A bill that rewrites the Social Security Act has passed its first reading in Parliament.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says it's been a huge task updating and reorganising the legislation to make it easier to understand and reflect modern approaches.
"Fifty years of amendments and repeals, including 153 amending Acts, have left New Zealand's welfare legislation fragmented, hard to understand and difficult to navigate," she said.
"Of the 523 sections in the Act, only four have remained unchanged and one has been amended 286 times."
Mrs Tolley says the bill is largely policy-neutral.
"This is not about reforming the welfare system, but making the legislation user-friendly and supporting an efficient and modern service delivery."
Some of the minor changes in the bill are:
The bill passed its first reading 109-12 last night.
It has been sent to a select committee for public submissions.