In this issue
Child Poverty Monitor 2016
Launch of Barriers to support
End of year Wellington joint event
Youth Justice age increase
HBDHB implements free GP visits for under18s
Fix Working For Families Campaign
CPAG blog update
CPAG news update
Child Poverty Monitor 2016
The 2016 Child Poverty Monitor released on 13th December revealedno significant improvement for thelives of children in New Zealandexperiencing the effects of poverty,proving that any efforts byGovernment to reduce the impact ofpoverty on children have failed. Thatthe numbers remain so persistentlyhigh demonstrates that povertyamong New Zealand children isenduring and longterm.CPAG members attended the launch of the Child Poverty Monitor 2016 report tohear Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly discuss the growing blight onAotearoa, and Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft talk about theimmediate need for a comprehensive plan to reduce poverty in New Zealand.We wholeheartedly support Judge Becroft's call to action, that a significant,Governmentledmultiprongedplan to make children's lives better must beimplemented and committed to nationwide, by organisations and communities alike.
Auckland Report launch of Barriers to support:Uptake of the child disability allowance in Otara
Barriers to support: Uptake of the Child Disability Allowance in Otara was launched on Monday November 21 at the Otara Music Arts Centre (OMAC)and was met with a positive response, which highlights a shared understanding that getting assistance is a painstaking effort for those who need it, and it is agreed that the process should be made easier, a key finding in this report. The diverse audience of attendees included local people, public health providers,politicians, social workers, and media. The report was sent out to Ministers with disability and social development related portfolios, MP's and stakeholdersoutlining findings and suggested improvements to the process. CPAG has had a positive response from the Social Development Minister noting that MSD is now considering how they can better work with local communities including Otara, toenable eligible families to access this support.The report was coauthoredby CPAG's co-convenor Alan Johnson and researcher Jessica Suri of Otara Health and is available to download from the CPAG Website.A round up of media responses can be found here.
The year that has been where to from here?
The Wellington CPAG group held a joint end of year event with Every Child Counts on 30th November at the Southern Cross Bar Apacked out a room meant there was a bit of time to network, dwell on the year that had been and where to for the next year.The event had a diversity of speakers from CPAG, Every Child Counts, ACYA and a CPAG young people's network. Supported by a local musician Nigel Parry and his own lyrics around a child's story of poverty and housing. You can watch him perform here.Wellington CPAG is aware there are lots of challenges ahead and planning is underway for 2017, so CPAG can continue to challenge all NZ to urgently and systematically respond to the needs of our children.
Youth Justice age increase
CPAG are thrilled with the news that low risk 17 year old offenders are now to be included in the youth justice system. CPAG was among the many organisations which signed JustSpeak's open letter to John Key and Cabinet Ministers in September this year, and will continue to support their call to action that young people should be considered in the youth justice system up till the age of 21. JustSpeak said "including 17 year olds in the youth justice system is the right thing to do. All children deserve a fair go, especially when they have so often hada rough start. If you do not include 17 year olds in the youth justice system you are failing to take action to break the crime cycle for these children." CPAG commends the decision made by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Development and hopes our recommendations for changes social to the welfare system will be adopted and address poverty as a significant precursor to youth crime.
Hawke's Bay DHB zerofees for under 18s
On 1 December the Hawkes Bay DHB announced that it would increase the age of free primary healthcare to include many children up until they turn 18 in a bidto reduce barriers to health care. The funding will initially include two thirds of children in the region and the DHB hopes to be able to extend the funding more widely next year. CPAG commends this progressive move that should support an improvement inhealth for teenagers in the region, and expects that this will encourage other parts of the country to consider the importance of access to healthcare for teenagers and inspire the Government to change the zero fees policy universally to include all children up until their 18th birthday.
Fix Working for Families campaign update
CPAG has launched Part Two of the Fix Working For Families #FWFF campaign by highlighting comments made by the new Prime Minister Bill English around forthcoming changes to family assistance through the tax system. CPAG said:English has recently agreed that Working for Families (WFF) is a good wayfor funds to reach "the families with children and families that are on low incomes". CPAG urges the Government to reverse the ways the current WFF drives inequality and discriminates against the children of families who do not meet the rigid hours of work criteria. In particular the significant In-Work Tax Credit worth at least $72.50 is denied to the very worst off families.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.
Kid Kind fundraiser new - designs!
Check out the latest designs from kidkind.co.nz which was launched earlier in the year to raise money and awareness for child poverty in New Zealand. Turning our kids into mini, modern day Robin Hoods, the Kid kind collection is about Kiwi kids looking out for each other, standing together against child poverty. Auckland Mum and creative Rachael Macklin has come together with more talented kiwi artists to create these gorgeous tees and onesies for your little person.Find them at www.kidkind.org.nz and 100% of all profits go to Child PovertyAction Group (CPAG) New Zealand.A huge thank you to everyone involved from the CPAG team!
CPAG news update
Latest media releases November - December
CPAG Blog update
Latest posts November - December
16 Nov Working toward better support Guest blog by researcher Alicia Sudden
The "new social investment approach" is designed to get people off benefit and into work. But no data are collected which show whether people are doing any better when they leave the social security system; whether they have obtained work that provides well enough for their families or what kind of hours they work just to make ends meet. As evidenced by researcher Alicia Sudden, people may end up suffering the ill-effects of precarious, underpaid employment that negatively impacts upon the lives of their families. Furthermore, some Working for Families (WFF) tax credits are provided only to parents who work the required hours, meaning a large proportion of families off-benefit but in casualised employment miss out on the In-Work Tax Credit (IWTC) worth at least $72.50. Alicia Sudden makes a compelling case for better protection for low-income working parents - including job stability, adequate hourly rates, and an inclusive IWTC.
25 Nov Targeting single health issues will not fix child poverty Dr Nikki Turner
Numbers and figures do not give the real picture of why a child gets sick and repeatedly sick. I can quote figures, such as a child who is living in the most deprived area has who has a ten times higher rate of ending up in hospital with pneumonia than a child living in a more well-off environment. And yet it makes little sense without understanding the multiple factors behind poor health outcomes associated with living in poverty.We respond incredibly well to natural disasters, stories of hardship, we donate generously to charity. New Zealand is a generous country on so many levels. Why are we in denial about this one? It's time for some multi-party action to create legislation embedding a plan for child poverty, so we can measure, act and respond.
6 Dec It's better policy needed, not marriage incentives Jeni Cartwright
It's known that poverty is closely related to child abuse and neglect, so why don't we have policies that provide better conditions for low-income families, including sole-parent families. Family First says marriage is the answer - but the rates of intimate partner abuse suggest otherwise. Their ideas are outdated and traditionalist.We need to support families better by addressing the root causes of abuse, such as entrenched poverty and systemic discrimination. We need to avoid labelling and stigmatising sole parents for choosing to remove themselves and their children from unhealthy relationships. We need to encourage parents and equip them with the means to give their children the very best they can, and that includes the ability to leave situations of abuse without finding themselves in poverty
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