The Government has received the report of the Welfare Advisory Group into the future of the social security system.

The report, on the overhaul of the welfare system, will be publicly released in late March or early April after officials have looked at it and it has been discussed by Labour and its government partners New Zealand First and the Green Party.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the views of more than 3000 people had been heard during the wide-ranging review, which was supported by substantial evidence and research.

"This is a significant piece of work and it will inform how we make our social welfare system fairer and accessible for all New Zealanders. Any changes we make to the welfare system need to be effective and enduring," Sepuloni said in a statement.

The working group was tasked with making recommendations to overhaul the welfare system to make it fairer. That is likely to include the removal of the most punitive benefit sanctions and could include changes to abatement rates - the reduction of beneficiaries' payments when they earn more money.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson told reporters last week the report would be considered alongside the recommendations of the Tax Working Group.


"Whenever you make changes to the tax system it has an impact on the welfare system because the two things interact together," he said.

The Tax Working Group noted in its report that according to the OECD, New Zealand's tax and transfer system reduced income inequality by less than the average across the OECD.

The review of the welfare system was part of Labour's confidence and supply agreement with the Greens.

Welfare spokeswoman Marama Davidson said the Government needed to ensure the system addressed inequality.