EAG final report released - time to act

The recommendations in the Expert Advisory Group report cannot be ignored.  

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has welcomed the release of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group report on solutions to child poverty in New Zealand.

CPAG Director, Mike O’Brien says the report clearly shows the costs and consequences of child poverty.  “New Zealand must make it a priority to reduce the deep and persistent poverty of many families.  All New Zealand children deserve the opportunity to thrive, and the measures in this report are a step in the right direction.”

Associate Professor Mike O’Brien said, “Coming straight after the release of the Children’s Health Monitor which confirms the negative impact of hardship on children’s health, the recommendations in the Expert Advisory Group report cannot be ignored.  Misery for one in five children must never become the ‘new norm’.  We believe most New Zealanders do not accept it is normal for so many New Zealand children to suffer from Third World diseases and entrenched poverty.”

“The critical issue is income and support for families with children, especially families relying on social security. The effects of poverty can stay with a child for the rest of their lives.  It is high time for us to act to meet the needs of our most deprived children.”

The report also calls for the introduction of legislation that requires child poverty be monitored so that governments are accountable to the electorate for the wellbeing of all children.  O’Brien says this is a crucial part of any measures to eliminate poverty.

“While we firstly need to improve incomes, we need to monitor policies and programmes to ensure they are effective.  By monitoring, we can track how our poorest children fare over time.”