Children's Commissioner delighted by wellbeing budget - 'A game-changer for New Zealand's children'

The Children's Commissioner has called the 2019 Budget a "game-changer for New Zealand's children", saying today's announcement is unlike any he has ever seen.

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Andrew Becroft says today's Budget is unlike any he's ever seen. Source: 1 NEWS

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced in the wellbeing budget a $1.1 billion boost in operating costs for Oranga Tamariki over four years with the intent of reducing child poverty.

The Budget also set aside $256.6 million in operational funding to provide a $150 payment per student at decile 1-7 schools that "agree not to request donations from parents".

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft says both announcements are clear statements as to what steps are going to be taken to reach child poverty reduction targets.

"There's a significant challenge and this Budget identifies that challenge and as a first step, attempts to meet it," he said.

"If this is rigorously repeated in years to come, it could be a game-changer for New Zealand's children - that is the hope. If we can mean business about wellbeing, it's got to start with our children and young people.

"To see that front and centre of this Budget is really satisfying and it's a great start."

Becroft added that across the board in terms of support for parents, support for counselling in schools, supporting education, health services, there's a child-first focus throughout. 

"I guess as Children's Commissioner it's time not to be churlish and to positively acknowledge this is unlike any other Budget that I've seen that prioritises children."

The Government also announced on Sunday a new transition service for young people leaving state care, which is expected to help around 3000 young people over the next four years.