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Child Poverty Statistics Released By Stats NZ Stay Disappointingly Static For Māori, Pasifika And Disabled Tamariki

The Child Poverty Statistics figures show an overall slight downward trend in the number of children experiencing poverty. Māori, Pasifika and disabled tamariki continue to bear the brunt of material hardship and household poverty.

While the statistics show that overall 11% of children in Aotearoa experience material hardship. This increases for Pasifika (24%) and Māori (20%) and children with disabilities, who are more likely to experience material hardship than non-disabled children. Tamariki in a household with at least one disabled person are over three times as likely to experience material hardship.

The statistics capture the impact of COVID for the first time. It is encouraging to see that COVID hasn’t impacted on households as significantly as first thought. However, the inability to survey those in emergency housing or experiencing homelessness makes it difficult to understand the true impact on families who are already struggling.

Barnardos has seen an increase in families requesting additional support, often for everyday items that are no longer in their reach.

Barnardos CEO Mike Munnelly says the data clearly shows that rising rents and house prices are having a disproportionate effect on Māori and Pasifika families. This, on top of the ongoing economic effects of COVID, continues to create stark divisions in equity. The statistics show that there’s still work to be done to meet the long-term targets of the Child Poverty Act (2018).

“While we welcome the Government’s commitment to COVID relief and increasing incomes for families, more needs to be done to support those most in need,” says Munnelly.

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