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Commission believes broad based approach needed

Media release
Embargoed 1pm Thursday

Families Commission believes broad based approach needed to target poverty

The Families Commission says families, communities, the business sector and government need to work together to address poverty in New Zealand.

The Commission welcomes the Office of the Children’s Commission report A Fair Go For Children – Actions to Address Child Poverty in New Zealand saying it adds to the growing understanding of poverty issues within New Zealand.

“The effects of poverty on children and families are well known. As the report notes, poverty rates have steadily reduced in recent years thanks to a strong economy and initiatives such as Working For Families. However, there is more that can be done.
“The report proposes a range of policy-based solutions – something that hasn’t been done as comprehensively as this before. We would like to see these ideas brought together to develop further strategies that take in the views and strengths of individuals, agencies and organisations from throughout society,” said Chief Commissioner Rajen Prasad.

He believes a lot can be learned from existing community initiatives as well as from overseas government-led poverty eradication projects.

“The causes of poverty are not just a low income. As this report notes, there is a complex interaction between income, financial literacy, work skills, being in paid work, family circumstances, community and social supports and so on.”
He says support that enables parents to be in paid work is a one important ingredient and the Commission has already made recommendations to the government in two important areas relating to this: extending paid parental leave to one year plus one months leave for fathers; and improving the quality, quantity and accessibility of out of school childcare services. It also has new work underway looking at financial literacy and debt.


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