Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's appears to have adopted a scatter-gun approach to welfare reform.
As reported in the Bay of Plenty Times, Ms Bennett told TVNZ's Q+A programme that she believed some parents did not need to enrol their children in early childhood education - but concedes her welfare reforms would force beneficiaries to do just that.
Not that she appears too concerned about this anomaly.
She feels the arbitrary approach is justified because the policy change benefits those who are most vulnerable.
Besides, she adds, there are about 220,000 children with parents on benefits, about 31,500 of whom were aged three and four. Only some from that group would be tested - about 20,000 to 25,000 children a year.
"The others we expect them to, but we won't be checking up to see if they have," she says.
Under the scheme parents on benefits will have to enrol their children in early childhood education from the age of three until they attend school under a bill that passed its first reading in Parliament on Thursday.
The move is part of the Government's second wave of welfare reforms, which will redefine the existing benefit categories and also place new obligations on beneficiaries.
Under the changes, parents who fail to take "all reasonable steps" to ensure their children attend at least 15 hours of early childhood education a week could have their benefits halved.
Ms Bennett says some parents were not aware of the value of early childhood education, were unsure how to access it or believed there were barriers. The Government would be dealing with those it felt were most vulnerable and that the "stick at the end" would only come at the end of a "very long and intense process".
How these families will be identified is unclear.
I'm not opposed to this welfare reform on principle - if it improves the lot of children who are not being given the opportunity to achieve - but I think all reforms and law changes should be consistent. The Government will chase some selected families to ensure their children are enrolled, but not others even though the reform, as it is laid out, means all are obliged to do so. Surely this reform could be refined to ensure parents who are doing their best to provide for their children are not affected.