May Newsletter

Kia ora koutou katoa, and welcome to Child Poverty Action Group New Zealand's May 2018 newsletter.

In This Issue

Nationwide Post-Budget events 2018

Understanding Multiple Deprivation - presentation to CPAG Nelson by Associate Professor Dan Exeter

Submission to the Tax Working Group

Children's oral health report: Too soon for the tooth fairy

New poverty analysis background paper: Will children get the help they need?

Policy news

CPAG news update

CPAG blog update

Save the date: 2018 Annual General Meeting and Summit

Keeping up with the regional networks

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter

Nationwide Post-Budget events 2018

CPAG's annual Post Budget events were held this year in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Whangarei and Nelson, providing attendees the opportunity to understand the Government's annual budgetary allocations through a child-focused lens. The events featured guest speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds and were a great success, with venues packed to capacity and a range of media coverage. CPAG is grateful to our partners Manaia Health PHO and the Public Health Association for their contributions to the Whangarei and Wellington events, and to our wonderful speakers, supporters and CPAG networks across the country.

Budget 2018 - A first step but not a transformation for children

CPAG said that Budget 2018 contained many good measures, such as better access for low-income families to primary healthcare; housing; social services, and critical infrastructure. But while it was a good first step, it did not not reflect the enormity of the income and wealth gaps, and the Budget did not deliver the life-changing relief from severe poverty that too many children are experiencing in 2018. There is promise of more to come in the future following expert advisory groups' reporting back, but CPAG says that these children cannot wait and the projected budget surplus indicates that the money is there to help them now. We acknowledge that the new Government has made a commitment to children in poverty as being top priority, and that the family poverty inherited from the last decade of poor policy design and negligence won't be fixed overnight. But the opportunity to change their lives is now, and it is one that must be taken.

Speaker slides, live-stream recording (Auckland event) and Post-Budget podcast (Christchurch event) are available online here.

To read more commentary by CPAG on Budget 2018 see our News update below

Understanding Multiple Deprivation presentation to CPAG Nelson 12 April 2018 by Associate Professor Dan Exeter

CPAG's Nelson network had the wonderful opportunity to hear from Dr Daniel Exeter about how to understand multiple deprivation in the Nelson/Marlborough area. In his presentation, Dr Exeter, who co-developed the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) - a set of tools used to identify concentrations of deprivation in New Zealand, explained how deprivation is currently measured using the NZDep tools. He provided an introduction to the IMD and explained how it compared with NZDep, leading into a discussion of the levels of deprivation in the Nelson Marlborough DHB and Nelson Richmond areas, touching on child obesity in Nelson DHB area. The audience was offered a chance for questions and a workshop discussion around two important questions - why is local data important to local organisations or individuals and how can we use the local data? This format of discussion allowed people to discuss personal experiences and provided a valuable networking opportunity. We are grateful to Dr Exeter for his work and look forward to hearing more on local deprivation data.

For more information on looking at Multiple Deprivation from a local level click here.

Submission to the Tax Working Group

CPAG considers that in its current state, New Zealand's tax system is no longer fit for purpose as it does not fulfill the 1980s promise of broad base/low rate and does not serve the needs of families well. A child-centred re-envisioning of tax policy is required urgently. Despite tax-based initiatives over the years such as Working for Families (WFF) that help offset the tax burden for low-income families, families are affected more than ever by the interactions of tax with welfare provisions. CPAG's submission to the Government's Tax Working Group on April 27 looked at the current system of taxation through a child-focused lens, and offered evidence-informed recommendations for policy reform intended to promote a system of fairer taxation and wealth distribution in Aotearoa-New Zealand, so that all children have the chance to thrive.
Read the full submission here.

New CPAG report

Too soon for the tooth fairy: The implications of child poverty for oral health 

Every year, New Zealand hospitals see over 40,000 admissions for poverty-related and potentially preventable health issues in children. Chronic poor physical health in children can lead to problems lasting into adulthood, and poor dental health is no exception to the rule. CPAG released a new report on May 7, "Too soon for the tooth fairy: the implications of child poverty for oral health", which summarises current knowledge about the prevalence of poor oral health among children in Aotearoa-New Zealand, and offers policy recommendations that aim to improve children's dental health. The report is co-authored by oral health researcher Prathibha Sural and public health specialist Dr Rob Beaglehole, and has been prepared with the aim of stimulating action on this major, preventable public health issue.

Read the full report here.

New poverty analysis paper from CPAG: Will children get the help they need?

The Government's Families Package due on 1 July will provide some relief for children in poverty, in the way of increases to Working for Families tax credits, but CPAG says there is not much light at the end of the tunnel for children who are worst-off. The new background paper from CPAG compares these increases to what the worst-off families will actually need to reach the income poverty lines set by the new Child Poverty Reduction Bill. The paper finds that to reach the 50% AHC line (50% of the equivalised national median, after housing costs), a sole parent with one child in Auckland, receiving the sole parent support benefit and the maximum Accommodation Supplement needs another $185 a week. The 60% AHC line may better reflect an adequate standard of living, but to reach that this family needs another $266 a week.

Read the full background paper here.

Policy news

April 4 Independent task force announced for review of Tomorrows Schools
CPAG is pleased to announce the appointment of our executive member Professor John O'Neill, as part of the Taskforce. Professor O'Neill is Head of the Institute of Education at Massey University, and also member of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE). "The Tomorrow's Schools Review Independent Taskforce will focus on the changes we need ... to ensure the fitness of the school system to meet the challenges we face," said Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins.

May 28 - Appointment of Welfare Expert Advisory Group
The Government announced its appointment of 11 independent and experienced individuals to an Expert Group to advise on much-needed improvements to the Welfare System. CPAG is very pleased to announce that our executive member, Professor Innes Asher, a paediatrician and CPAG's health spokesperson, has been appointed to the group. The group is expected to report back in February 2019. CPAG expects there will be a call for submissions at some stage soon - keep watch for more information.

CPAG News Update
Latest press releases from April - May 2018

19 April- CPAG education expert appointed to Tomorrow's Schools Taskforce
27 April- The Future of Tax should have a focus on children
7 May- Too soon for the tooth fairy: new report from CPAG
10 May- New CPAG paper - Will children get the help they need?
11 May- CPAG's Nationwide post budget events
14 May- Budget 2018: Best opportunity to benefit all children
17 May- 2018 Budget: A first step, but not a transformation for children
28 May- CPAG welcomes appointment of Prof Innes Asher to WEAG
1 June- CPAG looks forward to enhanced mental health services
5 June- CPAG's Mike O'Brien named on the Queen's Birthday Honour list

CPAG Blog Update

Latest blog posts February to April

8th May - Banks blacklist truck vendors and predatory lenders. Time for the Government to act.

On 18 April, responding to Sarah Hall's story on Newsroom about truck vendors, Kris Faafoi, the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, said there would be a consumer finance review looking at predatory practices: "At its most basic level the people that they are preying on need to know exactly what agreement they're getting into, what they're buying and what they're going to be paying back. I don't think even that basic disclosure is happening. The issue is these families are just in internal spirals of debt and cannot get out." Faafoi said we can expect legislation to be introduced before the end of the year which will build on 2015 changes. The initial review would include issues like high interest, debt collection practices, and high fees.

Save the date:

Annual General Meeting 25 July

We warmly invite all our members and supporters to attend CPAG's Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 25 July. We will have a very exciting guest speaker and more details will be announced soon.

CPAG Summit 12 September

We are excited to announce that this year's CPAG summit is being held at the University of Otago in Wellington on 12th September. Invites for registrations will be sent out soon.

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.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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

The CPAG social media community is growing and to date we have reached 13,300 'likes' on Facebook!

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 well-being network.

We need your help to spread the word, and we care about what you think. So join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @cpagnz. 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.

Ngā mihi nui