Welfare and the Family


ACT believes the state should play a limited but necessary role in protecting our vulnerable. It is unacceptable that over 300,000 working-age adults, or one in nine of all working-age adults, are on a benefit of some kind.

ACT recognises that while the intention of reducing hardship is noble, bad incentives have led to dependency and indignity for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. To reduce welfare dependency, New Zealand must seek economic growth and full employment.

ACT considers that an important part of the state’s role is to act as insurance for those who fall on hard times, but recognises that it is  only to provide to those who could not otherwise provide for themselves.


Supported the current government’s initiative to provide welfare for those who need it, while helping New Zealanders back into work.

Negotiated for extended parental leave for parents of pre-term babies for each week the baby was born prior to the 37 week gestation period.


  • Advocate that all welfare recipients of working age who are able to work either work full time, engage in full-time training, or undertake part-time work.
  • Push for a life-time limit of five years for support under the Sole Parent Support programme, and a life-time limit of three years for support under the Jobseekers Benefit, with “income management” being applied to beneficiaries when those limits are reached.
  • Extend income management to any parent who has additional children while on a benefit.
  • Cut working for families and paid parental leave payments to upper income earners to better fund more effective, targeted programs for those truly in need of help.
  • Make contraceptive more available to those who need it.
  • Continue to advocate for continued and more generous state support for those with physical or mental conditions who require support, including improved access to supported living arrangements for those with serious mental illness.