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Child poverty recommendations show strong Maori focus

Media release from Ririki

Child poverty recommendations show strong Maori focus

Maori child advocacy organisation Ririki supports the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Solutions to Child Poverty’s report and recommendations.

“We commend the Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills for the very significant leadership he has shown in developing solutions to child poverty,” Ririki’s Executive Director Anton Blank said today.

“The issue impacts Maori whanau and children hugely, and we are also grateful for the work Tracey McIntosh, co-chair of the EAG, has done to ensure a strong focus on the needs of Maori children in the EAG’s final report.

“Maori and Pasifika children suffer disproportionately high levels of poverty, and experience hardship rates around twice those of other groups of children.

“Of the EAG’s specific recommendations for Maori children we are pleased to see support for successful Maori educational models and initiatives. The emergence of Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Maori and tertiary wananga have been hugely important for Maori development. We are seeing a steady improvement in the achievement levels of Maori students in these settings. Lifting Maori educational achievement and resolving Maori unemployment are the keys to addressing Maori child poverty – and the EAG’s report recognises this.

“We also support the development of Maori-centric data which the report recommends. At the moment we measure the well-being of Maori children by comparing them to other groups of children. While this type of comparative analysis provides some measurement, it assumes that all children must meet the same standards.

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“We are currently working with the University of Auckland to develop Maori and Pasifika Child Development Indexes. These indexes will reflect Maori and Pasifika values and measure the well-being of Maori and Pasifika children over time. They will paint a very different picture of the situation for our children and by their nature support Maori and Pasifika solutions for the problems we are concerned with.”


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