The Latest

February newsletter

Kia ora koutou katoa, and welcome to Child Poverty Action Group New Zealand's February 2018 newsletter.

In This Issue

Reminder: Round the bays in 2018

Upcoming community film screening fundraiser

End Child Poverty movie night fundraiser

Save the date 2018 nationwide post budg et events

Submitting on the International Covenant of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights

Policy news

CPAG news update

CPAG blog update

Supporting the Child Poverty Reduction Bill

Reminder: Round the Bays - 4 March 2018

Round the Bays is almost here! If you haven't already signed up as a team or as an individual for Auckland's Round the Bays fun run on 4 March, there is still time for you to join up to support CPAG with raising awareness about child poverty and fundraising towards our ongoing work in 2018. It will be a fun day and a great way to combine exercise and support for CPAG.

All running/walking levels welcome. We recommend starting up an everyday hero fundraising page to share with your family and friends.

First, register for round the bays 

Start a fundrasing page as part of the Child Poverty Action Group team and click "Join Team" Share the page with your friends and family so they can help support our cause. CPAG will be automatically notified when you choose us as your charity and if you contact us with your address we can send you a beautiful orange CPAG race t-shirt

We'll arrange a meet up with the CPAG team before the race!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Community film screening fundraiser - 20 March  "Wetheuncivilised: A Life Story"

A wonderful and generous CPAG supporter has organised a community film screening event of Wetheuncivilised: A Life Story at the St Columba Centre in Ponsonby, Auckland, to raise funds towards our work in 2018.

Please invite your friends and whānau and come along. Disillusioned by a story of consumption and alienation, a newly married couple are called to action. Carrying with them their unborn child, they embark on a year-long journey around the UK in search of the seeds of a different story, and with it hope for the future. Join Pete and Lily on an intimate and life-changing journey as they confront the stark reality of our times, and discover a hidden culture of connection and belonging. A Life Story tells a tale of both deep grief and inspired hope, unearthing the structures that perpetuate ecological destruction, whilst providing a soulful exploration of our humanity and our yearning to live in relationship to one another and the natural world.

Wetheuncivilised: A Life Story is an inspiring story for our times, that reminds us that what we choose to do and what we chose not to do, makes a difference. View the trailer here!

Event details:

Date: Tuesday, 20 March

Time: 7pm - 10pm

Venue: St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online from Eventbrite. Seats are limited so get yours quickly.

For more info head over to the Facebook event page.

End child poverty movie night fundraiser

On Thursday 15 February, the CPAG Youth team hosted a film fundraiser at Academy Cinema screening the highly acclaimed film, "The Florida Project". Although set in Florida, the film served as an important reminder of the universal magic and fragility of childhood, and the need to ensure that children and families in poverty are adequately supported by a compassionate and child-centred social welfare net.

The CPAG Youth team formed in late 2017, in response to the growing concern among young people about the level of child poverty in New Zealand.

Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket, and the generosity of sponsors from Wise Boys, Little Island, Toothcrush, Raglan Coconut Milk and Just Cuts, the event raised almost $1100 in support of CPAG's efforts to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. We look forward to seeing you all at the next event!

Save the date 2018 nationwide post budget events

Save the date for CPAG's nationwide post budget events on Friday 18th May. Events will be held in Wellington, Auckland,Dunedin, Christchurch, Whangarei and 23rd May in Nelson. Hear from CPAG experts who will analyse the outcome of the government's 2018 budget allocation and what this will mean for families and children living below the poverty line. If you're interested in attending the Auckland event please fill out the survey for the event timing here.

Submitting on the International Covenant of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights

Child Poverty Action Group teamed up with Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa and the Human Rights Foundation to submit to the Committee on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (CESCR) ahead of its fourth periodic report on New Zealand. The submission, which was written jointly by CPAG and ACYA makes specific recommendations to improve social equity for children and reduce their poverty. Attention is given to factors which expose children in Aotearoa-New Zealand to discrimination and unconscious bias, that may impair their ability to succeed alongside their peers and reduce their chances for good outcomes. Recommendations are made to improve children's access to their basic needs, education, healthcare and housing. Read the full submission here!

Policy News

Budget Policy Statement 2018 (released December 2017)

CPAG submitted that concern remained over the 5% cumulative inflation rule for increases to Working for Families and welfare benefits, which means tax credits and benefits continue to fall behind in real value as wages and costs increase. While the lift in threshold for maximum eligibility for WFF signals a welcome and overdue catch-up, an increase to the abatement rate (from 22% to 25%) severely impacts low-income families ability to get ahead through extra earned income.

Child Poverty Reduction Bill

CPAG welcomes the Child Poverty Reduction Bill and says that its comprehensive multi-tiered poverty lines will provide a broader picture of the depth of child poverty than any single measure could. The targets are realistic and ambitious, as the Government is seeking to achieve better outcomes during a normal period of economic activity. The timeframes used are an indicator of just how deep and entrenched poverty is - it will be a lot of work but there is much that can be done to improve family incomes meanwhile. CPAG remains concerned for the lag in data and the wait time for families to see any benefit from Labour's Families Package, and the discrimination experienced by children in families who don't work enough hours to be eligible for the Working for FamiliesIn-Work Tax Credit - an income loss of at least $72.50 per week. The Bill was passed unanimously at its first reading in Parliament on February 13 and CPAG will make a submission before the second - keep an eye out for more news.

Find out how you can support the Bill below!

Salvation Army State of the Nation

The State of the Nation report showed small reductions in poverty, but much greater housing stress and evidence of increased charity intervention to meet the needs of people in hardship.

Read more in CPAG's News Update below.

CPAG News Update

Latest press releases January to February 2018

1 Jan  Muddled numbers provide an opportunity for Government to lead visionary change

24 Jan Child poverty should be a key focus for Inquiry into Mental Health and Addictions

30 Jan New child poverty measures will provide a broader picture

31 Jan Budget Policy shows some progress, but more work is needed

1 Feb Child poverty targets realistic, but income needs urgent

9 Feb Support for Eat right, be bright campaign for universal school lunches

12 Feb Outdated tenancy laws increase risks for children in poverty

14 Feb Families package is tip of the iceberg for families in poverty

CPAG Blog Update

Latest blog posts January - February

2 February - Fighting for a fairer welfare system

Guest blog by Vanessa Cole of Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP)

"It is completely achievable to have a world without poverty, where all people - employed and unemployed - have an income that is enough to live on; where everyone in Aotearoa-New Zealand lives in dignity; where we have enough state housing so that all people who need a house has access to one with secure tenure." AAAP's Vanessa Cole spoke at the launch of CPAG's new report

"Further fraying of the welfare safety net" in December, about her experience  working with families who have been sorely let down by New Zealand's crumbling welfare system, and found engaging with which compounded the stresses of their poverty, she kindly allowed us to publish her talk.

How you can support the Child Poverty Reduction Bill

We have a chance to help with the first step in improving the lives of thousands of children. The Child Poverty Reduction Bill is a first step in helping to reduce child poverty as it will commit and keep accountable this and future governments to measure, set targets, have a plan and publicly report on child poverty reduction progress. In the 1980s child poverty was half what it is now. And there is every possibility, with the right kind of policy and support in place, to achieve that again as a country.

The first hurdle has been crossed successfully, as the Bill passed its first reading with majority support from the House. Now the Bill will be heard before a Select Committee, that is seeking public feedback by April 4.

Only strong public and political support for the Child Poverty Act will ensure it achieves its ultimate goal of reducing child poverty, and assuring us all that New Zealand will be on the way to being once again, a place where all children can flourish.

Here are some suggestions for how you can support the bill:

Submit on the bill before 4th April as an individual or organisation

Share posts on social media that relate to the Bill, or child poverty. There are lots of resources on CPAG's website.

Write to your local MP and tell them why it's important they support the Bill. MPs' emails are easy: You can also look them up here