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


Big job ahead despite slight decrease in child poverty

For immediate release on behalf of the Child Poverty Monitor (www.childpoverty.co.nz)

Big job ahead despite slight decrease in child poverty

New data released today suggests that if New Zealand wants to be a great place to raise children there is still considerable work to do for the one in four missing out.

The Ministry of Social Development released data today that shows 260,000 children are experiencing income poverty. This represents an improvement from the 285,000 children in income poverty in the 2013 data. The data also shows 18 percent of children are in material hardship. This means they are going without the things they need to do well.

The Child Poverty Monitor, a joint initiative from JR McKenzie Trust, Otago University and the Children’s Commissioner, will incorporate this data into its annual December report.

Deputy Children’s Commissioner Dr Justine Cornwall says the improvement in child poverty rates is promising, with the return to pre-economic crisis levels.

“How often do we hear that New Zealand is a great place to grow up? While that’s true for many of our kids – we’ve got a significant group struggling through childhood because they don’t have the things they need to thrive.

“If we put aside what this means for them on a day to day basis, consider what this means for our country in 20 or 30 years’ time. If we want to have a well performing economy and a high quality of living we need to plan ahead. We need to invest further in our greatest asset – our children.

JR McKenzie Trust Executive Director Iain Hines says, “There is another aspect of the data that we find really alarming and that’s the increasingly desperate housing situation for those on low-incomes. For example, half of renters who receive the accommodation supplement are spending almost 50 percent of their income on their rent.

“That’s a massive proportion of their income going to a fixed cost and leaves very little room for bills, food, electricity and other demands. It is easy to see how families in this situation are struggling to give their kids the things many of us might take for granted.

“It also means that families are being forced into living in over-crowded situations, which can bring its own problems, like rheumatic fever and other serious illnesses.

“Housing is a complex issue and I acknowledge there are questions of supply and demand and issues unique to Auckland and Christchurch. But this cannot continue, we need some solutions and fast.”

The Child Poverty Monitor will take a closer look at housing and its impacts on children in poverty in its annual December report. The Monitor will use today’s data from the Ministry of Social Development, combined with other child poverty-related data, to paint a full picture of how well children are doing in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Social Development data on household incomes can be found at:


For more information please contact Anna Santos on 027 696 5101.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news