Welfare and poverty charities are pleading with the government to increase welfare in the lead up to Christmas.
More 40 organisations, including The Salvation Army, Auckland Action Against Poverty, Child Poverty Action Group, have signed an open letter to the Government.
The letter, addressed to Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson and Carmel Sepuloni, says long periods of high housing costs and low wages means parents are under-resourced, overstressed and unable to give their children what they need.
"This situation is urgent. As the new Government, you can release the growing constraints on individuals, families and children," it reads.
COVID-19 has exacerbated the already critical issue with job losses rising nearly a third in the three months leading to September and homelessness services buckling under the pressure.
The letter, signed by 43 different organisations, says income support must be lifted to lift the burden on non-Governmental organisations and charities.
"Before the election, the Labour party has consistently said there's more work to be done to lift families out of poverty. You now have the mandate and opportunity to do so."
The letter is supported by charities such as Barnardos, The Salvation Army, Auckland Action Against Poverty, Child Poverty Action group and Citizens Advice Bureau.
Labour has said it is focused on overhauling the welfare system with a focus on supporting people into long-term jobs.
It also claims it will address income adequacy to ensure those on the benefit will not need to live in poverty.
Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly cited official figures showing improvements in seven of the nine measures of child poverty.
But Stats NZ says those changes are not statistically significant - and only covered the start of the coalition's term in power.
Treasury is expecting child poverty rates to increase because of COVID-19, but the full impact won't be seen in statistics until 2022 and 2023.