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Families Package Monitoring and Evaluation

The Families Package was introduced from 2018 to help improve incomes for low- and middle-income families with children. The assistance is part of the Government’s focus on reducing child poverty and ensuring children get the best start in life. The Families Package is primarily delivered through MSD and Inland Revenue.

Families Package initiatives include:

  • boosting incomes of low- and middle-income families by increasing the Family Tax Credit and raising the Working for Families abatement threshold
  • helping families with costs in a child’s early years by introducing a Best Start tax credit (replacing the Parental Tax Credit) and increasing paid parental leave to 26 weeks
  • helping older New Zealanders and people receiving a main benefit heat their homes by introducing a Winter Energy Payment
  • increasing financial assistance for carers by increasing the rate of Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance
  • increasing the Accommodation Supplement and Accommodation Benefit, by implementing changes that had been announced in the 2017 Budget.

MSD leads the work to monitor and evaluate the impacts of Families Package initiatives. The work programme includes:

  • annual monitoring reports tracking trends in receipt of Families Package payments until 2022 (these include data relating to the packages implemented in 2020)
  • projects estimating the difference the reform made
  • syntheses of client experience research.

2020 update

Read an overview of the work programme and findings to date:

Read the 2020 monitoring report:

Read the first in a series of studies looking at the difference the reform made. This study focussed on the effects of the changes to early-years entitlements that introduced a Best Start tax credit (replacing the Parental Tax Credit) and increased paid parental leave:

Read the baseline synthesis of client experience research. This synthesis covers the period before the Families Package was introduced

2019 Monitoring Reports

The first monitoring report reflected on the first year of the Families Package (circa June 2018 – June 2019).

Read the reports:

For enquiries about this research please email

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