Overhaul the welfare system

Illustration of an apple

Children and young people have what they need

Lead agency:
Ministry of Social Development
Action timeframe:
From 2019

The Government's vision is for a welfare system that ensures people have an adequate income and standard of living, are treated with respect and can live in dignity, and are able to participate meaningfully in their communities.

There is a multi-year work programme to overhaul the system in line with this vision, which will consider the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

In November 2019, the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee endorsed the proposed key features of the future state of the welfare system, and each of the proposed short, medium and long-term work programmes. 

Subsequent welfare overhaul work has included a focus on reviewing the foundations of the welfare system, increasing accessibility, improving support for targeted groups, and enhancing the community sector.  The Ministry of Social Development has also provided initial advice on youth related recommendations under Whakamana Tāngata, including abolishing money management in the Youth Service. 

In July 2020, Cabinet agreed to the removal of the subsequent child policy from November 2021. The first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill was on 6 April 2021.

A focus on resetting the foundations of the welfare system will continue through 2021. Given the scope of the Welfare system overhaul work and the complexity of aspects of it, some areas may require more time to consider. Cabinet decisions on these will be sought in due course as required.

Find out more

Read the Cabinet Paper: Update on progress and long-term plan