With just one week 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 on housing long-term homeless people in New Zealand and more. Next Thursday the Government will announce just how much money they'll put into each sector and for what. In Rotorua, the family centres are hoping for a slice of the pie. Leah Tebbutt finds out where the money should be spent.
Families are the centre of people's foundations, but different ages bring different needs and in Rotorua that is no exception.
A shake-up of the education system is what youth are hanging out for, One Chance New Zealand chief enthusiast Alan Tane Solomon says.
"With regards to it not being all classroom-based, they want to be getting out and getting practical life experience."
Financial literacy was what high school-aged youth wanted and Solomon said it wasn't fair for kids to have to wait to gain life skills in the "real world".
He hoped more money would be invested in alternative education that benefitted all New Zealand.
"There are a lot of young people that we know the education system works for them because they are all academic, but look at all the ones that are all turning off."
Mental health was another area Solomon said youth were holding out for.
Altogether Autism parent-to-parent regional co-ordinator Breanna Turner said that was also top of her list.
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"We made a submission to the Mental Health Inquiry and while mental health concerns are not an intrinsic part of autism, most people on the spectrum deal with significant anxiety and depression and are not well served by the current mental health system."
She said many families were having to access expensive private services to help them get the services they need.
"This is, in turn, having an impact on the families' mental health, finances and often the child's schooling and social being."
Age Concern manager Rory O'Rourke said his main priority was housing but that topped a long list.
"I think the elderly are quite often overlooked in any budget. Young families tend to be the ones who get most of the pie.
"The Government is going to need to start thinking about the huge number of old people and what they are going to do for them."
He said the elderly population in Rotorua was set to double to 20,000 by 2030, which would create its own issues.
"There is nowhere really for them to go apart from a care village and they don't want to go in there early on."
"We are [also] going to find that loneliness is going to be a major health issue.
"I would like to see some more money going into qualified people on the ground to go and identify those people who are lonely."
Engaging with technology and an age-friendly city were just some initiatives O'Rourke thought would help, but said the Government could also look at incentives that would keep people aged over 65 in employment.