Birthright believes that all children have the right to a happy, secure and loving home environment.  We work with families to facilitate the growth of confidence, skills and resilience within the family unit and its individual members.

Birthright understands the diversity of whanau in our communities: Most children in New Zealand will live in a home that is not comprised of a mother and a father at some point in their life. Birthright supports families and whanau in order that everyone has the opportunity to realise their full potential.

backtoschool-604 Families struggle to secure school necessities

School fees- check, school books –check, school uniform – check, these are words that no doubt many a parent is uttering as they methodically tick off all the necessities that are needed for their child to start the school year right.

But for some kiwi families this task is being made all the more harder by the fact that they do not have the funds to cover the costs for school necessities.

Charities and social services, were doing all they can to ensure that families in this situation were getting the help they needed, but many more families continued to sit on waiting lists in a desperate attempt to ensure their children would not miss out.

One such person is mother of four Raewyn from Canterbury who told The Press newspaper that on her income, making ends meets was incredibly tough - especially during this time of year.

Raewyn said during Christmas she had, had to scrimp and save to get by and now that the schooling year was upon her it was an uphill battle coming up with funds for her three school aged children.

In fact, after paying all the necessary bills she didn't even have enough to pay the $15 a week needed to pay off school costs by automatic payment as that money was needed for food.

“Asking for help makes you feel small, but at the end of the day you get what the child needs,” Raewyn told The Press.

Liz from the Hutt Valley knows all too well how financially tough this time of the year can be, so in the last few years has made a conscious effort to minimise the financial sting that can strike at this time of year.

“I am a solo mum of three and back when I was on the benefit I used to put $5 a fortnight away on the two Christmas Clubs I was a member of. I also opened up a separate savings account and put in whatever I could which would help pay for any extra bills that crop up.”

Liz was the first to admit it was definitely hard to do this when things were already financially tight, but putting a couple of dollars aside each week had definitely paid off for her when the Christmas and school costs hit.

Sarah Hannan, a single working mum, followed similar patterns.

“I don’t earn a whole lot so putting a small amount away into the Pak n Save Christmas Club for Christmas and school costs is my saving grace. I also give a family member $5 a fortnight which I dip into if a school trip comes up and I need to pay for it.”

For information on how to join up to Christmas Saving Clubs please click on the links below:

The Warehouse Christmas Club 

Pak n Save Christmas Club

Countdown Christmas Club vouchers

New World Christmas Club


shiftwork-685New childcare model to aid solo parents into work

An exciting new employment and childcare project CareEd4, which aims to help sole parents enter and remain in the workforce is on its way thanks to the support of the Ākina Foundation's inaugural Launchpad programme.

Under the new inititiave, the developers of the model the Substainable Business Council, along with Barnardos KidStart Childcare will look at ways of establishling a childcare model which is responsive to the needs of parents who may be undertaking shiftwork or working outside normal business hours - as currently there is very few childcare options available which cater to this.

Through the project though, the team will come up with sustainable and afforable childcare options for parents in this position, with children aged between 0-13 years old.

Developers of the project aim to pilot the progarmme in early 2015, with Countdown supermarkets putting their hand up to be the first ones to implement the programme.

To read more about the CareEd4 project please click here.

To read more about how the Akina Foundation's Launchpad programme works and is aiding the CareEd4 project please click here.


Birthright in your area


Birthright New Zealand comprises 15 regional member societies. 

Each member society is autonomous and offers a range of services.

Click here to find the Birthright in your region

GoWellington-795Cheaper bus fares for beneficiaries

Go Wellington Buses and WINZ have joined forces and are now offering cheaper bus fares to people residing in the Wellington area who receive either Sole Parent Support or Supported Living Payments.

Through the scheme individuals who meet this criteria can apply for a GO Wellington Beneficiaries Permit, which enables them to pay reduced bus fares between 9am and 4pm and after 6pm (Mon-Fri), and anytime in the weekends or statutory holidays.

To apply you will need to take a letter from WINZ that confirms you are receiving either of these benefits to the Wellington City Council Centre, located close to the library at 101 Wakefield Street (Civic Square). They will then issue you with a permit, which you must show to the bus driver when paying for your fare.

For more information on the terms and conditions of the GO Wellington Beneficiaries Permit please click here.


Inquiry into Social Services in Aotearoa

To ensure that the social services within Aotearoa are equipped to provide best practice standards, the Government recently commissioned the New Zealand Productivity Commission to undergo an inquiry into the matter.

In June the Commission released a brief on the Inquiry in which it outlined what it would consist of, which included these key themes:

  • examining traditional and emerging innovative approaches within the social services - both here and overseas
  • how agencies identify social service needs and how this translates to service delivery, and
  • how effective is this service delivery – based on outcomes

In October the Commission released an Issues Paper which reiterates the inquiry’s background, its intended approach, along with the issues the Commission seek comment and input on through the submission phase – with submissions closing 2 December 2014.

To read more about the inquiry and its processes, please click here.
To make a submission, please click here.
To read more about who the New Zealand Productivity Commission is, please click here.



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Contact Birthright


Your local Birthright: 
Free call: 0800 457 146

National Office phone: 04 802 5377
National Office fax:      04 385 4698
P.O. Box 6302
Marion Square
Wellington 6141