Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance, on New Zealand's 2020 Budget

Hon. Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance, stopped by the Wellington School of Business and Government (WSBG) in June to speak with Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean Professor Ian Williamson about the 2020 Budget and to answer questions from high school students across the country.

Since 2018, the Wellington School of Business and Government has hosted Minister Robertson each year for a presentation to high school students on the budget. This year, due to the uncertainty around COVID-19, the event was taken online.

Students jumped on the opportunity to put questions to the Minister, with respondents wanting to know more about how the government will pay back its debt, the possibility of tax cuts or increases, how the budget supports young people, what support is being given to the tourism industry, unemployment, superannuation, and more.

“It’s actually a real highlight for me each year to come and be a part of this event,” said Minister Robertson at the start of his presentation. “I always find that the questions I get in this particular format are some of the toughest I get asked so I’m really looking forward to answering those.”

The impact of COVID-19 and the government’s response took front and centre of the presentation and discussion.

“Everybody will be aware that Budget 2020 was put together in the shadow of COVID-19,” said Minister Robertson. “COVID-19 is not only the most significant health crisis that the planet has faced for many decades. It's also a 1 in 100-year economic shock and so putting a budget together in those circumstances was enormously challenging.”

Professor Williamson says the annual event is a highlight and a fantastic opportunity for high school students.

“At the Wellington School of Business and Government we are proud of our strong connections with the government and the public sector agencies that surround us,” says Professor Williamson. “It’s a real privilege to be able to host Minister Robertson for this event each year and to give high school students a unique opportunity to put their questions to a government minister.”

Watch the presentation below.