Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Strengthening Data About Children’s Outcomes Is Essential To Address Child Poverty - Chief Children's Commissioner

April 5, 2024

The risk of not having robust evidence about children’s outcomes is significant, warns Chief Children’s Commissioner Dr Claire Achmad, following an announcement that two long-term studies about children are at risk.

Stats NZ has announced it has stopped the Living in Aotearoa survey, the first major longitudinal survey into ‘poverty persistence’ in New Zealand, focusing on how long whānau remain in disadvantage. Funding for a separate longitudinal study, the long-running Growing Up in New Zealand study run by the University of Auckland, came to an end in February and has not yet been continued.

“Robust, disaggregated and long-term data and research about children’s outcomes is an essential building block not only to understand children’s lives, but to inform decisions that advance children’s health, wellbeing, education and opportunities to thrive,” says Dr Achmad.

“I’m concerned that by stopping the Living in Aotearoa survey, it will be difficult for us to understand the extent to which children are experiencing persistent poverty.

“Without appropriate survey data, it’s hard to see how our understanding of poverty persistence, which is legally required under the Child Poverty Reduction Act, will be delivered,” Dr Achmad says.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has said that comprehensive data about children’s outcomes is one of the key foundation stones to ensuring their rights are being met.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

”Just last year, the Committee clearly recommended that New Zealand strengthen its official data about children and their rights, with a focus on children experiencing disadvantage, including mokopuna Māori, children with disabilities, and those who are experiencing poverty and violence.”

“Ending child poverty needs to be an ongoing national project of significance, with commitment from successive governments. This requires having good data and research about children’s outcomes, so that decisions, investment, and policies affecting children’s lives can be well-informed and effective.

“By stopping the Living in Aotearoa survey, we are losing what promised to be a crucial longitudinal data set to understand the situation of some of our most disadvantaged children, and it is information that cannot be measured through the Growing Up in New Zealand study.

“When it comes to Growing Up in New Zealand, this study plays a crucial role in understanding children’s wider wellbeing experiences. I’m pleased to see Minister Upston stating the Government wants this to continue and is looking into funding options, and I strongly encourage that,” Dr Achmad says.

Dr Achmad says that as the independent advocate for children and young people, Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission will continue seeking assurance about how data relating to poverty persistence will now be established by Stats NZ.

”I will keep advocating for robust, disaggregated and longitudinal data relating to children’s outcomes, alongside policies and investment in whānau wellbeing, to uphold children’s rights,” says Dr Achmad.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.