November 2016 Newsletter

In this issue

Invite: Auckland report launch of Barriers to support 

Invite: End of year Wellington joint event

Child poverty and social justice

CPAG Summit proceedings


Round the Bays 2017

Fix Working For Families Campaign 

CPAG blog update

CPAG news update

Join the conversation on Social Media

21 Nov - Auckland Report launch of Barriers to support: Uptake of the child disability allowance in Otara . 

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) warmly invites you to attend the report launch of Barriers to support: Uptake of the child disability allowance in Otara on 21 November.This report is following on from the 2015 CPAG report It shouldn't be this hard:children, poverty and disability which highlighted that the Child Disability Allowance (CDA) is under-paid and difficult to access for some families in need.

Considering the relationship between disability and low-income households, this preliminary study set out to examine rates of child disability and levels of access to the CDA in Otara, a suburb of South Auckland. An additional aim of  this project was to assist Otara families with disabled children who are not receiving their CDA entitlements to gain these payments.

The year that has been - where to from here?

With the General Election looming, 2017 will be a big year. Please join us to reflect on the year that has been and highlight priorities for action for 2017, with a particular focus on housing, child rights and adequate income. 

There will be brief feedback from a range of speakers from the Wellington Child Poverty Action Group, Every Child Counts and our networks, and some music entertainment.

Event details

Date: 30 November 
Time: 5.30pm-7pm
Venue: Southern Cross Bar, Wellington

Child poverty and social justice: not all are equal in NZ Wellington Seminar 


A thoughtful and well-received seminar, Child Poverty and Social Justice: Not all are equal in NZ was held on 21 September at the Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus. 

The evening provided an opportunity to discuss benefit fraud and the effects on families and children in poverty. Including a presentation about Kathryn's story, the story of a  chronically-ill beneficiary mother convicted and jailed for benefit fraud despite maintaining her innocence. It was a very successful evening, with a full house and very passionate and talented speakers sharing their insights and research findings around different treatments in the justice system between tax evasion and welfare fraud.

Speakers and presentations

Catriona MacLennan: Author of Kathryn's Story. She is a barrister, journalist and social activist with extensive experience in benefit law, credit and loan sharks and domestic violence.See her video presentation here

Assc Prof Lisa Marriott: Associate Professor of Taxation at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Accounting and Commercial Law. See her presentation slides here

CPAG Summit 2016 Investing in children

On 2 September 2016 CPAG co-hosted the Summit Investing in children with the Retirement Policy and Research Centre (RPRC).

The Summit proceedings are now available for download and we will have limited hard copies. Please share the link widely to friends, family and colleagues.

The Summit was a great success and we warmly welcomed a variety of speakers who shared their research and/or experience of the "social investment approach" to an audience of over 100.  Over the last 20 years, NZ has seen successive governments expand their focus on workfare and contrast this with a targeted approach to welfare. Although investing in children sounds like a great way to help our most vulnerable, throughout the day we heard numerous accounts of how the targeted principles of the social investment approach are completely missing the mark in who they are supporting and how they are supporting them.

The Summit was live-streamed for the first two hours and you can find the video on our event page. We also have the audio recording and slides for the rest of the day on our event page.

Speakers included: Shamubeel Eaqub, Prue Kapua, Efeso Collins, Gerry Cotterell, Susan Morton,Peter Sykes and Fiu Anae Uesile Wesley Tala'imanu, Darrin Hodgetts, Ottilie Stolte, Bill Rosenberg, Mike O'Brien and Susan St John.

A special thanks goes to Dr Claire Dale who was one of the key organisers and coordinators leading up to the day and we couldn't have had such an amazing event without her.

Join CPAG and help give a stronger voice to children

If you've been thinking of how to support Child Poverty Action Group and the work we do, consider becoming a CPAG member today. CPAG is accountable to our members who make sure we meet our objectives as an organisation. A strong and supportive membership base gives an even stronger 

voice to CPAG when challenging the current government policies and the outcomes these polices have on children and families. Which is why each and every member is such a valuable part of our organisation. 

Not sure if you're a current member? Email  to find out. As a member you can also be part of our annual AGM and have the opportunity to get involved with our ongoing events, research and campaign activities. 

Fix Working for Families 

campaign update 

CPAG is working towards launching Part Two of the Fix Working For Families #FWFF campaign. This second phase of the campaign will have a dedicated focus on low-income working families and the ways in which Working for Families (WFF) is failing them through policies that cause payments to erode over time.

The six-part campaign will run up until the election 2017. #FWFF is the result of 10 years of evidence-based research that has shown that Working for Families is not meeting its fundamental purpose (to support families with the extra costs of raising children) for the families who need the most help. Because of this failure WFF has had little impact on the poverty rates for children in workless households.

Stop the Sanctions Campaign 

Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) are currently running  a Stop the Sanctions campaign which is calling for the removal of Sections 176, 177, 178 from the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill. CPAG strongly supports this campaign and you can read our supporting media release here.

These sections impose a weekly sanction of $22 or more on beneficiary sole mothers who have not identified the father of their child.This sanction (in its current form of Section 70A of the Social Security Act) is putting into further hardship families already struggling to survive.

Currently there are approximately 17,000 children in Aotearoa New Zealand for which this sanction is imposed. Of the 13,616 parents, 13,298 are women, and only 318 are men. 52.8% are Māori. This policy severely disproportionately effects women and Māori.

Greens, Labour, NZ First and Māori party have committed to pushing forward a bill in Parliament which would remove these sections , but the other remaining parties and in particular Hon Anne Tolley and Hon Peter Dunne from National and United Future have not yet agreed to the removal of these sections.

Here's how you can help show your support for this campaign.


Send a personal email or letter to these politicians below explaining why you think they should remove the sections in the social security rewrite bill. 

Peter Dunne (United Future)

Anne Tolley (National Party) 

Round the bays 2017 

We would like to invite you to  join Child Poverty Action Group at Auckland Round the Bays on Sunday March 5th 2017. 

It's going to be a fun day and a great way to combine exercise and support for CPAG. We would love you to sign up and help raise awareness about child poverty and 
raise funds towards our ongoing work in 2016. 

All running/walking levels welcome.

If you're planning to raise over $100, you also get a free CPAG t-shirt, just make sure you get in contact with us at  with your details as we have limited availability.

More information and ways to help with fundraising will be on our website shortly.

CPAG news update

Latest media releases August-November

30 August CPAG says, "We can do much better for our children"

30 August  #Parkupforhomes last protest in Palmerston North

05 September Time to tackle key obstacles threatening your financial future

09 September Report shows no improvement for our worst-off children

15 September Sanctions must be removed from Social Security Legislation

16 September Child Poverty and Social Injustice seminar in Wellington, 21 Sept

21 September Response to GRGC Report Grandparent caregivers need greater support

27 September Barriers to educational success must be removed

3 October  More comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty

10 October UN report on child poverty shows urgent action needed

26 October Beware automatic cost cuts that harm children

9 November Changes are good, but are they the right ones?

11 November Inflation stats should prompt meaningful action

CPAG Blog update

Latest posts August - November

30 August Comments on Labour's "The Future of Work" series Susan St John

This is just the first paper in the Labour party's series on the future of work. It describes very powerfully the nature of insecure, casualised work for many, and the uncertainties of modern life in the 21st century. There are also natural disasters we are ill prepared for.

15 Sept Breaking down the social investment approach M. (Claire) Dale

How did Government decide what are 'risk factors' for children considered to be 'vulnerable'? Is their method is based on ideology rather than evidence? Because surely if it was based on evidence, consistent POVERTY would be a foremost risk indicator. Especially as many of their supposed 'at risk' children do not have poor outcomes, and many of the ones that do, don't fit the criteria. We need to consider inadequate incomes as the greatest contributor to poor outcomes. With 80,000 children experiencing severe deprivation, how could Govt overlook this crucial factor? CPAG's Claire Dale breaks down the Government's 'social investment' approach to welfare and why it is seriously flawed.

6 Oct Ministerial Housing announcement underwhelming Frank Hogan

The MSH's latest announcement that 51 new transitional homes will be provided for families in need of housing is a welcome response to the ever increasing problem of homelessness for our most vulnerable citizens - but it barely scratches the surface.

27 Oct Budget surplus: Do the right thing Jeni Cartwright

The Government has tabled tax cuts after recently announcing that it's saved $1.8 billion over the past year, offering a taste of what will be on offer come election time; a smooth move from Bill Silver-Tongue English.

1 Nov Tenure security is bigger than longer leases Alan Johnson

It is slowly dawning on most people that renting is the future for everyone but the Baby Boomers. As coined by Shamubeel and Selina Eaqub, this is Generation Rent. The limp response is not to think about inter-generational equity or ways of radically shifting our housing policy but one of simply talking about mild reforms of tenancy law.

7 Nov Increasing the age for children in care: What does it mean?

Many of us were delighted that finally the Government is planning to legislate for a change for children in care who are currently automatically discharged from care on reaching the age of 17. The new arrangements will see children having the option and possibility of remaining formally in care until the age of 21 and possibly beyond this point until the age of 25. This is a particularly vulnerable group of young people, and abandoning responsibility for them once they reach the age of 17 has never made sense. As one researcher described it, it could be characterised as: 'Happy birthday, goodbye.' But, there are no details in the announcement. So, let's ask some critical questions:

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

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

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 wellbeing network.

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

Keeping up with CPAG Regional Networks

CPAG's regional network of volunteers have been busy in 2016 with plenty of events and activities going on. Currently CPAG has networks in Whangarei, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and a new network in Nelson. 

If you're interested in attending CPAG events in your local region please sign up to your closest network mailing list. We have a new mailing list for the Nelson Marlborough region for the Nelson group. 

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.