'It can't fail' - Bill English not ruling out additional funding, wider scope for new Ministry for Vulnerable Children

The Prime Minister says he's "strongly committed" to the newly formed Ministry for Vulnerable Children and has indicated the government will give it additional funding, if needed, to make it work.

The PM says the government is "strongly committed" to the new ministry, formerly CYF. Source: Breakfast

Speaking to Hilary Barry on TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme today Bill English said there is "around $300 million over the next three or four years" allocated to the ministry.

Asked by Barry if he would give the ministry additional funding if required Mr English said: "It can't fail for the sake of the children".

"We have strongly committed to investing in these children at a stage where we can do a much better job with them," he said.

"Some of these kids could cost up to $1 million if we don't act vigorously and effectively early on."

"It can't fail for the sake of the children."

Mr English said he would not rule out widening the net of how many children the Ministry of Vulnerable Children would help.

"We have a fundamental obligation for the 5000 [children] in state care, then there is a wider group of up to 90,000 to 100,000 children who you would think are at risk and when we've got the system better dealing with them … then I suppose you could look at going broader," he said. 

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children officially came into being on Saturday.

Minister for Children Anne Tolley said on Friday the ministry's creation is a complete overhaul of the care system and reiterated this is a new ministry, not just CYF under a new name.