In the survey taken this month, 47 per cent said they supported the policy for families earning less than $150,000 while 49 per cent did not. Surprisingly, support was higher among males – 51 per cent supported it compared to 43 per cent of women.
Labour leader David Cunliffe announced the policy for families earning less than $150,000 a year as the centrepiece of his state-of-the-nation address in January.
But controversy followed because he did not mention parents on paid parental leave would not qualify until those entitlements ended.
The policy is expected to cost about $270 million a year once fully implemented. Labour has estimated about 59,000 households will benefit from the payment in a baby’s first year.
About 63,000 families earning less than about $80,000 will continue to receive some level of payment for a further two years at abated rates.