The 2016 Budget was not surprising but offered plenty for education and health in Tauranga. We asked our panel of a single professional, empty nesters, a young family and a retired couple for their reaction.

The young family

Education was a big winner in the 2016 Budget.

However, Tauranga parents Stefan and Vicki Nogaj were concerned where the money would be invested.


Mr Nogaj said he did not want to see "the money sitting amongst the teachers, staff and buildings or whatever".

The father-of-three said: "I actually want it to lessen the amount of money parents are having to pay for so many extracurricular activities.

"We have this belief our school system is a free-for-all but actually we are denying a lot of our learners amazing opportunities by putting a dollar amount on everything that is available to them."

He was supportive of the funding for "vulnerable kids which is fantastic" but "there are a lot of hard-working families like ourselves that are really struggling and we want our kids to have great opportunities".

The retirees

"Fantastic," is how Mount Maunganui retirees Max and Pamela Lewis describe the Budget and both agree it had covered the spectrum.

"It has been a spread and has given money to everyone including the arts," Mrs Lewis said.

"They are looking at the whole of the community, not just the people in need."

She was particularly pleased with health receiving a massive boost and as a former health professional, was "really delighted they have taken on the bowel screening roll-out".

"Early detection saves lives and I am absolutely blown away by that."

Mr Lewis also expressed support of the programme - "this is going to stop a lot of people from dying".

In the past, 80 members of a Rotary club he belonged to were screened for bowel cancer and "three members had the early stages but it was detected and it saved their lives".

The empty nesters

The growth of New Zealand's economy was reflected in the Budget, Tauranga couple Dave and Carolynne Shaw say.

They were hoping for a nod towards first-home buyers and housing affordability but the couple thought the Government was on the right track.

Mrs Shaw said many sectors were performing strongly and the outlook for the future was positive.

"Tourism and construction and other industries are going well and there are more people employed than three years ago.

"We believe the Government is on track to lowering the net debt," she said. "But we were hoping to see an extra helping hand for the younger prospective home owners."

However, in her view the younger people had not missed out.

"Once all these areas in the Budget are in full swing then maybe we will see the positives flowing through to help the younger generation."

The singleton

Waikato University student Mitchell Pikia was not expecting to see any major changes to the student loan and allowance scheme in yesterday's budget and he was correct.

The 20-year-old told the Bay of Plenty Times earlier this week he hoped to see incentives included to encourage more people into tertiary education and make it more affordable - although he admitted it was unlikely.

Mr Pikia, who works part-time to be able to afford to study, was hopeful there would be changes which would make study more affordable but said he was grateful the Government was already helping by providing interest free loans.

He was heartened by the news $265.5 million more would be invested in tertiary education and apprenticeship programmes.

He said the most important thing was making sure tertiary education was more accessible for more people.