The Green Party says it is not disappointed to get a much smaller share of the Budget cash than New Zealand First.

It says it has already secured billions for initiatives outside the Budget, as well as gains which cannot be measured in monetary terms.

New Zealand First secured nearly $3 billion in spending for either party policies or initiatives in portfolios held by its MPs.

That compared to around $610m for the Greens, whose biggest victories were more funding for conservation and the establishment of a green investment fund.


"That's not what it's about," Green co-leader James Shaw told the Herald, when asked about the Greens' smaller pile of money.

He said the Greens supported many of NZ First's gains, in particular a $714m boost for foreign aid focused on the Pacific Islands.

His party had already influenced a multibillion-dollar spend on public transport, which occurred outside the Budget process.

And some of its biggest gains could not measured by money alone, Shaw said. That includes ending new oil and gas exploration and taking steps towards making New Zealand a zero-carbon economy.

The Greens said the $181m lift in funding for conservation over four years was the biggest increase in a generation.

Conservation Minister and Green MP Eugenie Sage said it would allow the Department of Conservation to carry out large-scale predator control without having to cut from other areas, and would reverse an alarming trend of biodiversity decline.

Shaw conceded, however, that further increases would be needed. This first allocation would simply reverse conservation underfunding under the previous Government, he said.

The other major Budget win for the Greens was a $100m green investment fund which aimed to stimulate private sector investment in clean, sustainable projects.


NZ First's largest gains were already known ahead of the Budget - $900m for foreign affairs to increase aid and expand its diplomatic presence and $1b for a regional development fund.

The party's ministers won more money for defence, veterans and education.

There was, however, little in the Budget for farmers who form part of the party's base.

NZ First MP Shane Jones said there was plenty for its supporters in the Budget.

"I think the people who supported us in the regions and the people who backed us in the coalition agreement will not be disappointed."

Another notable win was $4.8m in tax relief for breeders of "high quality horses" – a perk for the racing industry which has made large donations to NZ First in past elections.

It would allow new investors in the breeding industry to claim tax deductions on the cost of a horse – but only if the horse is a "standout yearling".

"If you are looking for analogies, there's trotters, there's gallopers and there's stayers," Jones said. "My leader is a stayer."

NZ First wins
Provincial Growth Fund - $1b
Pacific aid - $714m
Mfat funding - $190m
Learning support - $272.8m
Oranga Tamariki boost - $270m
Defence and veterans funding - $367.7m
Youth training - $26.8m
Bloodstock tax deductions - $4.8m
Total: $2.84b

Green wins
Conservation funding - $181m
Green Investment Fund - $100m
Home insulation - $142.5 million
Midwifery services - $103.6m
Expansion of Household Economic Survey - $20m
Sustainable Farming Fund - $15m
Te reo teaching - $12.5m
Climate Commission - $11m
Youth mental health services - $10m
Sexual abuse services – $7.5m
Overseer farm management tool - $5m
Welfare system review - $1.5m
Total: $610m