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Bare Your Soles for Child Poverty

6 December 2012

Bare Your Soles for Child Poverty

The public, media and politicians are urged to “bare their soles for child poverty” in a rally on Parliament grounds at 1pm on 12 December.

The lunchtime rally is intended to raise awareness of child poverty in New Zealand, with attendees invited to go barefoot to show that its existence is unacceptable. The event will feature interactive art, music from singer-songwriter Louis Baker, and speakers with varied and experienced insights into this issue. It will be non-partisan and child friendly. All New Zealanders have a stake in this issue and we encourage peoples of all ages and backgrounds to show their support.

The rally coincides with the release on 11 December of the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Solutions to Child Poverty’s final report. The EAG has been investigating the issue of child poverty since it was set up by the Children’s Commissioner in March 2012. The group is made up of experts from a wide range of backgrounds, who are ideally placed to consider how we can ensure children are given a healthy start in life. We believe that their recommendations will provide practical, evidence-based solutions and must be taken seriously by the Government. They must not be ignored and swept under the carpet.

It is clear that urgent action is required. One in five New Zealand children live in poverty. Children are six times more likely to live in poverty than the elderly. The effects of poverty are most damaging in childhood, often affecting one’s development as an adulthood.

Solving child poverty needs to be the highest priority for our government and wider society. Not only are children morally blameless, they are also our future. Without adequate investment in solutions, our country as a whole will suffer. We must acknowledge that while we are all responsible for the current situation, real solutions do exist. The preliminary releases by the EAG indicate that the final report will provide some solutions to this extreme challenge.

It is crucial that the quality thinking that has gone into this report finds its mark within the New Zealand populace. Thankfully, many New Zealanders are becoming more aware of the issues involved. Our hope is that by bringing together people as part of this rally, the EAG’s final report will get the attention it deserves. Our hope is that New Zealand takes care of our young people.

Bare your soles for child poverty on Wednesday 12 December, Parliament Grounds, 1pm!



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