The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Budget 2017 may leave ‘small town NZ’ out in the cold

Media Image Credits: 
Event date: 
26 May 2017

In the wake of Budget 2017, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has expressed concern that ‘small town New Zealand’ and vulnerable communities like Kaikōura have been neglected. While the social justice agency welcomes the commitment to increased investment in the Budget, it calls on the Government to ensure that vulnerable groups are not left behind. 

“We welcome the Budget’s assistance for low-income families – particularly in Auckland - but we remain concerned that regional towns could be left out in the cold,” says Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Director, Julianne Hickey.

“Access to decent housing is the foundation upon which communities and families can flourish. Housing NZ will invest $2.2 billion in the Auckland Housing Programme, which will contribute to 34,000 new houses being built in Auckland over 10 years. But the housing crisis isn’t just in Auckland, it is nationwide. The Government must not forget the rest of the country.”

As a member of the world’s second largest humanitarian network and an agency with a wealth of experience in responding to and preparing communities for emergencies, Caritas is also concerned with the lack of funding allocated to disaster preparedness.

“We need to have a much greater focus on disaster preparedness and building resilience, as betting that we won’t have another natural disaster for 10 years is high risk, particularly when the last five years have included a number of floods, earthquakes and bushfires. The National Disaster Fund is almost exhausted and will only be on the road to being restored to around $1.75 billion within a decade,” says Mrs Hickey. 

Caritas welcomes the $812 million capital investment to reinstate the earthquake-damaged sections of State Highway 1 from Picton to Christchurch. However, the agency is concerned that there is a noticeable disparity in other infrastructure investment: $436 million set aside for Auckland City’s rail link, and yet only $548 million for rail across the rest of the country.  

“The long-term wellbeing of all communities must be at the centre of future Budget considerations,” says Mrs Hickey.

Other media releases

Caritas helping amidst apocalyptic scenes in Lebanon

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand announced today that it will provide urgently needed funding for Lebanon amidst apocalyptic scenes from a massive explosion in the port of Beirut yesterday.

Caritas announces winners of 2020 SINGout4JUSTICE song writing competition

Caritas is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 SINGout4JUSTICE song writing competition.

Coronavirus and hunger will adversely impact poor children

Caritas joined twelve other New Zealand aid organisations in warning of the impact of coronavirus and hunger on children in low-income countries and encouraging others to help.

Want to receive communications from Caritas?  

Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust