University of Auckland Public Policy Institute political analyst Dr Lara Greaves (Ngāpuhi) says she’s expecting a “fairly conservative budget” with no surprises, as Finance Minister Grant Robertson readies to reveal what this year’s Budget will deliver for the country later today.
“I think we are headed into what is looking to be an election year that’s a bit close and tight. I think that, realistically, National has done a really good job at hammering Labour at the cost of living, so I don’t think that we’re expecting anything that’s out of line that we’ve previously seen with Labour.”
The Budget could be seen as a way to get voters back to Labour’s side, as recent polling shows that National are now ahead of Labour. Dr Greaves, however, says that the country “is due a polling scandal”.
“One other thing that I always point to in polling is that the Māori electorates are really impossible to poll. Māori TV has tried, everyone has tried, and it’s a bit tricky because of how people move around. The Māori electorates can, and will, potentially sway our next election and Te Pāti Māori are in a strong place there.”
Dr Greaves says she is looking at the Māori Health Authority for this year’s Budget.
“All of the different hauora Māori experts are saying that it will make a huge difference to people’s lives and that it is one of those transformational policies that, if you set in place over decades, is going to help, and I think that that needs enough money.
"I think they got $1.1 billion for the last Budget so it’s now is that going to be a sufficient amount or have the rhetoric from Seymour and others affected it?"