Budget funding of Oranga Tamariki and the establishment of a new Child Poverty Unit to tackle child poverty have been met with mixed responses.

One critic called it a "Budget of broken promises" for Whānau Ora, who did not receive any funding despite an election promise from Labour MP Kelvin Davis to increase funding by $20 million.

• READ MORE: Budget 2018: Special units in PM's Department to drive child poverty reduction policy

Save the Children NZ (SCNZ) welcomed the "positive impact" they believed the Budget would have on children.


"Last week's announcement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mfat), Winston Peters, of the biggest increase in aid in over a decade is certainly a positive move," SCNZ's International Programmes Director Andrew Johnston said.

The increase was overdue and strengthened the organisation's ability to work with some of the most vulnerable communities in the Pacific, he said.

Save the Children also welcomed the number of announcements that allocate greater funding to families or services that support families including free doctors visits and prescriptions to under-14-year-olds.

While Social Services Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) welcomed the Budget's focus on helping the country's most vulnerable families, they said it bypassed essential and intensive community-based child and family services which were in need of more funding.

SSPA national manager Brenda Pilott says most not-for-profit organisations working with vulnerable children and families have had their funding frozen for a decade while demand for services has steadily increased.

"The situation is at a critical level and raises concerns about the future of many services that are desperately needed by vulnerable children and families.

"We know a number are at imminent risk of closure and we're concerned at the impact on children and families of under-funded, over-stretched services."

Pilott was heartened by the Minister for Children, Tracey Martin, recognising the approach of the past decade couldn't continue.


"We are encouraged by this year's funding increase for family violence services and by the Minister of Finance's promise of a strong focus on social wellbeing.

"But we are very concerned that, in the meantime, some services are stretched to breaking point and won't be able to last another year without financial relief."

Te Pou Matakana chairman Merepeka Raukawa-Tait was more blunt in her criticism, calling the Budget one of broken promises for Whānau Ora.

The announcement included nothing for Whānau Ora, despite an election promise to provide an extra $20m.

"This Government has given us a Budget of broken promises and this is disappointing. It's commitment to whānau, made in 2017, seems to have been forgotten, despite there being a large proportion of Māori MPs and Māori Cabinet ministers," Raukawa-Tait said.

Te Pou Matakana works with over 80 Whānau Ora providers across the North Island that support over 9000 whānau every year, and these numbers continue to grow.

"Whānau Ora is exceeding targets and as a result whānau are realising outcomes in improved physical and personal health, better standards of living and raising education levels, to name a few.

"We have reached a place where real change is happening."