This year's budget to be announced on Thursday is one that Finance Minister Steven Joyce has promised will build on the strengthening performance of the New Zealand economy over the last several years.

Although weighted towards social investment, some business investment has been flagged including $178 million for tourism infrastructure, $74.6 million for R&D, $91.3 million over four years for trade negotiations and $11 billion over four years for infrastructure, including $812 million targeted this year to rebuild the earthquake-damaged link around Kaikoura.

New Zealand businesses have generated 328,000 new jobs since 2008, and average weekly wages have grown 26.1 per cent - more than double the rate of inflation, Mr Joyce said.

"Budget 2017 will seek to give businesses the confidence to keep investing and keep growing, to provide more opportunities for New Zealand families."


Xero chief executive Rod Drury is set to open a new office at Ahuriri in June and hopes to build up to 40 staff in Hawke's Bay by the end of the year.

No matter what the Government was offering in the budget, he said, the onus was on local people to take whatever was given and build on it.

"It's important more resources are committed, but we also have to make our own luck and create a fantastic experience for people coming here."

He said the work going on to release sections for housing, the rollout of broadband fibre and developments such as that happening on Marine Parade were examples of a region that was looking after itself.

"If we create the sort of environment where we are building up the likes of business exports and technology, we are building experience - now we've just got to do more with it."

Meanwhile, a survey of small-to-medium-sized businesses has revealed their thoughts on a range of economic policy issues.

Business management software provider MYOB surveyed 1015 business owners around New Zealand and found support for several of the Government's current initiatives, as well as highlighting some new ideas.

"Our research found 63 per cent of business owners support introducing a graduated company tax scale [as] is now the case in Australia," said MYOB New Zealand general manager Carolyn Luey.


Australia's most recent budget saw company tax rates for businesses earning up to $10 million drop to 27.5 per cent, with those above paying 30 per cent. The goal is to reduce company tax rates down to 25 per cent for all businesses by 2026-27. New Zealand businesses all currently pay 30 per cent.

"We think there is a case to be made for supporting small and start-up businesses with a lower rate and gradually extending the rate to cover all businesses. Leaving them with more cash means they're more likely to invest in new staff, new equipment and growth.

"New Zealand small businesses need to remain competitive, especially those who are trading with the world. We'd like to see the Government signal moves to reduce company tax to give these businesses the best chance of success."