MPs describe 2021 in one word as Parliament wraps up with $6 billion spend-up tipped for 2022

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has revealed that health will be the winner in a $6 billion spend-up next year - and that includes the health of people and of the planet. 

The complete overhaul of the health system will receive a large chunk of the Budget money, and there's billions set aside for a special Climate Emergency Response Fund. 

All that spending, plus the cost of Delta, means there will be no surplus in sight for a couple more years. Treasury is forecasting a deficit of more than $20 billion by the end of this financial year. Household budgets are set to suffer too. 

It was the last day of Parliament on Wednesday after a year from hell and the one word MPs used to describe 2021 had a similar tone. 

"Unpredictable," said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. 

"Reset," said National MP Simon Bridges. 

"Challenging," said Finance Minister Grant Robertson. 

"Hard," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

"What a ride!" said Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi. 

"Chaos," said Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson - a word echoed by ACT leader David Seymour. 

"Bonkers," said Green Party co-leader James Shaw. 

You can say that again... It's time for a break, New Zealand. 

"I wish you a wonderful break. You bloody deserve it," the Prime Minister said in her final speech in Parliament for 2021. 

The Finance Minister is already looking beyond the break, planning another fiscal bazooka - a $6 billion spend-up in next year's Budget - twice his normal allowance. 

Asked if he has a spending problem, Robertson replied: "What we do have is a health system that is in urgent need of repair."

On Wednesday he revealed his spending priorities for next year. Mending our broken health system is number one and it's going to be a big bill - $6 billion is a record operating allowance. 

"The health sector matters to everyone's life in New Zealand," Robertson said. "New Zealand cannot afford not to do this."

Infometrics senior economist Brad Olsen told Newshub: "The work programme is going faster. We've seen the money printer go, now we've got the money spender coming through."

CTU economist Craig Renney added: "There's going to come a real pressure to deliver on that spending and make sure we get some outcomes for that spending."

Opposition leader Christopher Luxon called on spendaholics anonymous. 

"Grant Robertson is totally addicted to spending." 

The climate is crying out for cash too. The Finance Minister is raining down $3.7 billion. It's just one of the long term challenges demanding more money. 

Robertson could be remembered as one of our most expensive Finance Ministers. 

"It's up to New Zealanders how they decide to remember me," he said. "What I focus on is making sure that we address the long-term issues that we've got." 

Against all odds, the economy is holding up well, though our bank accounts are going to take a whack with Treasury predicting inflation peaking at 5.6 percent in March - prices are still on the up and up.

 "It's important to note that inflation is a global phenomenon," Robertson said. 

And with all his spending, the Government bank account is looking bare too - it's facing a $20 billion deficit for the year to June 22.

"You can't wish COVID away. The Delta outbreak came along and we had to deal with it," Robertson said. 

Damn Delta, you did us in.