The Northern Advocate asked community leaders, advocates and individuals what they might want from Budget 2015.
During the Northland byelection in March, a grim picture was painted from the hustings and in the nation's media of a region staggering under poverty, unemployment, poor roading, housing and health, and a lack of economic growth opportunities.
Here are some of the responses we received:
Moea Anderson (social services advocate and co-ordinator for Citizens Advice Bureau Whangarei): "CAB just made a submission to the Whangarei District Council long-term plan along the lines of our priorities. Emergency housing - for the past three months or so it has been really unusual to be able to find emergency housing for people in Whangarei. All full. This has got to be the priority.
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"Shelter first, food second. If kids can get a feed at school, much better. Related to these two urgent needs, the in-work payment for children should be expanded to cover children of beneficiaries."
Andy Mears: "Announce the introduction of Regional Development Areas, encouraging businesses via grants and tax incentives to move to provincial regions and out of Auckland. That would help ease property price pressure in Auckland and provide economic impetus to provinces. Just do it!"
Jenny Cripps: "Dear Bill, I would like to see a .00 budget for the flag referendum bill. Why fix what isn't broken? How much money has been spent on this rubbish idea. Last I saw it was something like $24million. Here's an idea: put that money into our schools."
Bill Shepherd, (chairman Northland Regional Council): "More resilient and fit-for-purpose infrastructure would be on my Budget wishlist. If the Budget were able to facilitate this it would make a great deal of difference to Northland's economic prosperity."
Asta Wistrand: "Dear Bill, in this week's Budget I really want to see the gnats (sic) keep their promises on child poverty and to stop the ridiculously expensive flag ref."