New Zealand First has announced its first election policy at its annual conference this weekend – the return of the universal family benefit.
Speaking to party faithful in East Auckland this morning, senior NZ First MP and Minister Tracey Martin said her party wants to "support our families".
She said the Greens don't have "a monopoly" when it comes to caring about poverty.
New Zealand had a universal family benefit back in 1946; it replaced the means-tested system – Martin wants to bring it back.
"Sometimes the old ideas are the best ideas," Martin said.
The NZ First policy will mean all families in New Zealand, with children under 16, are be provided a weekly allowance, no matter their income.
Martin did not have concrete details about the policy, such as how much money families would get – she said those will come soon.
But she said it was a policy her party would be campaigning on – "it's a policy that says that we value our children".
"This is a message to the rest of New Zealand, saying we need to value child care and child raising."
Martin made the announcement during a speech this morning, where she attempted to "bust some of the myths" about NZ First.
One of these was that NZ First just "did not get" social policy.
Marin pushed back on this: "I think that people think the Greens have got a monopoly in caring about poverty and that Labour has got a corner on caring about people."
She said she is bothered by some of the terminology used by the Greens.
"It's as if that those who are poor, who are below the poverty line, that all they want is more money."
She said that was not true.
Martin said NZ First "has always been a champion for children and families".
Her announcement comes just hours before her leader, Winston Peters, is due to make his keynote speech.
It is understood Peters plans to talk up his, and his party's, experience in Government and pit that against the experience of the Greens and Labour.