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Maharey welcomes new poverty research

11 December 2000 Media Statement

Maharey welcomes new poverty research

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey is welcoming new poverty research saying it meshes well with work the Government is doing to a more accurate picture of New Zealander's living standards.

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services Poverty Indicator Pilot Project was launched in Wellington today. The Project is compiled from data collected about the personal circumstances of foodbank clients in eight cities nationwide and will be updated on a quarterly basis.

"The Council of Christian Social Services Poverty Indicator Pilot Project is a significant contribution to the debate about the nature of poverty in our society. The Project meshes very well with work I have instigated within the Ministry of Social Policy.

"Gaining an accurate picture of New Zealander's living standards is essential information for this Government because we are committed to reducing social exclusion in our society. The past Government banned the word 'poverty' from all official discourse – we are committed to tackling poverty.

"Labour and the Alliance made a commitment to New Zealanders to restore fairness and balance in our society. On the first anniversary of taking office we can point to policies such as the reintroduction of income-related rents, increases in superannuation and our instructions to Work and Income to inform beneficiaries of their full entitlement as evidence of that commitment.

"I look forward to reviewing the updates of the Poverty Indicator Pilot Project as our policies bed down and I commend the Council of Christian Social Services for taking the initiative," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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