Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty in New Zealand

Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand.

CPAG Co-Convenor Janfrie Wakim said, “The Prime Minister’s stated commitment to addressing the urgent needs of the poorest children is encouraging, but we are yet to see any substantial policy.  Current policies have achieved little progress on child poverty in the last six years and a fresh approach is clearly overdue.” 

In a briefing to the incoming government CPAG congratulates the National party on its re-election and sets out five immediate steps to lift children out of poverty.

Janfrie Wakim said, “We need to create an environment where every child can thrive; with adequate family income, housing, nutrition, education and access to health care.  This requires an immediate and substantive response from government, starting with the adoption of a comprehensive plan with transparent measures, targets and monitoring.” 

Childhood poverty has lifelong consequences on health, education, and social and economic participation.  CPAG argues that, in addition to being bad economics, child poverty is a moral and ethical issue. It is calling for a cross-party agreement to underpin real and sustained change to New Zealand's unacceptable child poverty rates.

Janfrie Wakim said, “Recent research by CPAG showed 80% of New Zealanders perceive child poverty as a problem. While the government has introduced some good programmes to address aspects of the problem, tinkering around the edges will not achieve the significant reduction in child poverty we all wish to see.” 

Briefing to the incoming government - read more about the immediate steps CPAG recommends to lift children out of poverty.

CPAG's latest policy publication Our children, our choice: priorities for policy brings together five policy papers: on health, early childhood care and education, compulsory schooling, housing and household incomes.  Each paper gives an overview of the current situation for the poorest children in New Zealand and makes key recommendations on policies to reduce child poverty and mitigate its effects.