS