People with outstanding arrest warrants won't receive a benefit while they're evading police, the government says.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennet says about 15,000 people have current arrest warrants against them and about 8200 are beneficiaries.
"If someone has an unresolved arrest warrant we will stop their benefit until they do the right thing and come forward to the authorities," she said on Wednesday.
Ms Bennett says about 58 per cent of people clear their arrest warrants within 28 days.
Those who don't will be given 10 days to clear or challenge the warrant before their benefit is stopped, or reduced by 50 per cent if they have dependent children.
"Most people clear their warrants within a month so 38 days is a reasonable amount of time to step forward and straighten things out," Ms Bennett said.
"Once someone has come forward their benefit can be reinstated but there will be clear consequences for people who continually refuse to acknowledge or resolve arrest warrants."