Supporting New Zealand families
Supporting Kiwi families
From 1 July 2018, thousands of New Zealanders will be eligible for extra support through the Government’s Families Package.
We’re making it easier for many Kiwis to look after their whānau and stay warm and well over winter, and providing greater support for parents when they have a new baby.
Find out how the positive changes we’re making could affect you and your family below.
Boosting family incomes
We're expanding Working for Families, making it available to more people all around the country.
Working for Families provides extra financial support to thousands of New Zealand families, making it easier for Kiwis to work and raise a family.
If you have children and your household earns up to $81,000 a year, you could be eligible for Working for Families tax credits. Some larger families earning more will also be eligible.
Expecting a baby?
Best Start is a payment to help families with costs in a child’s first three years.
If you have a baby born (or due to be born) on or after 1 July 2018, you will receive a $60 weekly payment until your child turns one. For parents who are taking paid parental leave, this payment begins after that leave ends.
If your household income is less than $79,000 a year, you will continue to receive Best Start until your child turns three.
You can apply for Best Start by either registering your baby's birth through "Register Your Baby" on the SmartStart website, or by completing the Working for Families Tax Credits registration (FS1) form.
Paid parental leave
We're extending paid parental leave to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018. This will rise to 26 weeks by 2020.
Paid parental leave is available for new parents and other primary carers, such as adoptive parents and grandparents with full-time care.
Once Paid Parental Leave is finished, Best Start payments for families begin. For families receiving Paid Parental Leave, the Best Start tax credit will begin after Paid Parental Leave ends.
Keeping warm through winter
The Winter Energy Payment helps seniors and families who need a helping hand pay for heating during the colder months.
If you receive Superannuation, a Veteran’s Pension or a main benefit, you will receive this payment automatically from 1 July 2018 for 13 weeks. In future years, it will start on 1 May and continue for 22 weeks.
If you’re single, you’ll get an extra $20.46 a week. Couples and people with dependent children will get an extra $31.82 a week.
Help with housing costs
The Accommodation Supplement is a weekly payment that helps people with their rent, board or cost of owning a home.