A paper released on Thursday suggests making it compulsory for designated people to report child abuse.
It says such a requirement has drastically reduced harm to children overseas.
Mandatory reporting of abuse is a major issue in the Government's green paper on vulnerable children, which is being discussed by community leaders in Wellington.
The study from the University of Queensland looked at data from the United States, where reporting abuse is compulsory for some professionals.
It says they identified about 70% of all proven cases.
It also says that physical and sexual abuse was far more likely to be identified with about three quarters of cases reported under a mandatory reporting system.
Physical and sexual abuse cases have halved since the 1990s in the US.
Submissions to the green paper on vulnerable children close at the end of February.