Labour’s fourth ‘well-being budget’ still comes up short on the well-being of women

Jennifer Curtin, Komathi Kolandai, Oluwakemi Igiebor and Suzy Morrissey respond to Budget 2022 in the Conversation. 

All budgets are about economics and politics, and 2022’s was no different. The Labour government continued its economic rebuild through commitments to infrastructure and industry, low- and middle-income earners’ living costs, and the successful implementation of signature reforms in health and climate.

Commentators judged it largely responsible, given the backdrop of international disruption, risks of continued inflation and stretched supply chains. The reaction to how New Zealand’s women fared, however, has been mixed.

Politically, Labour needed to reassure both core and softer voters with this budget. And since the 1990s, women have been an important source of soft votes for Labour. Under John Key, National closed the gender gap that had opened under Helen Clark’s previous administration.

But women voters began to return to Labour in 2017 and overwhelmingly supported Labour in 2020. The NZ Election Study shows 51% of women respondents voted Labour compared to 21% for National. These figures suggest support from women cannot be taken for granted.

The above is an excerpt from ‘Labour’s fourth ‘well-being budget’ still comes up short on the well-being of women’ published on The Conversation on 20 May 2022. Read the full article analysing the hits and misses, women in work and wellbeing in Budget 2022 here.

Previous GRAB-NZ Budget Commentaries

Jennifer Curtin is a Professor of Politics and Policy at the University of Auckland, and the Director of Public Policy Institute, the University of Auckland 

Komathi Kolandai  is a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland

Oluwakemi Igiebor is a Research Fellow at the Public Policy Institute, University of Auckland

Suzy Morrissey is a Research Associate at the Public Policy Institute, University of Auckland