Teenage beneficiaries will be offered free long-term contraception in a move to stop them having more babies while receiving a benefit.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett on Monday announced the government will spend $1 million to pay for doctors' visits and long-acting reversible contraception for beneficiaries aged 16-18.
The funded contraception will include intrauterine devices, injections and implants, which will later be extended to the wider beneficiary population.
"We certainly have concerns about subsequent children and children being born particularly to those on welfare, and we see the access to contraception as actually being a barrier, in particular the cost around it," Ms Bennett says.
She says while Pharmac funds the "great percentage" of contraception, "there's still a cost and that's seen as a barrier".
There will be no obligation or incentive for young people to take up the contraception.
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The largely youth-focused welfare package, announced on Monday, includes an extra $77.6 million to move about 14,000 16- and 17-year-old beneficiaries into education or training, and a $75.9 million increase over four years in funding for youth service providers.
"For the first time, the Ministry of Education will share information with the Ministry of Social Development to track and pick up these young people," Ms Bennett says.
"This is unashamedly targeted at those 16- to 18-year-olds. They are the ones most likely to stay on a benefit longer, they are the ones whose children are most likely to be disadvantaged.
"We are targeting more money, more services and I think it's the right place for it to be."
Other changes include an emphasis on getting beneficiaries into work.
The domestic purposes benefit will be replaced with a new sole parent support benefit, and sole parents with children over five will be expected to return to part-time work, while sole parents with children aged over 14 will be expected to work fulltime.
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