While Hawke's Bay's Labour MPs were celebrating yesterday's budget announcement as the building of the foundations for the future, their opposition counterparts were underwhelmed by the numbers and the impact it would have on the provinces.

Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Labour MP Meka Whaitiri said the coalition government had delivered on its pre-election promises with a "people-centric, he tangata" budget.

"It's what the three parties that formed the MMP government campaigned on to ensure productivity rises while reinvesting in core services that have suffered, and to ensure a fair distribution while growing the economy."

With a significant investment in health, education and housing, she said the next steps would be implementing the government's aims.


"It's now about making sure places like Maraenui, Flaxmere and Wairoa do not get swamped by the bigger areas. When it comes to rolling things out we have to make sure we spread that far and wide in terms of where the need is."

She said she was pleased that extra money would go towards housing, including papakainga housing development and said with the funding in place whanau and landowners who had plans in this space were in a good position to apply for that fund.

She also noted extra money for teachers, including Te Reo teachers, sustainable farming, improving offshore biosecurity and general productivity, including the $1 billion provincial growth funding.

In terms of education, $15 million of new operating funding had been made available over the next four years to enhance education and employment outcomes for rangatahi, focused on young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs).

"This is putting in place the infrastructure base we need to build on to deliver on our pre-election promises, so that when we get to the next budget we are on track for the sustainable, inclusive change this government has talked about."

For Tukituki National MP Lawrence Yule though the budget was "average at best".

"There's been a lot of rhetoric and promises yet the productive sector continues to be smashed.

"Agriculture, biosecurity, fisheries and food safety have seen the biggest decreases in funding, followed by transport.


"We are completely reliant on agriculture and also affected by biosecurity issues ... the decrease in funds there defies logic."

While he acknowledged the extra spending on health, he noted that the total baseline for the Hawke's Bay DHB had only gone up three per cent, and he also questioned the education funding and what that would mean in terms of capital investment.

"The economic engine of New Zealand is bearing the brunt, couple that with the major loss of investment in the likes of the Hawke's Bay expressway, and then a regional fuel tax, and we are the net losers.

"Our productive base is going backwards under this Government and the affect this social investment is going to have is minor."

For Wairarapa National MP Alastair Scott, the budget was a disappointment that did not deliver on the promises made.

"There were no real surprises - but there were mismatches and conflicts of priorities, which is understandable given they are three parties with three different directions."

For example, he said, they promised not to tax people more and yet were introducing fuel taxes, with the prospect of bringing in regional taxes on fuel.

"They've broken promises, and they've over committed - it's quite predictable - they are trying to do everything for everyone but really under-delivering on the key issues they promised to deal with such as free GP visits and police numbers."

Napier Labour MP Stuart Nash countered that over the last nine years after every budget announcement the likes of Yule would say there was nothing for the regions.

"This one you can't complain about - even farmers need healthcare, and for their families to get educated - it's the best budget I have seen ever since I have been involved in politics."

He denied the government had reneged on promises about police numbers, and said that over the last seven years the National Government failed to put more money into getting more police on the ground.

"We're taking their 880 officers and adding another 920 as well as support staff."

He said the main theme of the budget was laying the foundation for the future after nine years of neglect, but that not everything could be done in one budget.

"This is laying the foundations, next year we will build the first floor, and the year after that the roof.

"I'm really excited, this is an alternative vision for New Zealand."