Oranga Tamariki will have nearly $270 million to spend over the next four years, with money allocated for moving 17-year-old offenders into youth courts and supporting non-parental caregivers.

Minister for Children, NZ First politician Tracey Martin said the 2018 Budget "reinforced the Coalition Government's commitment to improving care" for vulnerable children.

"We know there's nothing more important to New Zealand than the wellbeing of its children.

"The investments we are announcing today will better support caregivers, fund increased demand for child services and represent another step in the change required to transform New Zealand's system of care and protection for children and young people."


Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children was established last year and some of its funding was time-limited.

"There are a number of areas with current funding pressures or where extra money is required to expand what it does," Martin said.

"This Budget provides Oranga Tamariki $269.9m over the next four years to expand its services."

This included Oranga Tamariki receiving $141.6m over the next four years to go toward the care of children and young people, providing for additional care placements, allow for pay increases for social workers and upgrade tools such as IT systems that help social workers do their jobs.

"Over four years, a total of $139.5m in operating funds will also be provided for changes that allow 17-year-olds to be included in the youth justice system," Martin said.

"This funding – of which $13.4m goes to Vote Courts – will provide for more Family Group Conferences and community responses, including extra remand beds."

Oranga Tamariki also receives $2.2m for one year for a trial to improve the Family Group Conference process for tamariki Māori.

Budget 2018 also includes support for people caring for children who aren't their own, no matter what their relationship is with the child, Martin said.


"Carers, such as grandparents, have had to cover too much of the extra costs associated with raising children.

"Three years ago, Parliament unanimously supported the private member's bill I took on the issue, the Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Act 2015).

"The Coalition Government's first Budget puts the required money behind it."

$104.9m of new operating funding over the next four years is earmarked to provide a clothing allowance for children on the Orphan's Benefit or Unsupported Child's Benefit, paid at the same rate as the clothing allowance provided for children in foster care.

The new funding will ensure that carers, such as grandparents, are entitled to a clothing allowance of up to $1500 a year for the children they're looking after. The new allowance comes into effect on July 1, 2018.