CPAG August Newsletter

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

In This Issue

Post Budget Breakfast Events

Child Poverty and Mental Health Report Launch

AGM and Political Forum

Wellington Political Forum

Summit - 'Beyond Social Investment'

Election Campaign - A New Zealand where children can flourish

CPAG Blog update

CPAG News update

Fix Working For Families campaign update

Join the conversation on FB & Twitter

Keeping up with the regional networks

Post Budget Breakfast Events

The 2017 Budget does not deliver enough for children in poverty in New Zealand. The Family Incomes Package increase will assist less than half the number of children in desperate need out of severe housing stress. Clearly, much more needs to be done to reduce child poverty in Aotearoa.

Read the CPAG 2017 Budget Analysis here.

Following the release of the 2017 Budget on May 25, CPAG held post-budget events in Wellington, Auckland, Whangarei, Dunedin, Nelson and Christchurch, providing child-focused analysis and commentary on what the government budget should be doing.

See speaker slides, live-stream recordings and the Christchurch post-budget podcast here.

Report Launch of 'Child poverty and mental health: A literature review' 

CPAG and the New Zealand Psychological Society held a report launch of Child Poverty and Mental Health: a literature review at the Auckland City Mission on 18 May 2017.

Large numbers of children in New Zealand suffer from mental health problems, as well as experiencing poverty and hardship. The literature review found strong evidence that poverty has a serious impact on the mental health and well-being of children in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The authors of the literature review discussed the findings and issues around the relationship between poverty experienced during childhood, and the impact that poverty may have on the mental health of a child or young person, or later in life. The launch was well received by the media, attendees and professionals in the mental health sector. 

Read the report here.


  • Helen Robinson, General Manager of Auckland City Mission
  • Professor Angus Hikairo Macfarlane (Ngati Whakaue)
  • Quentin Abraham, President of the New Zealand Psychological Society
  • Associate Professor Kerry Gibson 
  • Professor Innes Asher

AGM and Political Forum

Over 100 of our members and supporters attended CPAG's 19th Annual General Meeting on 19 July 2017 at Saint Columba Centre. We reflected on CPAG's achievements and outputs for the year, as well as looked for better and more sustainable ways to move forward into the future.

The AGM was followed by a child poverty political forum chaired by Frank Hogan, one of CPAG's housing spokespeople. We heard from different political parties about their vision for a New Zealand where all children can flourish in terms of the key issues of health, housing, incomes, education and social investment. It was a valuable forum and there is no doubt the next government of NZ will need to think carefully about how it plans to meet the needs of ALL children.

The following representatives or candidates attended the forum:

  • Labour Party - Jacinda Ardern
  • Green Party - Metiria Turei
  • Maori Party - Hira Hunapo (apologies from Shane Taurima)
  • National Party - Jo Goodhew
  • The Opportunities Party - Teresa Moore
  • Apologies from Darroch Ball (NZ first)

Watch the video livestream from the evening here.

Wellington Political Forum

On 26th July 2017 Wellington CPAG and Tick for Kids held a joint Child Poverty Political Forum. Around 150 people attended the forum, and it was really well received. Candidates were asked to answer three questions relating to child poverty issues, followed by a Q&A discussion with the audience. 

The forum was chaired by Tony Dowell, Professor of Primary Health Care and General Practice and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Otago in Wellington. The Kaumatua was Toa Waaka.

We heard from political party candidates including:

  • NZ First - Darroch Ball
  • Labour - Carmel Sepuloni 
  • Green Party - Jan Logie 
  • National Party - Hekia Parata
  • Māori Party - Chris McKenzie

CPAG Summit - "Beyond Social Investment"

Register now for the CPAG, RPRC and CARE annual summit at the University of Auckland.

Social investment is a buzzword that is currently guiding the current National Government's social policy decisions. What does it mean? What are the implications of increased "target efficiency"?

Speakers at the 2017 summit Beyond Social Investment will examine and critique this view of welfare provision, and discuss what a social welfare system that genuinely "puts the wellbeing of children at the centre" would look like.  

What changes to policies and budgets would make the difference required for all children to thrive?


  • Professor Peter Whiteford - Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra, and Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, University of New South Wales 
  • Dr Simon Chapple - Director of the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies in Victoria University's School of Government 
  • David Kenkel - Lecturer in Social Practice at Unitec 
  • Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw - Head of Research at the Morgan Foundation Public Policy Think Tank 
  • Honorary Associate Professor Susan St John 
  • Dr Bill Rosenberg 
  • Alan Johnson 
  • Len Cook 
  • Associate Professor Mike O'Brien 

Date: 8th September, 2017

Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm 

Venue: The University of Auckland Business School, Lecture Theatre OGGB3, Level 0, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland

Cost: $50 waged, $25 unwaged

Register now

For more information please email: Dr M Claire Dale, RPRC Research Fellow at or visit the Beyond Social Investment website for the full programme.

Election Campaign 

A New Zealand where children can flourish

Over the months leading up to the election, CPAG is releasing five documents on key election topics that will discuss how evidence-based policy changes can reduce child poverty if implemented after the next election. The five key policy documents focus on on health, social investment, incomes, housing and education. 

As a measure of the impact of these policy changes in real life terms we would see a 50% reduction in the annual number of child hospital admissions due to preventable illnesses linked to poverty and unhealthy housing from 40,000 to 20,000 by 2022. 

Health - 17 May

CPAG's health priority for the 2017 election is the introduction of measures to substantially reduce child hospital admissions for preventable illnesses.
These measures must address three key areas that desperately require remedial attention:

  1. Inadequate basic healthcare services and education;
  2. Income poverty and material hardship; and
  3. A lack of affordable, healthy housing

View CPAG's recommendations and priorities for Health Policy here.

Social Investment - 7 June

The current approach to social investment, relying heavily on statistical links between what happens in children's lives and their later experiences as adults, is not a good basis for providing services for children. 

If 'social investment' policies were designed to ensure the wellbeing of children across all areas of life and all socioeconomic levels, we could dramatically reduce the number of preventable hospital admissions among children. 

Read CPAG's priorities and recommendations for Social Investment here.

Family Income Support - 29 June

As well as warm, dry, secure housing, sufficient income is an important foundation for children's health.

CPAG has compiled a comprehensive list of recommendations to improve Working for Families and welfare payments. Implementing these recommendations would substantially reduce the worst child poverty and contribute to a reduction in hospital admissions for poverty-related illnesses.

Download CPAG's priorities for supporting family incomes here.

Housing - 31 July 

If we had adequate systems for regulating the supply and condition of housing, the numbers of children admitted to hospital with illnesses associated with poverty would be reduced. Warm, dry, secure housing provides a foundation for children's health.

CPAG's recommends that the government addresses the following in order to create a New Zealand where all children can flourish

  • Supply of state housing
  • Regulation for rented homes and tenancy protection
  • Income needs of families in poverty

Read CPAG's priorities and recommendations for housing here

CPAG has provided a range of social media graphics that  you can share - head over to our Facebook page  or check out our dedicated web page where you can download the graphics and get some ideas for Tweets and Facebook posts.

Sign up to our media release and resource mailing list for the latest updates on the next releases.

CPAG Blog update

Latest blog posts May - August 2017

1st June - Would you buy your child's future from this man?

M. (Claire) Dale explores how the Prime Minister uses the language of business to make us forget our rights as citizens and taxpayers. Is our government prioritising efficiency and low-cost solutions over effectiveness and improved results for all New Zealanders? For that matter, is our worth as citizens determined by how much we are worth in financial terms? With issues like hospital admissions and income inequality growing, Dale writes that the PM needs to 'be a better representative of all families in Aotearoa instead of a salesman to his preferred customers.'

7th June - Making sense of the Government's housing numbers

Alan Johnson of Child Poverty Action Group scrutinises Social Housing Minister Amy Adams' claim that the Government is planning to increase social housing from 66,000 today to 72,000 over the next three years. He questions whether the Government's recent promises to increase housing are merely attempts to 'assuage New Zealanders' growing concern over the housing crisis by throwing large numbers at them... to create the impression something is being done.' More affordable housing is a long overdue requirement, but is the Government really creating enough - or even as much as they say they are?

22nd June -  Dispelling the myths of food poverty

As the only flexible expense in many low-income budgets, food often takes the biggest hit when times are tough. Anne Else writes about what causes food poverty, including income security, housing or kitchen practicality, and the price of fresh food. These, and many more factors can significantly affect families reality and ability to access decent, healthy food.  

5th July - Befuddling figures will not house families in need

It's time the Government showed New Zealanders a real plan to increase social housing stock, instead of shrouding their strategies in mystery, writes Jeni Cartwright. While the benefits of being able to temporarily house more families have been lauded by Social Housing Minister Amy Adams, will there be any long-term relief for families crowded into shared facilities? Jeni examines social housing figures that don't add up, and the inadequacy of emergency housing as a substitute for a credible, well-funded plan to address our housing crisis.

28th July - Sick Children will be helped by Healthy Homes Bill

With winter now well set in, emergency departments around New Zealand are being inundated by children who have respiratory conditions that could have been avoided with warm, dry housing.  The Healthy Homes Bill, introduced in 2015 by former Labour leader Andrew Little, would support the reduction of avoidable hospitalisations of children in the future, according to Dr Chloe Humphrey and Professor Innes Asher. The reasoning behind, and likely outcomes of this Bill - if implemented, are elaborated on by two experts in their field in this blog post.

CPAG News Update

Latest Press releases May - August

14 May - CPAG stands behind figures showing $2.8 billion cuts to Working for Families

16 May - Priorities for Health Policy

16 May - Poverty in childhood linked to mental health problems: new report

23 May - Families must feature in Budget

24 May - Budget 2017: Will it turn the tide?

25 May - Budget 2017: A trickle not a tide

29 May - CPAG May Newsletter

31 May - Consumer organisations help Commission catch crooks

06 June - "Sanitary hygiene products too expensive," says CPAG

07 June - Social Investment priorities

15 June - Poor Report Card results show New Zealand is failing its children

16 June - CPAG asks, what's changed since Park Up For Homes?

28 June - Policy priorities for supporting family incomes

30 June - Superu report: Incomes and housing crucial to community

11 July - Children's housing needs are too urgent to stall

12 July - CPAG welcomes attention to Working for Families at last

14 July - A good start to WFF changes, what will Greens have in store?

18 July - Bold changes and combined efforts could work for families

24 July - CPAG supports housing petition by Medical Students

25 July - No signs of real improvement for poorest families

28 July - Housing priorities for a New Zealand where all children can flourish

02 August - Concern new education funding disguises cost-cutting

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

For the latest news, blogs and policy updates related to child poverty, check out our Facebook page. 

We are working hard at ensuring we highlight items of significance and relevance to child poverty in New Zealand, and take note of what is going on in other countries so that we can find out what works for children and what doesn't. We also aim to keep you up-to-date on local seminars that are useful and informative, as well as events that will be entertaining, and links to campaigns by other organisations in the child wellbeing network.

We need your help to spread the word, and we care about what you think. So join us on Facebook and Twitter, contribute to the discussion, like and share our posts if you find them meaningful. We value your feedback, and invite you to private message us or email us should you have a query or would like to share something with us. Our blog posts online also invite you to comment and share via social media. 

With your help, we can change the narrative about poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand and make it a better place for whānau and tamariki, for generations to come.

Keeping up with CPAG Regional Networks

Currently CPAG has networks in Whangarei, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and  Nelson. 

If you're interested in attending CPAG events in your local region please sign up to your closest network mailing list

If your organisation or event is looking for support from a local CPAG on issues that relate to our kaupapa, please don't hesitate to get in touch.