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New Zealand must address the systemic causes of child poverty

CPAG will hold its AGM at 6.30 pm tonight at the St Columba Centre in Ponsonby, followed by the Auckland launch of Bronwyn Hayward’s book, Children, Citizenship and the Environment.

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Child Poverty Action Group says New Zealand must address the systemic causes of child poverty as evidence builds that child poverty is at its worst for 30 years.

CPAG will hold its AGM at 6.30 pm tonight at the St Columba Centre in Ponsonby, followed by the Auckland launch of Bronwyn Hayward’s book, Children, Citizenship and the Environment

The Group says the Government’s White Paper on Children due later this year and the Children’s Commissioner’s expert group on poverty provide important opportunities to address child poverty.   “We would like to see an urgent cross-party political agreement on eliminating child poverty.  Children’s lives are too important to be subject to the discrimination and neglect which stand at the centre of current government policy.”

Mike O’Brien said it can sometimes seem children do not matter much in the current political climate but CPAG was encouraged to see child poverty become a focus of the 2011 election after Bryan Bruce's compelling Inside Child Poverty documentary screened.

”The powerful response to Bryan’s Bruce’s documentary showed New Zealanders care very deeply about children, especially when made aware of the stark reality of poverty on their health, education and development.  I truly believe many people simply do not know the terrible cost of poverty to children and our wider society.  That is why CPAG is committed to keeping the pressing needs of New Zealand’s poorest children in the spotlight through research and education.”

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