What the 2024/25 Budget means for our region


As we delve into the fiscal outlook for 2024/25, it’s clear that we’re in for a period of careful financial management. With the smallest operating allowance since 2017, the government faces a tight fiscal environment that demands prudent expenditure control. 

Budget Highlights: Navigating Fiscal Neutrality 

The recent budget introduces several notable changes, with a key focus on fiscal neutrality. Among the 240 initiatives cut, some are minor, while others involve millions. This significant reduction in initiatives calls for a closer examination of what these cuts mean for our region. While tax cuts have been maintained as fiscally neutral, ensuring no immediate financial burden, the long-term implications warrant a thorough analysis. 


Infrastructure Investment: A Pillar for Regional Growth 

We are pleased to see a continued commitment to infrastructure investment within the budget. Our Regional Infrastructure Fund is set to receive attention, reinforcing the importance of such investments in stimulating economic growth. Infrastructure projects are crucial as they provide the backbone for our region's development, supporting everything from transportation to communication networks. 


Health and Education: Prioritising Essential Services 

The Budget’s investment in health and education is a positive move that we all recognise as essential. These sectors are the foundation of a thriving community and workforce. As we spend time reviewing the details, we aim to understand how these investments will impact local businesses and the broader regional economy. Advocating for necessary funding for our region and specifically for Dunedin hospital remains a priority. 


Long-term Economic Benefits 

Though some may not immediately feel the impact of these initiatives, the overarching goal is to place our economy in a stronger position for the future. By improving the economic landscape, businesses and residents alike will benefit in the long run. 


Advocacy and Support: Business South’s Role 

Our ability to influence and advocate on behalf of our members is bolstered by the establishment of the new Ministry of Regulation. The Government should be encouraging business development as part of its goal.  

Business South is actively working with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to reduce compliance burdens for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Additionally, through our collaboration with Kanoa and the Regional Infrastructure Fund, we are identifying infrastructure projects that could benefit from future investment. 


Apprenticeship Boost: A Commitment to Workforce Development 

A noteworthy mention from BusinessNZ is the continued funding for the Apprenticeship Boost initiative. This program is crucial in developing a skilled workforce, ensuring that businesses have access to the talent they need to grow and succeed. 



As we navigate the fiscal landscape of 2025/26, it's imperative that we remain vigilant and proactive. By understanding the implications of the budget, advocating for necessary funding, and supporting infrastructure and workforce development, we can ensure that our region remains resilient and poised for growth. Business South is committed to working with all stakeholders to make this vision a reality.