Budget 2018 – A balancing act

In its first budget, the Labour-led Government had to balance commitments outlined in Coalition and Confidence and Supply Agreements, while providing funding for core public services.

Building on its 100 day plan, the Government named five areas of focus:

  • Rebuilding critical public services
  • Promoting economic development and supporting the regions
  • Taking action on child poverty, housing and homelessness
  • Enhancing and protecting our natural resources
  • Enriching New Zealand’s culture and identity

In his statement to the media, Finance Minister Grant Robertson also pointed to:

‘Work started by the previous government to ensure foreign and multi-national companies pay their fair share of tax in New Zealand.’

If this may affect your business interests, please get in touch with our Tax team.

The Government has delivered a less fiscally conservative budget while providing a positive outlook for New Zealand’s economy:

‘The Treasury forecasts economic growth of about 3.0 per cent per year on average over the period to June 2022. The New Zealand economy is forecast to grow at a rate faster than that expected for our major trading partners.’ – New Zealand Government, Budget 2018

This means New Zealand continues to be a great place for overseas investment.

In the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the spotlight is on all New Zealand organisations to be accountable for the personal information they hold.

The Government has proposed changes to the Privacy Act, which is a quarter of a century old. The Privacy Bill has two primary aims:

  • restoring confidence that agencies will keep personal information secure; and
  • providing the Privacy Commissioner with greater powers to address failures by agencies to handle personal information appropriately.

The Bill seeks to achieve these aims through mandatory breach reporting. It is intended to bring New Zealand’s regime into line with the approaches in Europe, the majority of the United States, Canada and Australia, and follow the recommendations in the Law Commission’s review of the Privacy Act.

The Bill is now before Select Committee. Sign up to receive our analysis when the Select Committee releases its report in October.

We all know opportunities present themselves during times of change. Wherever you are in the world, if you would like to talk to one of our experts about New Zealand opportunities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Below you’ll find a selection of relevant headlines, highlighting why New Zealand continues to be an ideal destination for international trade and investment.

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New Zealand headlines

European Union gives green light to free-trade talks with Australia and New Zealand

It's early days but the agreement once signed could be worth billions to New Zealand's economy.

Two of NZ’s largest banks appoint female chief executives

Reflecting the rise of “she-economy”, two of New Zealand’s largest banks have appointed female chief executives – Vittoria Shortt for ASB and Angela Mentis for BNZ.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts recently welcomed Sarah Thirlwall to the firm’s leadership team, taking the reigns as our new Chief Digital Officer.

The greenest budget ever

The Government's approach to housing, infrastructure and the environment in Budget 2018 reflects one of their key priorities – protecting the natural environment.

New Bill to modernise New Zealand's privacy laws

In the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal and incoming GDPR, the spotlight is on all New Zealand organisations to be accountable for the personal information they hold and be transparent in their practices.

Prime Minister expects only a few Fair Pay Agreements each year

More details about the Labour-led Government’s election promise to introduce “fair pay agreements” to New Zealand have been released.

Investment news

Foreign investment in New Zealand technology sector at record levels

The third annual Investor's Guide to New Zealand reported Kiwi tech companies received $265 million in funding from overseas companies.

NZ stocks hit new highs despite simmering US 10 year bond

The New Zealand share market reached another record high despite the influential US-10 year bond yield continuing its flirtation with the all-important 3 per cent.

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Foreign investment up in commercial property

Foreign investment at the top end of New Zealand's commercial property market has ramped up significantly in the last year, a new agency analysis has found.

Foreign investment interest ‘strong as ever' despite OIO data drop

Foreigners' interest in buying New Zealand assets was as strong as ever, despite Overseas Investment Office data showing a decline this year, an expert says.

White gold: Dairy exports set to jump $3 billion

New Zealand dairy exports this season are on track to jump nearly $3 billion on last year, adding economic cream to positive pay-out predictions for the 2018-2019 season.

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