CPAG September Newsletter

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

In This Issue

CPAG Summit 2017: Beyond Social Investment

Dunedin Child Poverty Forum

Eliminating Child Poverty in Northland

CPAG Information Evening - "Be the voice NZ children need"

Upcoming event: End Child Poverty Campaign & Advocacy workshop

A New Zealand where children can flourish

CPAG blog update

CPAG news update

Keeping up with the regional networks

CPAG Summit 2017: Beyond Social Investment

On 8 September, CPAG held its Beyond Social Investment summit to examine and critique the Government's view of welfare provision, and discuss what a welfare system that genuinely put "the wellbeing of children at the centre" should look like.

The annual event was held in partnership by Child Poverty Action Group, The Retirement Policy and Research Centre (RPRC) and the Centre for Applied Research in Economics (CARE) at the University of Auckland Business School. 

Guest speakers at the day-long summit explored in depth what changes to policies and budgets would make the difference required for all children to thrive. 

Registrations filled to capacity with more than 130 people in attendance.

Speakers at the Summit included:

  • Professor Peter Whiteford, Dr Simon Chapple, Peter Alsop, David Kenkel and Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw in the morning session
  • Honorary Associate Professor Susan St John, Dr Bill Rosenberg, Alan Johnson, Len Cook - Families Commissioner in the afternoon session
  • Janfrie Wakim, Gerry Cotterell, George Makapatama and Mike O'Brien as the chairpeople

Find more information on the summit here.

Dunedin Child Poverty Forum

On August 23, CPAG Dunedin attended a forum at Knox Church Community Hall to hear from electoral candidates on what their party is going to do to make sure ALL New Zealand children can flourish. The forum featured candidates from National, Labour, Maori Party, Act, Green and NZ First.

The event was held in partnership by CPAG, Connect South, Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers, and the Public Health Association of New Zealand.

Eliminating Child Poverty in Northland

Whangarei CPAG held an Eliminating Poverty in Northland Political Forum on August 23 at the Cafler Suite in Whangarei. The forum was chaired by local lawyer and television personality, Rob Harte. Attendees heard about each party's vision for a New Zealand where all children have good health and are free from poverty.

The forum was supported by Ngati Hine FM, Te Hiku Media and the Haukainga Project who filmed the event. 

Representatives who participated in the forum included Matt King (National), Ash Holwell (Green Party), Kelvin Davis (Labour), Chris Leitch (Democrats for Social Credit) and Helen Peterson (NZ First).

CPAG Information Evening - Be the voice New Zealand children need

On Wednesday 23 August, CPAG held an Information Evening at the University of Auckland Business School. Speakers covered CPAG's vision and mission, the current child poverty situation in New Zealand, what CPAG has achieved so far, as well as how to become an advocate, change-maker and voice for New Zealand's children. Speakers for the evening were Alan Johnson, Jeni Cartwright, Frances Everard, and Anoushka Maharaj.

Over 40 attendees heard about how children in poverty don't get many choices - and how they, as our nation's next leaders, economists, teachers, doctors and nurses, writers, social workers, policy experts (the list goes on!) hold the power to enact change, so that together we can achieve the New Zealand we want for all children. The kōrero was followed by questions, then discussions over pizza.

The event will be followed by a workshop on October 7, for more information see below.

Upcoming event: Auckland - October 7

End Child Poverty Campaign & Advocacy Workshop

CPAG will be hosting a FREE Campaign & Advocacy Youth Workshop on Saturday, October 7 at the Ellen Melville Centre in Auckland City. The day will build on the kōrero about child poverty in Aotearoa started at our recent information evening held at the University of Auckland.

The workshop will be a half-day of inspiring guest speakers, as well as practical activities designed to develop campaigning and advocacy skills. A light lunch will be provided.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded people, gain an in-depth knowledge of CPAG's work, how to talk about child poverty effectively and to advocate on behalf of CPAG; as well as develop transferable skills in a supportive environment. 


  • Ryan Mearns - Digital Communications Manager at Human Rights Commission
  • Grace Gordon from JustSpeak
  • Alan Johnson - Housing Spokesperson at CPAG.
  • speaker Erica Finnie

Registrations are now open on Facebook and limited to 30 people. For more information or to register click here.

A New Zealand where Children can Flourish - Election Campaign

Over the months preceding the 2017 election, CPAG released five documents on key policy areas that discuss how evidence-based policy changes can reduce child poverty if implemented. 

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. We would also see an education system in which all children have the opportunity for a quality education, and academic success.

Follow the links to find out more about CPAG's priorities for health, social investment, incomes, housing and education. 

17 May -  Priorities for health

7 June -  Priorities for 'social Investment'

29 June - Priorities for supporting family incomes

31 July - Priorities for family housing

6 September - Priorities for education

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.

Some useful scorecards that show where each party sits on CPAG's housing and incomes policy recommendations are linked here.

CPAG Blog Update

Latest blog posts August - September

21 September When the state turned away: Sarah's story

With all the rhetoric around domestic violence and women and children it's hard to believe that even today when women experience hardship and reach out to the state for support, they are still judged and punished by the very agency that is designed to help them. Sarah's story, as documented by Therese Luxton, is one of heartbreaking struggle for her family's survival through domestic abuse and poverty, and the mistreatment she endured by welfare system staff.

11 August 2017 Box-checking is a game of no responsibility

A worker at the coalface (who chooses not to be named) tells CPAG about the disparities in social service organisations across the nation, and the problems they may face due to the limitations of criteria box-checking. 

18 August 2017It's Money Week, let's talk about debt for low-income families

To wrap up Sorted's Money Week, which had its focus on "What does debt do for you?" CPAG talks to Robert Choy, executive officer at Ngā Tangata Microfinance about high-interest debt and its effects on low-income families.

CPAG News Update

Latest press releases August to September

15 August - Money week: Stop the stress of high-interest debt

15 August Prevent youth crime by ending poverty

22 August - Make eliminating child poverty New Zealand's No.1 priority

23 August - People's Review report shows urgent policies needed

31 August Parental income test needs urgent attention

05 September - Bold plans needed to tackle child poverty, not vague promises

05 September - Every Child's Right to a Healthy Home

06 September - Education priorities for a New Zealand where all children can flourish

12 September - #Tick4Kids movement launches campaign

15 September - Harsh punishments for sole parents fuel child poverty

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.