With just days to go until the Government's 2019 Budget, promises have already been made. There's been an extra $58 million into the forestry sector, $2.2m of provincial growth fund money for youth and young adult initiatives in Kawerau, $200m allocated to housing long-term homeless people in New Zealand and more. This Thursday the Government will announce just how much money they'll put into each sector and for what. Business leaders tell Zoe Hunter what they hope the budget will bring.
More funding for "essential" infrastructure and certainty in the city's economy is what Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty businesses will be expecting in this year's Budget.
Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will deliver New Zealand's first Wellbeing Budget on Thursday.Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said businesses in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty would be expecting increased funding for essential infrastructure in the area.
"It appears that the New Zealand Transport Agency has spent its existing money in other regions, so businesses would expect to see a high-growth region, such as ours, receive a fair level of attention from the Government," he said.
Anne Pankhurst, of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, said the business community would be looking for clear direction and certainty particularly around the economy.
"This Budget will be an interesting one, given the emphasis on wellbeing," she said.
Pankhurst said the business community was excited about the new Research and Development tax incentive.
"The focus on innovation, research and development will encourage the business community to invest more into their own research and development," she said.
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There was also a lot of emphasis on health and safety in Budget 2019, Pankhurst said.
"While this is critical it needs to be well thought out so that further challenges are not having to be met by the business community, which is already taking health and safety very seriously," she said.
Meanwhile, general manager of Tremains Bay of Plenty and Waikato, Anton Jones, said the city's roads such as the Tauranga Northern Link needed to be fixed before the property sector benefitted from any Budget announcements.
"We can't or shouldn't have any more development until this project has been confirmed and started," he said.
"It is vital from a safety aspect primarily, then economic production and growth of Tauranga."