The Latest

August Newsletter

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

He kai tahu me kikini, he kai tahu me tīhore, mā te tamaiti te iho

In This Issue

CPAG Summit 12 September

Welfare fit for families - upcoming CPAG campaign

Nga Tangata Microfinance (NTM) submission on the Review of Consumer Credit

Submission on The Treasury's Proposal for a Living Standards Dashboard

Free webinar series: Building Child Rich Communities

New Zealand Fabian Society FREE Workshop: Overcoming Misinformation about Child Poverty

Policy News

CPAG Blog update

CPAG News update

Other related events

12 September - "Rethinking the Welfare System for the 21st Century" CPAG Summit + livestream

With welfare reform a key focus for the current Government, there is a unique opportunity for concerned parties to influence the scope and breadth of changes needed. The purpose of the Summit - Rethinking the Welfare System for the 21st Century is to impact the reform agenda by increasing awareness and knowledge, especially among policy makers, about the chronic problems and the developments that will improve the welfare system so that it works much better for families and children. We look forward to the hearing from the summit speakers who will provide a wide range of perspectives on what an effective welfare system should look like to meet our modern day needs, and ensure all children in Aotearoa-New Zealand grow up thriving.
The event will be Livestreamed at from 2pm onwards, with some elements of the morning session streamed on CPAG's Facebook page.

Speakers include: Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw, Honorary Associate Professor Susan St John, Dr Michael Fletcher, Dr Hirini Kaa, David Hanna, Dr Bill Rosenberg, Alan Johnson, Sam Orchard, Dr Amanda D'Souza and Associate Professor Mike O'Brien.
Date: 12 September 2018
Time: 8:30am - 4:45pm (professional livestream from 2pm) followed by networking and refreshments.
Venue: Otago University, Nordmeyer Lecture Theatre, 23 Mein St, Newtown, Wellington
Cost: $30 Unwaged, $65 Waged
For more information please click here or email:
Celia Hayes

Register here

Welfare fit for families - CPAG campaign launching 1 September

There is some good progress happening for families and children living in low-incomes, with a Child Poverty Reduction Bill in the house, increases to Working for Families and other supplements. These changes will make a difference for some, but for others - those on the lowest of incomes - more changes are needed, and long-term policies need to be in-stated to ensure that welfare benefits and tax credits do not follow a pattern of falling far behind the rising costs of living and housing. Barriers to accessing entitlements and sanctions that compromise children’s wellbeing compromised reducing family income are still a major concern.

In 2018 CPAG wants to see policy-makers and politicians reform the welfare system, so that it is based on principles of compassion and caring, and the real needs of families, without stressful over-emphasis on work, and punitive, corrective methodologies. We are launching a campaign later in the year asking Government to reform welfare so that it is fit for families in a 21st century and provides support based on each family’s unique needs.

We want our campaign to be guided by the experiences of people who have first hand understanding of the problems and barriers, and what the impacts are for families and children. If you are interested in writing us a blog about your experiences and want to share your thoughts on what changes you think would make welfare fit for families in Aotearoa-New Zealand, drop us an email to .

Nga Tangata Microfinance (NTM) submission on the Review of Consumer Credit.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) endorsed the submission by Nga Tangata Microfinance (NTM) on the Review of Consumer Credit, saying that introducing a a legal limit on the total cost of credit would be a critical step to protecting vulnerable people in Aotearoa-New Zealand from the impacts of surmounting debt. With very little choice available to them, low-income families were taking on widely available loans to meet their day to day needs, ending up paying interest of up to 500%. Read the full submission for recommendations that will ensure that families were less likely to be victim to the impacts unethical lending.

Submission on The Treasury's Proposal for a Living Standards Dashboard

CPAG submitted on The Treasury's proposal for a framework based upon intergenerational wellbeing in July 2018. CPAG supports this general approach, but noted that children were not mentioned anywhere in the report on Monitoring Intergenerational Wellbeing. As twenty per cent of the New Zealand population (almost 900,000 children) is aged under 15 years, the future health and wellbeing of all citizens is therefore dependent upon the wellbeing of our children. CPAG submitted a range of recommendations to improve the framework with particular focus on the wellbeing of children in Aotearoa-New Zealand living with the impacts of poverty.

Read the submission online here.

Child-Rich Communities FREE webinar series

Want to hear more about how people around the country are mobilising their community to improve child wellbeing? Come along to a free webinar series hosted by Child Rich Communities, a project aimed at growing a movement of people who think and work in community-led ways to improve child, family and whānau wellbeing. The project is guided by Inspiring Communities, Plunket, UNICEF and Barnardos, with funding from S.K.I.P to carry out actions aimed at supporting people involved in community-led development. It builds on research with 'Bright Spot' communities and initiatives proudly taking community-led action in their places - here's how they see it.

DATES: September 4, 13 and 28
TIME: 11am-12pm
LOCATION: Your computer
COST: Free!
The webinars will combine theory and experience, with community-based practitioners from diverse communities across Aotearoa sharing their experience. There will be space for your questions and discussion on what's making a difference for children and families.
Register now!

The New Zealand Fabian Society presents: Overcoming Misinformation about Child Poverty: How to help people believe and act on what works in child and family poverty reduction

Come along to a FREE midday workshop with Jess Berentson-Shaw and Marianne Elliott from The Workshop, Wellington, hosted by the New Zealand Fabian Society and proudly supported by CPAG.

About: People draw on powerful and often misinformed narratives about why poverty happens.
These narratives make it very difficult for people to hear and believe the solutions we know will have an impact on the lives of families and children in New Zealand. How do we overcome these strong narratives? Do we overcome them? Jess Berentson-Shaw and Marianne Elliot will present the evidence and talk about the tools they use at The Workshop.

When: Tuesday 4th September, 12.30-2pm
Where: Owen Glenn Building, Lecture Theatre 5, University of Auckland, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland City.
Cost: FREE
Paid parking is available under the Business School building on Grafton Road

Policy news

Government consultations on Child Wellbeing, Living Standards and Social Investment
At the end of July, Statistics New Zealand opened a new round for consultation on the Indicators of Aotearoa New Zealand or Ngā Tutohu Aotearoa. Minister of Statistics James Shaw, has said that Ngā Tutohu Aotearoa will ensure that a "meaningful" indication of success will be available as opposed to economic success alone. He has gone on to say that in next year's budget, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will be able to use these indicators to measure the growth of our economy as well as our environment and New Zealanders.

The Treasury's Living Standards Framework, which is also uses a wellbeing lens to aid Government budget decision-making, will go hand in hand with Ngā Tutohu Aotearoa. At the conclusion of July, submissions on the Treasury's Living Standards Framework closed. You can find CPAG's submission here.

The Social Investments Agency's public consultation on the investing for social wellbeing approach concluded at the end of August. Four key parts to the approach were identified: people centred; based on a wide range of evidence; built on partnerships and trust; and underpinned by clear goals and robust measurement. In October we can expect a cabinet paper detailing the final shape of the approach before a draft policy for public consultation is released in the new year.

Consultation on Reform of the Residential Tenancies Act  

On August 28 Government announced its intentions to reform the Residential Tenancies Act, and is calling on the public for feedback on proposals aimed at making life better for renters. “Our tenancy laws are antiquated and don’t reflect the fact that renting is now a long-term reality for many of our families. A third of all New Zealanders now rent,” Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. The consultation discussion document includes a focus on security of tenure, and adequate notice for termination of tenancies, as well as limiting the number of rent increases to once per year.

The discussion document and a link to an online submission survey are available at:

The consultation runs for eight weeks and the close-off for public submissions is 5pm, Sunday 21 October 2018.

CPAG news update

Latest press releases from July - August 2018

1 August - CPAG calls for a legal limit on the total cost of credit - CCCFA Review
1 August - Nga Tangata Microfinance: At last! Safer consumer credit may be coming soon to Aotearoa
7 August - Slowdown possibility raises concerns for family incomes
15 August - Increased hunger in the land of plenty could be easily solved
28 August - CPAG welcomes Govt announcement of tenancy law review

CPAG blog update

25 July - Recognising the vital, unpaid work that secures our future

How much are caregivers of the young worth to an ageing society? In the years to come, a growing demographic of retired baby boomers will be evermore reliant on the willingness and ability of the younger population to support them.
More than ever, we need support for those who are performing one of society's most important roles. We should not dismiss parenting - and motherhood - simply as a biological function, and we should not buy into the narrative that only those who can afford it should do it.

Other related events

Disability and Community Well-Being Forum
The Auckland Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and St Anne's Catholic Parish will be holding a forum to discuss concerns regarding disability and community Well-Being in September. The event will feature several panel speakers including CPAG’s George Makapatama. Four Government ministers and two Auckland Councillors will also be attending the event to hear your views.

Date: 13th of September
Time: 6:30-9pm
Venue: St Anne's Catholic Parish, 126 Russell Road, Manurewa
Cost: Free

For more details please contact Rev Deacon Sanele Poluleuligaga on 027 267 3210

Calling for interest for a child poverty Messaging Masterclass
Want help putting values-framing into practice in your communications on family and child poverty? This practical masterclass is designed for you. In this interactive masterclass we will:
• Cover key framing tips for more effective communications
• Practice reframing communications to engage intrinsic values and be more effective
• Workshop family and child poverty messages specifically.
To express your interest and to receive more information please contact

Keeping up with the 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 FB & Twitter

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.