Northland's social service providers are waiting to see what the "trickle down" of this year's budget will mean on the ground in the region.

The Whangārei Child Poverty Action Group held an event on Wednesday to share analysis of the Budget and it's potential impact on child and whanau poverty with around 40 local social service and community members.

Te Matarau Education Trust's Huhana Lyndon outlined the various increases in funding that would be seen across the education sector nationally.

"There's no silver bullets in it. It's business as usual with a little bit of stretch, with a bit of stretch, there is opportunity."


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She said the priority now is how Northland can best position itself, to influence the spend and see funding allocated to the region.

One of the funds she mentioned was the $21.5 million to increase early intervention services over four years for early childhood education. Within that is funding for children with the highest needs, which will see another 150 children get full support.

Lyndon said Northland has a high need.

"If you think 150 across the nation, that's only a small drop in the bucket in terms of those tamariki who might have suffered some sort of significant trauma in their lives to access the service."

Ngahau Davis of He iwi Kotahi Tātou Trust and Te Mana o Ngāpuhi Kōwhao Rau spoke passionately about what it's like for people on the ground.

He said the people more concerned about the budget were those sitting in that room, because as the "deliverers" of the budget, they have a vested interest in it.

"Most of our people really, they can't even get their heads into this space because they're not too sure what's going to happen tomorrow, that's what it looks like on the coal face."

He said for him, the budget "didn't have much detail".

"What did that actually look like on the ground? What did that mean for us in Moerewa? Māori in the Tai Tokerau? it didn't have that detail in it."

Davis added there was "no talk about special housing projects for Māori whanau".

Associate professor Susan St John from the Child Poverty Action Group national body said the 140,000 children nationally in worst poverty would only be helped marginally.

"It's a very good start, it's not the transformational changed that's needed to undo the damage".

St John pointed out things worth applauding, and highlighted a raft of changes which "can and should" be made, including removing benefit sanctions and indexation of Working For Families.