Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said it was not a priority to measure New Zealand's poverty line.

Ms Bennett said in Parliament there was no need to further investigate findings in the Green Paper that up to 20 per cent of New Zealand children live in poverty.

"There is no official measure of poverty in New Zealand. The actual work to address poverty is perhaps what is most important," she said.

"Children move in and out of poverty on a daily basis," said Ms Bennett


Labour spokeswoman from children Jacinda Ardern said child poverty would not be resolved if the Government would not acknowledge the scale of the problem.

"Given Ms Bennett's frivolous treatment of what is a hugely serious issue, the public have every right to question her commitment to it."

"The message is clear. Either Paula Bennett doesn't want to admit to the scale of the problem, or she is afraid of exposing her government's lack of progress in fixing it."