The Green Party has secured a historic suite of budget wins valued at $618 million that prioritises protecting nature and backing the transition to a green economy.
The budget package comes in addition to funds already going towards green public transport projects valued at up to $13.5 billon, including light rail from the Auckland CBD to the airport and a new billion dollar fund for safe cycle and walkways in the Government GPS.
“This is the greenest budget in living memory and kick starts our transition to a green economy. Funding initiatives announced today will reduce our carbon emissions and protect our precious natural environment,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“This budget delivers on our confidence and supply agreement priorities and is the largest ever budget allocation for Green Party projects. Today we made a big step forward on what we came into Government to do, make life better for people and healthier for our planet.
“Budget 2018 is a huge win for our environment. We are getting DOC back on track by securing $181.6 million over four years to protect our natural environment, the largest funding increase for the department in 16 years. This funding surge will go a long way to protecting our native wildlife and natural areas from predators and starts to prioritise conservation again.
“The establishment of the $100 million Green Investment Fund will kick-start the transition of our economy to a more sustainable footing. We anticipate this investment will spur billions in private investment that will create new jobs and wealth from green business.
“The Green Investment Fund along with the up to $13.5 billion for sustainable transport projects is our country’s biggest ever investment in reducing carbon emissions. These capital and infrastructure investments lay the foundation for a new green economy, create jobs and reduce our emissions.
“We’re very happy to see new funding for home insulation. The Green Party has long advocated for the benefits of warm, dry healthy homes. Today’s budget win is about reinvesting and finishing off the job we started a decade ago to ensure more families receive the health and heating benefits that Government supported insulation provides.
“Budget 2018 delivers on seven of the Greens’ twenty confidence and supply agreement commitments. In addition to conservation and the Green Investment Fund we have secured budget wins for home insulation, the climate commission, sustainable farming, mental health and the reform of the welfare system.
“The Green Party has long called for significant funding boosts for health, education and housing. We are proud to be part of a Government that is prioritising core public services with major investments that are long overdue and will deliver significant benefits for all New Zealanders.
“Today’s budget represents a measured approach to the implementation of our confidence and supply agreement over this term of Government. It is our anticipation that the remaining measures will be met over future budgets. Today is a great start.
“It’s the greenest budget ever, a win for our people and planet and represents transformational change. We couldn’t be happier.”