Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Otago Students Take On Child Poverty

Otago Students Take On Child Poverty

A group of University of Otago students has banded together this year to try and address some of the issues of child poverty and encourage discussions in the public and political arenas.

The group is called Choose Kids and the biggest factor they’ve identified in the cause of poverty is income and benefit inadequacy, which has families with two full-time minimum-wage earners coming up over $100 short each week, when paying for lowest-quality rent, power, household running costs, clothes, food, heating, medical bills and transport.

Choose Kids’ spokesperson Briar Hunter says “It’s even worse for benefit recipients and solo parents. The next biggest determinants are poorly insulated, leaky, overcrowded homes, and childhood hunger and poor nutrition. If these issues are dealt with they will have direct flow on effects on childhood health.”

This week, in support of the Mana’s Party’s ‘Feed the Kids’ Bill, Choose Kids have sent in 1000 post-card sized letters to the Prime Minister; signed by students, teachers, psychologists, researchers and parents alike. They have also written dozens of letters to every member of the National Party and the Ministers of Health, Education, and Social Development. The group has also posted their promotional video and online petition in support of the Bill on their Facebook page.

“The Feed the Kids Bill aims to get nutritious breakfasts and lunches in decile 1 and 2 schools, to allow kids the opportunity to make the most of their education; helping to break the poverty cycle for the next generation. The provision of healthy foods will have immediate impacts on health, and will enhance social skills and discourage hungry children being ostracized by peers and having feelings of low self-esteem and embarrassment,” Briar says.

Briar continues: “One-in five-New Zealand Kids live in poverty, a statistic that rates us very poorly in comparison to other OECD countries. Our lower class carries the burden of poor mental health and cognitive development, high infant mortality and high hospital admissions.

“The conditions we see here in New Zealand—recurrent skin and chest infections and rheumatic fever— are the same conditions that plagued the poor in Apartheid South Africa, and have been eradicated from many parts of the western world.

“We have over 83,000 children attending school hungry each day; a factor linked to poor academic performance and achievement. This in turn is associated with feelings of disempowerment, reduced future employment opportunities and individuals becoming trapped in low wage employment or benefit dependency later in life.

“Poverty in New Zealand is often described as ‘invisible poverty’ because it exists in clusters normally removed from the middle class’ suburbia. We also do not have high rates of homeless people on the streets and this enhances our denial of the problem. Nobody sees the 15 people living inside a 4 bedroom houses unless you go inside and look.”

Briar says everyone has a part to play ridding child poverty from New Zealand, whether it’s by sending a letter to parliament to tell them it’s worth addressing, or volunteering for any of the amazing organisations in our community who are already doing practical work on the ground.

“Our children are the future of the country and they are powerless to change their current situation. It is up to us to make change happen for them,” Briar concludes.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>

    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:


    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

    For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

    ALSO:


    Gordon Campbell: On lessons for Labour from the UK election
    If the polls were right – and the pollsters kept telling us how accurate they’d been in 2010, and even Nate Silver was getting the same results – there seemed no way that the British Labour Party could lose last Thursday’s British election. With Labour predicted to win around 270 seats and the Scottish National Party batting around 55-60 seats, Labour seemed to be home free. But…as we now know, things didn’t turn out that way. Labour ended up with 232 seats and the Conservatives swept back to power with an outright majority, after winning only a little more than a third ( 36.9%) of the votes cast.MORE >>
    Also.

  • NZ PM John Key - PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election
  • The Nation IV Transcript - Hack Attack author Nick Davies
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news