Briefing to incoming minister

Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Finance: Letter to the Minister of Finance from the Secretary to the Treasury: Taking Forward Your Priorities [2014]

This briefing is part of the suite of briefings prepared for incoming Ministers by the Treasury following the general election of 20 September 2014.

See also 2014 Treasury Briefings to Incoming Ministers and other agencies' briefings on the Beehive website.

This document has been proactively released. Redactions made to the document have been made consistent with provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

In March 2015 some previously withheld information was released.

  • Letter from the Secretary to the Treasury to the Minister of Finance
  • Taking Forward Your Priorities:
    • Executive summary
    • Purpose and contents of this briefing
    • Key issues and priorities
      • There are short-term challenges in sustaining economic growth…

      • ...and longer-term global trends which bring both opportunities and challenges for New Zealand…

      • ...and impact on New Zealand's economic performance and living standards.

      • The Treasury is well-positioned to help you advance your priorities...

      • ...over this term in government.

    • How Treasury can help you with your priorities
      • The policy issues covered in this slide pack

      • We provide advice on a range of your priorities to support inclusive social and economic outcomes.

      • Expanding smart social sector investment is key to supporting inclusion...

        • ...starting with smarter investment in health and justice...

        • ...applying the principles of smarter investment in education...

        • ...and changes to welfare settings to support the investment approach and those on the lowest incomes.

      • Taking forward your social housing agenda will also better help those in most need.

      • We also provide advice on a range of your priorities and policies to support sustainability.

      • Sustaining economic performance depends on managing pressures on exchange and interest rates...

        • ...and in the medium to long-term it depends on structural reforms, such as increasing housing affordability...

        • ...improving the management of New Zealand's natural resources and environmental challenges...

        • ...and on effective state sector interventions.

      • Last, but not least, a number of your priorities are focused on making New Zealanders more prosperous.

        • Increasing prosperity is about a continued focus on an internationally-competitive business environment...

        • ...including lifting the impact of tertiary education...

        • ...and continuing to improve the quality and management of New Zealand's infrastructure.

        • Auckland is critical to improved national outcomes across all three performance dimensions…

        • are improving outcomes for Māori.

    • Bringing it together: strategic choices
      • The Budget 2015 process is in full swing.

      • Anchors can guide your fiscal strategy under uncertainty...

      • ...and we suggest a balanced package that reflects your priorities...

      • ... part of a broader package of reforms.


The chart on slide 21 of the ‘Taking forward your priorities’ slide pack contains an error. The line indicating the previous and current target, and the current target maintained post-2030, should begin at 60 megatonnes instead of 30. This means the abatement figures in the chart should be 85MT for 2013-2020 and 315MT for 2021-2030. The chart on page 8 (Figure One) of the climate change report contains the correct line and abatement figures.

The charts on slide 25 of the ‘Taking forward your priorities' slide pack and p. 41 (Figure 20) of Holding On and Letting Go show the difference in earnings for those with degree and post-degree qualifications relative to sub-degree qualifications. Some of the gap can be explained by a variety of factors inside the tertiary education system (such as links to employers) and outside the system, including economic, industrial and migration factors. The report by Zuccollo et al (2013) on the ‘Private Returns to Tertiary Education' also indicates that New Zealand's low returns for tertiary qualifications as a whole, is in part due to New Zealand having a lot of lower level "type B" degrees and diplomas.

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