There is a pathway forward

Child Poverty Action Group congratulates the Every Child Counts coalition and the University of Auckland for producing Ha Ara Hou, the pathway forward. The group says there is no excuse for 200,000 children in New Zealand; Pakeha, Maori and Pasifika, suffering the effects of poverty: compromised health, compromised education, and physical risk.

Too often, child poverty is blamed on the failings of parents: their welfare dependency and bad habits. This publication recognises instead the failings in the economic model that caused the global financial crisis and widespread joblessness.

He Ara Hou also recognises that parents raising children are doing vital work, making a valuable contribution.

While the focus of much of recent discussion has been on child abuse, with claims that intergenerational abuse goes hand in hand with intergenerational welfare dependency, there is no evidence for these claims. International research has confirmed the critical factor in child maltreatment is not intergenerational abuse or welfare dependency. The critical factor is poverty.

He Ara Hou frames the evidence of child poverty without blame, and seeks a pathway towards hope, and shared solutions.