Topics: BUDGET, Rereātea - Midday News

TAHUA 2018: A brighter future for tamariki?

By Regan Paranihi
  • Wellington

The coalition government are set to invest more money into the future of children and young people in need.

Tracey Martin, Minister for Children says, “The investments we are announcing today will better support caregivers, fund increased demand for child services and represent another step in the change required to transform New Zealand’s system of care and protection for children and young people.”

Martin says there are a number of areas with current funding pressures and areas where extra money is required.

Budget 2018 will provide Oranga Tamariki - The Ministry for Children with $269.9mil over the next four years to expand their services.

In addition, Oranga Tamariki will receive an extra $141.6mil over the next four years so more children and young people can access the care they need. 

The extra funding will also provide the necessary resources for social workers to do their jobs comfortably.

$139.5mil will go towards the youth justice system with $13.4mil of that money being invested into Vote Courts, which will provide for more Family Group Conferences, and community responses including extra remand beds.

Oranga Tamariki will also receive $2.2mil for one year of trialing to improve the Family Group Conference process for Māori children.

There will also be extra funding for people caring for children who aren’t their own.

Martin says, “We are providing $104.9 million of new operating funding over the next four years to provide a clothing allowance for children on the Orphan’s Benefit or Unsupported Child’s Benefit, paid at the same rate as the clothing allowance provided for children in foster care”.

She also says, ““The new funding will ensure that carers, such as grandparents, are entitled to a clothing allowance of up to $1,500 a year for the children they’re looking after.  The new allowance comes into effect on 1 July 2018”.

Martin is pleased with the outcome of today's Budget announcement and says the government has committed to putting the well-being of children first.