A bill aiming to give financial parity between the carers of foster children and children raised by their grandparents was passed in Parliament tonight but it wont take effect until 2018.

The Social Security (Clothing allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill passed with unanimous support.

It was a private member's bill in the name of New Zealand First deputy leader Tracey Martin.

In 2018, unless the law is changed, a clothing allowance for children whose caregivers
receive an Orphan's Benefit or Unsupported Child's Benefit will take effect.


At present the allowance for foster children can be up to $1500 a year.

Tracey Martin acknowledged the progress by former Labour minister Ruth Dyson and National minister Paula Bennett to achieve parity between carers, but the clothing allowance was the final step.

She said the bill would not have been before Parliament were it not for Diane Vivian of the group Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

Labour's Jacinda Ardern has said the allowance would be implemented as soon as Labour reached office - although the first Budget a new Labour Government would be in 2018 anyway.