Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Winston Peters on Budget: Auckland v rest of NZ

Winston Peters said the Budget is likely to include new funding to help address immigration pressure in Auckland. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Winston Peters said the Budget is likely to include new funding to help address immigration pressure in Auckland. Photo / Mark Mitchell

NZ First leader Winston Peters has predicted the upcoming Budget will pit Auckland versus the regions.

Mr Peters, who has focused much of his campaigning on the regional vote since winning the Northland byelection last year, said Thursday's Budget would be "preoccupied with a vain attempt to solve problems resulting from record immigration mainly to Auckland".

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"It'll be a Budget playing off one group of New Zealanders against another -- Auckland versus the regions," Mr Peters said.

New Zealand's strengthening economy in relation to Australia has prompted many Kiwis to return home, and the number of migrants arriving on work and student visas has also risen.

A net migration gain of more than 66,000 people arrive in New Zealand a year.

That has put pressure on services, particularly in Auckland, and the Budget is likely to put in new funding to help address this.

Mr Peters said the Budget would not address the gap between the cost of imports over returns for our exports, and the decline in manufacturing.

"No other country in the world is voluntarily taking our level of immigration and whist it continues, the needs of the provinces are going to be ignored.

"National will continue its consumptive, not productive, obsession with immigration and futile attempts to deal with demand side problems in Auckland, of National's own making."

- NZ Herald

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