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Pasifika poverty a National shame

Su’a William
Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson
MP for Mangere

29 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Pasifika poverty a National shame

Poverty rates among Pasifika children are a modern day scourge, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

“By some measures a shocking 40 per cent of Pasifika children live in such serious deprivation that they are unlikely to survive, develop and thrive.[1] Rates of severe and persistent poverty among Pasifika kids is double that of Pakeha children.[2]

“That’s a National shame,” Su’a William Sio said.

“The Pasifika working paper within the Children’s Commission report on child poverty released this week is on the mark when it says ‘for New Zealand to do well, Pasifika children must do well’.

This report is the third in as many weeks that spells out the urgent action needed to reduce child poverty.

“Moving Pasifika children out of poverty is in all of our best interests,” Su’a William Sio said.

“With an ageing population, New Zealand will become increasingly reliant on the youthful Pacific population, in fact in less than 20 years one in five New Zealand children will be from Pasifika families.

“National must take their plight seriously. It must turn its focus to the actual needs of children rather than tired assumptions about Pacific families.

“Every child deserves the best start in life. The Government must respond to the recommendations of this report,” Su’a William Sio said.

[1] Expert Advisory group on Solutions to Child Poverty, Working paper no.15: Better public service performance on poverty amongst Pasifika children, p.4, August 2012.
2 Ibid p.6.

[1] Expert Advisory group on Solutions to Child Poverty, Working paper no.15: Better public service performance on poverty amongst Pasifika children, p.4, August 2012.
[2] Ibid p.6.

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