Stan Gregec, Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive

"While we already had a pretty good sense of what was coming, the Budget is generally good news for businesses - small and large - and for the Bay of Plenty.

But it could also have been even better for the Bay. It's good to see the focus on supporting science and innovation. New Zealand has to invest in new ideas and upskilling to stay competitive internationally, and to support our current growth.

We generally welcome moves to simplify tax and reduce red tape for small business - and to encourage more investment and risk taking in our entrepreneurial sector.


While we welcome the $2.1 billion package on building public infrastructure, the Bay's share of this will be well short of what is needed to address the pressing challenges brought by our current rate of growth.

All in all a predictable and responsible Budget, but one where it would have been nice to see the Government take some bolder steps to help regions like the Bay step up to their full potential."

Tommy Wilson, Te Tuinga Whanau support service executive director

"From outside in the cold looking inside to today's budget, what could be a warm whare for whanau this winter has a lining of hope with Minister of Finance Bill English's 2016 Budget.

The reality is the housing crisis is growing faster than the 2.8 per cent increase of our GDP announced today.

$652 million over the next four years as the Social Investment package will go a long way to slowing down this crisis - if it reaches the front line of social services.

The same can be said of the proposed 3000 emergency houses per year and the new funding for at risk children.

If we were to crunch the demographics of Bill's Budget (Tauranga represents 5 per cent of NZ), this will equate to 150 emergency homes for Tauranga and $35 million for front line social services over four years.

Right now we have 140 needy for a warm home this winter. The key to Bill's Budget is arming the frontline of social services and not letting it be squandered by bureaucrats.

Yes, we need to plan for rainy days and disasters but right now we have a tsunami of homeless heading our way, who will drown if we don't plan for it with the Whare 4 Whanau budget Bill English has delivered today."

Andrew Coker, Priority One chief executive

"Budget 2016, while steady as she goes in many areas, is refreshingly positive for regional economies, and resonates strongly with the direction and growth of our own region.

The $760 million Innovative New Zealand package, targeting an additional $411 million towards science and innovation, will speed the development of the Western Bay of Plenty's innovation ecosystem, driving high-value job growth in start-up and early stage science-based businesses.

Similarly, the increase of $257 million in science, engineering and primary sector tertiary education and apprenticeships is timely, as the Bay of Plenty's tertiary provision grows through programmes being developed by the merged institute of technology, and growing presence of the University of Waikato here.

And, while we wait for the detail, the proposed regional development support of $94 million to unlock business opportunities and benefit regional economies, is of real interest to Priority One.

Lastly, proposed increases in funding for tourism infrastructure and the additional $16 million for High Performance Sport NZ also has potential strong benefits for the sub-region."

Ross Paterson, Western Bay Mayor

"A Budget of few surprises. A growing economy drove much of the Budget content so it was pleasing to see the regions' role in this growth story recognised through the $94.4 million package to support regional economic development.

While I welcome more funding for health and education I need to see more detail on the $2.6 billion infrastructure package.

A growing Bay economy, particularly the burgeoning horticulture economy and migration, continues to put pressure on infrastructure such as roads, water supplies and accommodation. It's not just Auckland that faces these pressures.

Here in the Bay we've always worked collaboratively with central government on these infrastructure challenges, particularly through SmartGrowth, and we will continue to do so.

This approach is important so everyone benefits from growth and communities are not being left behind."

Stuart Crosby, Tauranga Mayor

"It is said the best time to make hay is when the sun is shining.

While I am supportive of the increased spending in health, education and social housing, this Budget misses the opportunity to build on a growing economy.

Apart from an a good sum for research and innovation where new economies evolve from, there seems to be a modest increase budget vote for road and rail and other nation building infrastructure.

I urge the Government to work more collaboratively with local councils, the private sector and communities to deliver strategies that address the current shortfalls that are currently impacting on rural and provincial New Zealand."