Most people want to see comprehensive changes to the child support system, according to a summary of more than 2000 submissions on the issue.

The Government last year called for public feedback on a discussion document, Supporting Children, which outlined a wide-ranging overhaul of the child support system and sought to make it easier and fairer for parents.

The review looked at how contributions from paying parents should be determined, including revised estimates of the cost of raising children, the number of nights used to determine shared-care arrangements, and setting support levels against both parents' income.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne, who instigated the review, said submissions received last year generally believed that the scheme could be fairer and of more direct benefit to the children it was set up to support.

Sixty-nine per cent of submitters wanted comprehensive changes to the child support payment formula. The same percentage also felt the threshold for shared care should be lowered from the present 40 nights a year.

Sixty-eight per cent believed the income of both parents should be taken into account.

The document also considered new rules for payments and late penalties.

Two-thirds of submitters wanted payments deducted directly from a parent's pay packet, while 65 per cent thought penalties for default payments should be reduced after a year to allow other enforcement methods to kick in.

Mr Dunne said more than 200,000 children directly relied on child support to meet their needs. "It is crucial that they receive the financial support they need and are due."

The minister said his aim was to make the scheme fairer and to take into account changes in society since it was introduced in 1992.

"When parents feel that it is fairer, then we can expect higher levels of compliance, but the bottom line is that every parent has a duty to support their children."

The Cabinet will next month consider options on reforming child support, with a bill expected to be introduced by the end of the year.

- NZPA