A tribal education body is welcoming the extension of the Kick Start Breakfast scheme in schools - but says it's not before time.
Te Maru o Nga Kura a Iwi o Aotearoa says the expansion of the programme across decile 1 to 4 schools is a "major and necessary breakthrough".
Its head - Toby Curtis - says an unacceptably large number of children is going hungry before class.
But he says the problem is partly due to the failure of the government to meet its core role to cut poverty.
Dr Curtis warns that state intervention must be a temporary stop-gap measure, saying the State must never ever become the surrogate parent.