Hokianga graces Budget 22 cover but hapū doubtful they'll get what they need

By Whatitiri Te Wake

A picture of the Hokianga Harbour is on the front cover of the Budget 2022 document, photographed by Finance Minister Grant Robertson when he visited the area during Easter weekend.

Hokianga hapū spokesperson Dallas King says it’s a great photo. But she’s hoping for a funding close-up on the environment.

“I'm hopeful that in this budget there will be provision for working with communities like Hokianga, so we can preserve the pristine environment that they auspiciously photographed and put on the front cover,” she says.

Māori were big winners in last year’s Budget, but King believes there has been no long-term gain.

“The fruits of those investments have been clouded out by the noise of other things that are really pressing like the cost of living, fuel, the state of our environment, the difficulty our schools are having accessing funds to get equitable education outcomes.”

Finance Minister Grant Robertson is confident that there’s something in this year’s Budget for everybody.

“One of our well-being objectives is lifting Māori and Pacific economic and social aspirations, so we’re definitely going to deliver on that.”

But King is sceptical.

“We will still hear them say ‘economic recovery, economic stimulus post-Covid’, but that implies a stable vibrant or abundant economy in the first place,” she argues.

The details of Budget 2022 with be revealed at 2:00pm tomorrow.