Whanganui MP Steph Lewis says there are real benefits for the city in the Government's 2021 Budget.
But some local leaders have questioned just how much the Budget will deliver for businesses, pensioners and even beneficiaries, who saw themselves at the centre of last Thursday's announcement.
"There's no one single answer, but the headline is obviously the boost to main benefits, which helps us work towards our goal to eliminate child poverty," Lewis said.
The key takeaway from the Budget was an increase to benefits of between $32 and $55 per week by April 2022. The Government said it would bring benefits in line with the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, made two years ago.
That has led to concerns that the rise in main benefits is not in line with the cost of living today.
"The boost is significant for those families on benefit and struggling," Lewis said.
"We've listened to those concerns and acted within this Budget."
There are also concerns that the Budget doesn't deliver anything for those in work who are struggling, which the first-term MP said the Government was actively aware of.
"That is why we've put so much focus into lifting the minimum wage. We got criticised for that earlier this year - we were asked to hold off. But we said there are people that need that money, so it's important that we support them."
Last week Age Concern Whanganui manager Michelle Malcolm criticised the Government's lack of support for pensioners within the Budget, but Lewis said she believed the Government had already moved to support retirees.
"My understanding is that pensions were indexed to average wages already, whereas benefits weren't.
"We also brought in the winter energy payment, because we knew there were pensioners struggling."
On the economy, Lewis responded to the concerns of Whanganui Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Glenda Brown, who said that short of a $44m initiative for digital training, there were almost no sweeteners in the Budget for business.
"This has all got to be put in context," Lewis said.
"We put billions in last year to keep businesses afloat. This is also year one of a three-year package of Budgets. This is our first step."
Overall, Lewis said the Budget was in line with the Government's promise to be "transformational", with the country's most vulnerable at the centre of decision making.
"Generally speaking, this is a Budget that strikes a very tricky balance between managing our economy and keeping debt as low as possible, but lifting up those who need that help and addressing our long-term issues.
"It comes back to the fact that we're lifting children out of poverty. We're giving people back dignity."