Budget 2008

Michael Cullen Finance

Budget 2008: A Fair Economy, A Strong Future

Finance Minister Michael Cullen's ninth Budget is a plan for a fairer economy and a strong future for New Zealand. 

Delivered at a time of global ecconomic challenge, the Budget provides relief for workers while maintaining the government's investment in social services.  It also looks to the future, with strong investments in a modern rail service, broadband, and gloablly competitive New Zealand firms.

On this page you will find all ministerial speeches, statements and media backgrounders on Budget 2008. 

Budget 2008 Overview

Economic Transformation  

  • New Zealand’s digital pathway: A fast broadband future – Budget 2008 is the government’s first five-year down-payment for a 10 year plan which will take New Zealand towards the government’s vision of a fast broadband future. David Cunliffe, Communications and Information Technology
  • Investing in sustainable homes and communities – Budget 2008 builds on work already underway to help New Zealanders use our resources wisely, and protect our precious natural environment. David Parker, Climate Change Issues; Maryan Street, Housing
  • Step change in New Zealand innovation – Innovation and skills funding in Budget 2008 signals a step change towards a high wage-high skill future for New Zealand. Pete Hodgson, Research, Science and Technology
  • Skills package funding supports productivity – Productivity increases are being supported by this government with $168 million in operating funding over four years to provide workers with the right skills for the complexities of the modern workplace. Ruth Dyson, Social Development and Employment
  • Investment in students strengthened – Budget 2008 further strengthens the government’s investment in tertiary students with a student support package valued at $130.8 million in operating funding and $24.4 million in capital funding over four years. Pete Hodgson, Tertiary Education
  • Tax cuts deliver NZ Superannuation boost – Older people will benefit greatly from a number of initiatives in Budget 2008. Ruth Dyson, Senior Citizens
  • Record investment in transport continues – The government’s major reinvestment in transport infrastructure takes another step forward from July 1. Michael Cullen, Finance
  • Funding to protect investors – Budget 2008 provides funding to better protect investors, address barriers to economic growth and improve government services to business. Lianne Dalziel, Commerce
  • Budget buys rail back for New Zealanders – Budget 2008 includes $690 million in capital funding to buy back the rail system after 15 years of private ownership. Michael Cullen, Finance
  • Tax changes to lower costs for NZ businesses – Legislation to be introduced to Parliament next month will reduce tax-related compliance costs and remove tax impediments to the offshore expansion of New Zealand-resident  businesses. Michael Cullen, Finance
  • Government invests in primary industries’ future – Government committed to the future of New Zealand’s primary industries. Jim Anderton, Agriculture



Families, Young and Old

  • Investing in the future of our young people – The government continues to invest in education so our young people can successfully meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Chris Carter, Education
  • Strengthening health services we can trust – Health services will receive $750 million per annum in this year’s budget to focus on key areas within the health sector to ensure co-ordinated enhancement of services. David Cunliffe, Health
  • A major investment in affordable homes – Budget 2008's significant investment in affordable housing reflects a wide-ranging plan of action to ensure New Zealanders’ housing needs and expectations can be met in the future. Maryan Street, Housing
  • Initiatives strengthen modern justice system – Budget 2008 provides a range of initiatives across the wider justice sector to strengthen the justice system and ensure that New Zealanders live in safe and responsive communities. Annette King, Justice; Phil Goff, Corrections; Rick Barker, Courts
  • Government invests in strong communities – This government’s investment in strong families and communities will be significantly advanced through Budget 2008. Ruth Dyson, Social Development and Employment
  • SuperGold benefits for travel, hearing aids – SuperGold Card holders will reap the rewards of government enhancements in this year’s Budget. Winston Peters, Senior Citizens

National Identity

  • Investing in the future of Māori – Māori are entrepreneurial, youthful and dynamic and Budget 2008 aims to harness this potential and grow it to help secure Māori now and into the future. Parekura Horomia, Maori Affairs
  • Investing in our Pacific communities ; Manuia mo Tagata Pasifika – Budget 2008 continues the government's drive to enhance and support the social wellbeing, economic prosperity, and diverse cultures of Pacific people in New Zealand. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, Pacific Island Affairs; David Cunliffe, Health  
  • Boosting relationships in Asia and the Pacific – Budget 2008 will help New Zealand strengthen its key relationships in Asia and in the Pacific by investing in the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Winston Peters, Foreign Affairs
  • Next step to modernise and rebuild defence force – Budget 2008 invests $276.4 million in the New Zealand Defence Force over the next four years as part of our sustained efforts to rebuild and modernise the defence force under this Government. Phil Goff, Defence
  • New investments promote unique New Zealand identity – Significant new investments in New Zealand’s arts, culture, and heritage are a feature of Budget 2008. Helen Clark, Arts, Culture and Heritage; Trevor Mallard. Broadcasting
  • Historic Vice Regal residence preserved for future – New Zealand’s most historic and constitutionally important residence is to be renovated and conserved for future generations. Helen Clark, Arts, Culture and Heritage.
  • Recognition for New Zealand authors in Budget 08 – New Zealand authors have gained well-deserved recognition with an additional $2 million over four years being invested in the New Zealand Authors Fund. Helen Clark, Arts, Culture and Heritage.
  • Incentive scheme for domestic screen production – Funding certainty for future New Zealand film and television production is boosted under a new scheme announced as part of today’s budget. Helen Clark, Arts, Culture and Heritage. 



Budget measures announced before 22 May

A number of announcements were made prior to 22 May about measures in Budget 2008.  

  • More money for day-to-day running of schools -- Budget 2008 sees schools get a significant boost in funding to help meet their day-to-day running costs and provide computer technology, Education Minister Chris Carter announced today. Chris Carter, Education. 21 May, 2008
  • $8.8 million over 4 years to support best practice prescribing -- funding for a national electronic health formulary. Peter Dunne, Associate Health.19 May, 2008
  • Thousands more patients to receive elective services -- An extra $160 million in health funding will see thousands more patients receive elective services over the next four years. David Cunliffe, Health.18 May, 2008

    $35 million shared equity pilot funded in Budget 2008 – Budget 2008 to fund a two year Shared Equity pilot to assist up to 700 households into starter homes in regions with the highest house prices. Maryan Street, Housing, 16 May, 2008
  • State house insulation programme fast-tracked – A major Budget 2008 funding injection will see the state house insulation programme dramatically accelerated, improving tenant health and delivering energy cost savings for 21,000 households. Maryan Street, Housing, 15 May, 2008
  • Budget boost for feature race stakes – New Zealand’s premier races set for significant lift in prizemoney with $9 million over the next three years available in Budget 2008 for co-sponsorship arrangements. Winston Peters, Racing, 15 May, 2008
  • Canterbury Transport Project receives funding boost –Canterbury region to receive $33.5 million in funding over four years (2008 -2012) to invest in transport infrastructure. Michael Cullen, Finance; and Annette King, Transport. 15 May, 2008
  • $46 million more for injured New Zealanders -- Informal home-based carers of ACC claimants to get an increase in hourly payments. Maryan Street, ACC. 8 May, 2008
  • Obsolete Mt Eden Prison to be replaced – plans for the replacement of the Victorian era Mt Eden Prison: 21st Century security and standards, Auckland prisoners kept in Auckland, heritage features preserved. Phil Goff, Corrections. 7 May, 2008
  • Rail buy back marks new sustainable era for transport – agreement with Toll Holdings Ltd for the purchase of Toll New Zealand’s rail and ferry business. Prime Minister Helen Clark and Finance Minister Michael Cullen. 5 May, 2008
  • Fighting cervical cancer – Government commits $164.2 million new funding over five years to a major immunisation programme to fight cervical cancer. Helen Clark, Prime Minister; David Cunliffe, Health; and Steve Chadwick, Associate Health. 2 May 2008
  • Charitable giving made easier for donors and volunteers -- payroll giving to charities will be possible from next year. Peter Dunne, Revenue. 17 April, 2008
  • Student exchange with European universities funded --  $600,000 over four years to fund a new European Union/New Zealand exchange programme administered by the Tertiary Education Commission. pete Hodgson, Tertiary Education. 14 April, 2008
  • Funding boost for Search and Rescue -- Search and Rescue in New Zealand will receive an additional $8.4 million over the next two years, beginning on 1 July. Announced at the New Zealand Search and Rescue Council Awards. Annette King, Transport. 10 April, 2008
  • Govt commits $72 million for Rotorua Lakes clean-up -- The Government is committing $72.1 million over ten years to a programme to clean up the most seriously degraded Rotorua lakes. Helen Clark, Prime Minister, and trevor Mallard, Environment. 26 March, 2008
  •  NZ Fast Forward – $700 million committed to a new research, development, and innovation plan for the future in New Zealand’s pastoral and food industries. Helen Clark, Prime Minister, plus numerous other ministers and portfolios. 11 March, 2008
  • $46 million more for injured New Zealanders – The Government allocates an additional $46.5 million over four years to support injured New Zealanders. Maryan Street, ACC, 8 May, 2008
  • Seismic change for Foreign Affairs – New posts and a major increase in overseas staff will result from a major funding injection for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Winston Peters, Foreign Affairs, 16 April, 2008
  • A new funding model for social services -- A new model for working with community organisations to ensure we achieve the best outcomes for families, children and young people -- Government investing $446 million over the next four yearsRead full feature. Ruth Dyson, Social Development and Employment. 12 February, 2008 


Other links

Treasury website