Finance Minister tells businesses to expect a "wellbeing" budget


Auckland Business Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas at Finance 2018.


Finance Minister Grant Robertson told the Auckland business community to expect a “wellbeing” budget at Finance 2018, an annual event co-hosted by Massey University and the Auckland Business Chamber.

In the first appearance of a Labour Finance Minister at the event, which is now in its ninth year, Mr Robertson gave a wide-ranging speech that covered housing, productivity, tax reform, education and training, infrastructure and sustainability.

He told the gathered members of the business community, academics and media that the government wanted to support the growth of human, natural, financial and social capital. 

“This will be a very different way of presenting a budget and it will be a very different set of success measures,” Mr Robertson said. “The child poverty reduction targets are the first indication of where we are going.”

The Minister also highlighted the role that universities had to play in the country’s future. He said the Government’s goal was to lift research and development spending to two per cent of GDP within a decade, and to build better partnerships between Crown Research Institutes, universities and the private sector.

“If you look at the economies around the world that do well, there are two things that stand out about them: the investment they make in education and training and the investment they make in research and development,” he said.

Massey University top finance and economics students Mia Davis and Tony Carroll receive their $1000 scholarships.


Creating an adaptable, resilient workforce

Changing technology, automation and artificial intelligence were reshaping the future of work, Mr Robertson told the audience, and that the solution was “skills training and education and creating an adaptable, resilient workforce”.

“The government has a plan for the economy that is about productivity, sustainability and inclusion,” Mr Robertson said. “If we get that right, we can build on the prosperity we have to ensure it continues and that everybody gets a fair share of it.”

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas asked the business community and government to maintain their connections with Massey.

“Those connections are what makes our qualifications relevant and out graduates work-ready,” she said, “and we need to work with you to identify the problems that we can apply our academics to so we can help find the solutions.” 

The profits from Finance 2018 go to supporting promising students and Auckland Business Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett announced this year’s recipients at the luncheon.

Massey University’s top first-year finance student Mia Davis and top first-year economics student Tony Carroll were each awarded with a $1000 scholarship.

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