Newsletter March 2014

Kia ora and welcome to Child Poverty Action Group New Zealand's monthly round-up of our news and views. 

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Save the date: Friday 16 May 

Please save the date for CPAG's annual post budget breakfasts on Friday, May 16. What will the 2014 budget hold for children?  Join us for breakfast to hear our analysis of how the 2014 budget affects children and young people. We're holding breakfasts in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with the possibility of extending events to Whangarei, Hamilton and Dunedin!  Watch out for more details soon.


Children still missing out after the quakes

Even in developed countries, disasters have a knack of finding the poor and vulnerable. Children and the Canterbury Earthquakes, a CPAG background paper by Nicola Shirlaw shows children's health and well being have been  significantly affected by the earthquakes and long-term issues are now emerging. The paper reveals major changes to the school environment in Christchurch over this period have also contributed to family stress. Additionally, the condition and availability of rental housing in Christchurch has impacted heavily on low-income families, causing great stress for children

Paid parental leave

In New Zealand, Paid Parental Leave and the Parental Tax Credit, part of Working for Families, are designed to give parents with newborns some extra financial assistance. But both have narrow, work-based eligibility requirements and if a family doesn't meet these narrow requirements, then there is no extra help.  For CPAG's analysis of the thorny issue of paid parental leave, read  Assoc Prof Susan St John's paper, New Zealand must invest in all new-borns

Children badly affected by problem debt

Many Kiwi families have nothing in reserve - they don't have savings or families who can help out. When they face additional expenses, such as the washing machine breaking down, they are forced to borrow from a third-tier or fringe lender at high interest rates that trap them in a spiral of debt. When this happens, families struggle to pay for basic food, healthcare and school costs as they are squeezed by debt servicing and repayments. They may need to accept sub-standard and crowded housing conditions and move often, which affects children's health and education. Read more about this issue in CPAG's latest background paper by Dr M. Claire Dale: The impact of high interest debt on children. 

CPAG Quarterly Report (Oct-Dec)

Find out what CPAG's been up to in our latest quarterly update. The update covers our work and achievements over the last quarter (Oct -Dec), including reports, articles, events and media highlights.  

Fundraising Superstars!

Each year, many generous CPAG supporters give their time and effort to fundraise for CPAG - thank you so, so much! We'd especially like to make a big shout out and thank you to Tawa College in Wellington &Kristin College in Auckland who very generously raised a whooping $1,300 and $1,100  for CPAG last year.  We humbly thank the students, staff and parents of the school for their wholehearted support and generosity towards making New Zealand a country where no child has to live in poverty. 

At the beginning of summer we also had four wonderful ECE students from AUT fundraising for us at Mission Bay, Auckland. They made balloon animals for a gold coin donation and also gave out heaps of bookmarks and flyers. Awesome job guys, we appreciate it! 

If you'd like to run a fundraiser for us, or have a wonderful way to let people know about child poverty in New Zealand we'd love to hear from you - email Marianna at or give her a call on 09 302 5260.  We'd love to hear from you!