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New Zealand Poverty in Focus

New Zealand Poverty in Focus

The gap between rich and poor in New Zealand is growing - and the people that suffer the greatest poverty in New Zealand are our children. The proportion of all children in severe and significant hardship in NZ has increased from 18% to 26% since 2000.

Jane and Clark (above) and Yulia (below) are among many well known New Zealanders who are dedicated to eradicating poverty.

In a country as wealthy as ours, there is no excuse for failing to provide all children with the basic necessities of life – a warm, dry place to live, a healthy diet, medical care and adequate schooling. Yet around one kiwi child in five does not have secure access to these things.

For children this means postponed doctors’ visits, unfilled prescriptions, and unhealthy overcrowded housing.

The poorest children in New Zealand are twice as likely to die as the richest children. Children in the poorest households are three times more likely to be sick than children in the richest households.

This level of deprivation means that these children are denied the opportunity to reach their full potential.

It’s shameful that poverty has been allowed to deepen over the course of an economic boom that has seen companies making record profits. Our poorest families are being left behind.

The results stand as a challenge to all of us to put the welfare of children first. The social cost of not doing so is too high.

You don’t have to sit back and watch this problem get worse. You can do something about it. Join me and use your voice to make poverty history.

We are asking our government to develop policies designed to ensure that all New Zealand children are provided with the basic necessities of life, including warmth, housing, adequate nutrition, healthcare and educational opportunities


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