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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.

Components 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 is leading work to monitor and evaluate the impacts of Families Package initiatives. The first monitoring report reflects on the first year of the Families Package (circa June 2018 – June 2019). It shows the Families Package boosted the incomes of low- and middle-income families by:

  • providing a Best Start tax credit to over 36,000 families in its first year
  • increasing Family Tax Credit payments from an average of $126 per week end of June 2017 to $166 per week end of June 2019
  • increasing Accommodation Supplement recipients’ weekly supplement, on average, from $71 at the end of June 2017 to $98 at the end of June 2019
  • providing a million adults with the Winter Energy payment to help with costs of heating a home.

Read the reports:

Read the Beehive media release

For enquiries about this research please email

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