A report has revealed the Government is aware its programmes have been doing very little to help children out of poverty.

Radio New Zealand reported the Government received advice showing its child poverty policies would do little in the short to medium term.

The advice came before a $25 increase in benefits for families was announced in this year's budget.

The paper was written by the Ministry of Social Development in February 2013 in response to the Children Commissioner's expert advisory group report on child poverty, Radio New Zealand reported.


The paper stated the Government had a credible and wide-ranging programme to address poverty - but said in the short to medium term this was unlikely to result in a reduction in child deprivation.

It read: "However in the short to medium term this programme is not likely to result in a large reduction in measured child poverty using an income or material depravation basis. Recent experience with the working for families package has shown that it is possible to achieve significant direct reduction in poverty, but doing so requires significant additional investment."

Despite this, advisers did not recommend that families be given more money, although officials did note that benefit cuts in 1991 had had made it harder for many families, Radio New Zealand reported.

The broadcaster said it requested the paper under the Official Information Act in 2013, but did not receive the information until October last year. The paper contained several deletions.

When the broadcaster once again requested the papers, following the announcement of this year's budget, information was once again withheld, although the new information revealed today was included.

Green Party social development spokeswoman Jan Logie said the Government chose to hide the fact its policies weren't going to solve poverty because it did not want to raise low wages or benefits.

"This deception has kept families in poverty, and led to children and other vulnerable Kiwis going without the basics like food and warm homes."

Ms Logie said a "paltry" $25 increase in benefits, announced in the Budget, was not enough to lift children out of poverty.


"Much of this increase will be clawed back through abatements to other benefits. If the Government was serious about raising low income, it would ensure that families got to keep the full $25," she said.