Newsletter November 2014

Kia ora and welcome to Child Poverty Action Group New Zealand's monthly round-up of our news and views.To view a formatted version with pictures click here

Our ChildrenOur Choice launch
Post election news
Benefit sanctions monitoring report 
Welsh concert fundraiser
New Zealanders' attitudes to child poverty
Unicef innocenti report card 12 
Impact NPO Big Picture Child Poverty Competition
New CPAG website
Social media milestone
Marianna's maternity leave and welcome Celia!Take steps to end child poverty

Hikoi - September 6th

What a fantastic turn-out - we filled Queen St!! It was a beautiful, powerful and emotional experience to march with more than 1500 people to demand action on child poverty. Colourful banners, balloons, sunshine and many many children - we couldn't have asked for more. The hikoi, blessed by Ngāti Whātua Orākei, was held in partnership with the Tick for Kids campaign to raise awareness of child poverty in the lead up to the election, so we were particularly happy that the event received extensive media coverage.  We were delighted to welcome representatives from all the major political parties to hear their views on a cross-party plan to end child poverty, and privileged to hear our inspiring guest speakers including Bryan Bruce, Uesifili Unasa, George Henare, Alan Johnson of CPAG, Alicia Heremaia, a Living Wage rep, and actress Lucy Lawless.  A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came and marched. Thanks also to all the fabulous volunteers from many different groups who made it happen.We are especially grateful to Sara Rishworth, Mike Treen, UNITE union and the LivingWage Campaign for their outstanding support and to Fa'anana Efeso Collins of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board for leading the chants! Together we can make a difference!Check out more fantastic pictures from the Hikoi on our Facebook page and extensive media coverage:

Call for Action on child poverty Radio NZ, 7 Sept
Child poverty hikoi brings Queen St to standstill ONE News 6 Sept 
Crowds march for poverty awareness Herald on Sunday, 7 Sept

Our Children, Our Choice launch

Susan St John and Jacinda ArdenOur flagship publication 'Our Children Our Choice' was officially launched on 9th of September at Mt Roskill Kindergarten in Auckland, followed by evening events in both Auckland and Wellington. We had some very insightful speakers and attendees. At the Mt Roskill Kindergarten launch contributors Marianne Kayes and Nola Harvey, both important figures in the earlychild hood care and education sector, attended and held a Q&A session. Authors Innes Asher and Assoc Prof Susan St John, along Otara-Papatoetoe local board member Fa'anana Efeso Collins, spoke at the Auckland evening launch. Wellington had speeches from author Claire Dale, NZ economist Brian Easton and comments from grassroots community members. For more detail click here

Post election news

With the busy election period over, CPAG's focus is now on engaging with the current government on creating more child centred policies, which are a key element in tackling issues surrounding child poverty. The first task was to send a copy of Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy publication to all MPs and include a briefing to the incoming government that highlighted the key recommendations of the report. We've already had some positive responses from MPs and are looking forward to receiving more. For more information read: Briefing to the incoming government  

Benefit sanctions monitoring report

On September 29th CPAG released a third Benefit Sanctions monitoring report. Benefit Sanctions and children: an urgent need for greater clarity. CPAG researcher Donna Wynd reported that there is very little data available from MSD surrounding benefit sanctions. Which means there is no way of knowing if welfare reform is helping or harming children. Read the report here:
Benefit Sanctions and Children:an urgent need for greater clarity

Welsh ChoirConcert Fundraiser

CPAG has partnered with the Auckland Welsh Choir and Devonport Chamber Orchestra for an upcoming charity concert taking place on the 15th of November. We would like to invite you to attend this delightful afternoon of music. There will be tea, coffee and baking available for a koha.
Event DetailsDate: 15th Nov  Time: 3pmVenue Location: Somervell Church cnr Greenlane & Remuera Rd, RemueraTickets: $25+ Booking fee, under 14's free
You can purchase tickets through iticket here & some door sales will be available. 

New Zealanders' Attitudes to Child poverty research

In early September CPAG released findings of a survey on New Zealanders thoughts and attitudes about child poverty in our country.This report was a great indication to us and other organisations that our work around raising awareness on child poverty issues has made a real impact. Results from the report showed 80% of people agree child poverty is an important problem in New Zealand. Other questions asked of participants included their thoughts on the consequences of child poverty and possible solutions as well as which solutions they thought were  most effective in reducing child poverty.To read the full report download New Zealanders' Attitudes to Child Poverty now!

Unicef Innocenti report card 12 

 Unicef released a report in October called Children of the Recession, which focused on the impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries. The report says Australia's increase in spending on families during the global financial crisis had a more positive impact than the ambitious tax cuts implemented in New Zealand, where poverty and inequality stagnated. Australia's child poverty rate dropped by around a third (6.27 percentage points) from 2008 to 2012 while New Zealand's remained virtually unchanged. Norway and Finland, states of a similar size to New Zealand but with already much lower child poverty, also reduced their child poverty rates by 4.30 and 3.20 points respectively.

CPAG says it is time New Zealand took a good look at Australian policies for families and children. The Australian tax credit system for children is much more inclusive and generous. As well the government there did not hesitate to support low income families with specific extra spending in the form of a generous single income family bonus and back to school bonus. Co-Convenor Janfrie Wakim says, "It is encouraging that the government acknowledges much more needs to be done to address child poverty. New Zealand currently has very poorly designed policies for families and their children and we could do far, far better."For the rest of CPAGs media release click here


ImpactNPO - IT Weekend workshop 28-30th Nov

Impact NPO is a not for profit organisation that seeks to actively connect IT professionals with NPOs in order to improve their IT and network systems. They run fun, high-energy weekend events involving a team of local volunteer IT professionals and graphic designers working with staff of Non-profit Organisations (NPOs). This allows the IT professionals to give back to their local community and it allows budget challenged NPOs to get system improvements at no cost. If you'd like to have more information, feel free to contact us or visit

CPAG went to the September ImpactNPO IT weekend and found it very valuable and the volunteers easy to approach and helpful. CPAG worked during the weekend with Prakash, an IT volunteer who helped make changes to the CPAG network and IT systems to improve the efficiency of our organisation. These changes included reconfiguration of our office network to increase security and access over multiple computers, rebuilding membership forms from a manual process to use Google Docs and design improvements to simplify the online donate & payment functions. All of the improvements have meant office admin tasks are streamlined and our online processes are more intuitive to make it easier & quicker for CPAG supporters to donate and subscribe. CPAG would highly recommend that other NPOs who would like to improve IT systems attend the November workshop. Event details are below:

Impact NPO Event - Auckland Nov 28-30 GridAKL132, Halsey StreetCorner of Madden Street, Sign up here:Register for this event Venue info:


Big Picture Child Poverty Competition Launch

The Big Picture was a competition for school children to create an artwork that showed ways all children in our community can be happy,healthy and free of poverty. Entries for the Big Picture Child Poverty competition closed on the 17th of October and CPAG is very excited to be attending the launch of the Big Picture Exhibition on 5th November in Wellington.The winners will be announced at the launch and the judges include: Children's Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills, artist Jane Hyder, Major Campbell Roberts, a member of the expert advisory group on solutions to child poverty, and Rt Revd. Justin Duckworth, Bishop of Wellington. After the launch, the exhibition will be open to the public at Bowen House Exhibition Space, Bowen House, Lambton Quay, Wellington, from 6 November to 12 December.

Check out our new CPAG Website

CPAG has been quietly working on a new website that went live on Monday 20th October. If you haven't visited the CPAG website for a while, we've made some changes to make it more dynamic and easier to use - we hope you'll check it out, especially the new CPAG blog which will be updated regularly, with guest bloggers from the community.

Social media milestone 

In some exciting social media news we have now reached our 5000 followers milestone on facebook! Thank you to all those people who have followed, shared and liked our pages and posts. We appreciate all your support. Keep an eye out in the next few months, as there are more interesting things coming.

Marianna's maternity leave and her replacement Celia

Marianna, our CPAG Executive Officer, is taking time out for the next year,Mariannaas she will be shortly becoming a new mother. We wish her well on this new chapter in her life and hope she enjoys her new addition and the excitement it brings. CPAG also welcomes Celia Hayes, her replacement during this time. We are very excited to have Celia as part of the CPAG family and if you have any enquiries or questions about CPAG she is your first port of call.  Email Celia: