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The government is changing families package from 1 July 2018. The changes will increase financial support for New Zealand families.

Some of the major changes include:

  • the introduction of the Best Start tax credit
  • higher payment rates for Working for Families tax credits customers
  • widening of the eligible income range for Working for Families tax credits
  • extension of paid parental leave (PPL) payments from 18 to 22 weeks.
  • you must be the principal caregiver of the child
  • you must be a New Zealand resident or citizen and have been in New Zealand for a continuous period of 12 months at any time
  • a New Zealand tax resident
  • you must have an IRD number for the child you will get Best Start payments for
  • the child you are claiming for is both a resident and present in New Zealand.

Best start tax credit is a weekly payment of $60 per child for a baby born or due on or after 1 July 2018.

To be eligible for Best Start:

Information on other changes such as the winter energy payment and orphans benefits can be found on the Work and Income website. (


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