New Zealand First has been criticised for voting down part of a Bill to enrol children into KiwiSaver.
The party voted down an amendment to the Bill via Supplementary Order Paper that would have allowed all foster parents to enrol their foster kids in KiwiSaver.
- What you need to know about the KiwiSaver Foster Children Amendment Bill
- KiwiSaver provider slams Oranga Tamariki over opposition to Bill
- Breaking down the myths around KiwiSaver
Instead, the Bill will allow anyone who is the legal guardian to enrol foster kids in KiwiSaver, a much narrower definition.
"It's sad, it's very sad. I took my kids to Parliament when this Bill was introduced because I wanted to show them that if you actually cared about something you could affect change," Simplicity KiwiSaver managing director Sam Stubbs, who has supported the Bill, told The AM Show.
Oranga Tamariki currently has the sole right to enrol children in KiwiSaver and Stubbs said they have signed up one child.
"All we're trying to do is get 6000 foster kids the same KiwiSaver account as the other 300,000 children in New Zealand have," Stubbs said.
National Party MP Hamish Walker is currently sponsoring the Bill. He told Newshub on Wednesday night the vote was deeply disappointing.
"The Minister for Children has voted down a [supplementary order paper] which will allow 6500 of our most vulnerable children the ability to be on the same playing field as any other child."
All parties voted for the Bill without amendments, but all Government parties voted against the supplementary order paper.
That's despite Winston Peters telling The AM Show on Tuesday the law's "an ass" and he would try to fix it.
"I'm sitting here looking at this on your programme thinking 'what on earth is wrong with that?'"
New Zealand First rejected claims it had any plans to vote against the supplementary order paper in a statement on Wednesday.
"The assertions made that New Zealand First is going to support an amendment that will undo the careful recommendations made by the Social Services Select Committee are just plain wrong," New Zealand First social services spokesperson Darroch Ball said.
"We are committed to the Bill as reported back by the Select Committee, which provides more foster children with a KiwiSaver account."