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What Is Child Poverty?

What Is Child Poverty?

“If we don’t know what child poverty is, or agree on how to understand it, it’s hard to do anything about it,” says Kieran Madden, Poverty Issues researcher at Maxim Institute.

“The main thing I took away from the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report today is that it remains difficult to conceptualise, define and measure child poverty, with the Salvation Army’s policy unit forced to put a question mark next to their figure, unable to conclusively state whether it had improved or deteriorated.”

“We’re encouraged by the Salvation Army’s ongoing commitment to their State of the Nation report, especially as the Ministry of Social Development dropped their annual "Social Report” after 2010," said Madden.

“Often reports can focus on a single headline statistic, so it’s great to see this report continue to showcase several indicators across a range of issues like poverty, crime and punishment, work and incomes, that gives a more holistic picture of how New Zealanders are doing in many areas of their lives. These indicators tell the wider story of what kind of nation we are, how we have changed and where we are headed,” said Kieran Madden.

“However, the large question mark on the report-card highlights that we have a long way to go in understanding poverty in New Zealand today.”

Mr Madden says policymakers need, “a sharper and deeper understanding of what poverty looks like in New Zealand, so we can give our families, friends and fellow Kiwis in hardship the help they need and deserve.”

“To this end, Maxim Institute is releasing an Issues Paper on poverty in the first half of 2014 to stimulate and inform debate, the first in a series of research with the ultimate goal of developing effective policies to alleviate poverty in New Zealand,” said Kieran Madden.


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