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Christmas Newsletter

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

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

In This Issue

Meri Kirihimete from CPAG!

Welfare fit for families campaign

Proceedings Summit 2018: Rethinking the Welfare System for the 21st Century

Welfare for Wellbeing- Joint Submission from CPAG and ActionStation to Welfare

Expert Advisory Group

Policy news

CPAG submissions

CPAG news update

CPAG blog update

Fundraising and supporters

Sign up as a regular CPAG donor

Keep up with CPAG regional networks

Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Meri Kirihimete from CPAG! 

Kia ora koutou and welcome to CPAG's Christmas Newsletter! 

Christmas feels as if it's come around rapidly after a year filled with activity around the need to ensure that New Zealand becomes a great place to raise children - and a promise by the Government to deliver. The inadequacy of welfare has been under the spotlight with the new Government's admirable intention to reduce poverty especially among children, and we are delighted to have now achieved a cross-party consensus on this goal - a testament to the work of CPAG and other organisations dedicated to the cause. CPAG has campaigned for changes to support this intention, including removing discrimination from tax credit policy, and improvements across the welfare system to ensure that all who cannot obtain sufficient work to meet their needs are able to maintain a decent standard of living for their families. We have had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with We Are Beneficiaries on an animated video series promoting our Welfare Fit for Families asks, and to work with ActionStation to produce crowd-sourced submissions on the Child Poverty Reduction Bill, and to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. We have also shed light on the impact of poverty for children's dental health, in a new report promoting changes to oral health policy. We are hugely grateful to all all CPAG supporters and volunteers who have provided active support financially and in many and varied ways to assist our work. Without your support, we couldn't have achieved so much. With that we wish you a peaceful and safe Christmas, and look forward together, to continue with this energy in 2019 so that all our tamariki can have the best chances to thrive.

CPAG will be back on board from January 7 if you would like to be in touch.

Meri Kirihimete!

The CPAG team

Welfare fit for Families campaign

New Video series launched on November 20

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and We Are Beneficiaries have launched a series of videos aimed at providing a lived experience of the inadequacy of current welfare practice and policy, and amplifying the voices of those who have experienced first hand that Aotearoa's current system of welfare is not always the supportive safety net that it was built to be. Through a series of interviews, presented in animations by We Are Beneficiaries founder Sam Orchard, we offer an insight into the real experiences of people who have been on a benefit, who have added responsibilities of helping and caring for others.

Head over to our Facebook page to view and share the videos or watch them online here.

About the campaign

New Zealand's welfare system has suffered the impacts of punitive policy changes over three decades that have contributed to the deeply entrenched poverty we see today. Through personal stories, videos, and evidence-informed policy recommendations, our campaign asks for Government to reform the welfare system so that it is better equipped to provide for the unique needs of all families and individuals when they may need social assistance, so they can continue to thrive. Read our 17 recommendations for making "Welfare Fit for Families" here.

Keep up-to-date with more Welfare Fit for Families news and updates on Facebook!

Proceedings Summit 2018: Rethinking the Welfare System for the 21st Century

In 2018, it is widely acknowledged that there are inadequacies in the current design of the Welfare System in Aotearoa-New Zealand. The purpose of the Summit - Rethinking the Welfare System for the 21st Century - was to fulfil an urgent need to influence the welfare reform agenda, which is a key focus for the current Government. The 2018 Summit Proceedings capture the speeches delivered by our guest speakers on the day, and provide an insight into the chronic problems across the welfare system from different perspectives. Importantly, they also include possible developments to change the welfare system towards becoming a more compassionate and caring system that works much better for families and children.

Read the full Summit Proceedings here.

CPAG Submissions

Joint crowd-sourced Submission from CPAG and ActionStation to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group

CPAG had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with ActionStation to produce a crowd-sourced report calling for reform and transformational change of our welfare system. Between 18 and 31 October 2018, 267 people contributed their perspectives, insights and experiences of the welfare system, through a 17-question online survey hosted by ActionStation, which were collated and submitted to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group on Friday November 9. Included in the submission was a document produced by CPAG outlining 17 practical and efficient policy recommendations for improvements to welfare. Subsequently ActionStation has also created a petition calling on the House of Representatives to "Put children and whānau wellbeing at the heart of welfare." We are looking forward to presenting the petition to Parliament in the New Year. Please sign it, if you haven't done so already, and share among your networks!

Read the full submission here.
Sign the petition here.

Submission on the proposed Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy
On the December 4 CPAG submitted recommendations for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. CPAG welcomed the coalition Government's intention to embed a framework which "will set the direction for how to improve the wellbeing of children and young people in New Zealand". Such a strategy will be a significant development toward ensuring the rights of all children and young people in Aotearoa are reinforced and upheld. CPAG Co-Convenor Alan Johnson said the current Government's commitment to developing a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy provides a critical opportunity to embed in all New Zealand legislation the rights all children are entitled to under international agreements such as UNCROC.

Read full submission here.

Policy News

4 November Government announces new learning support staff for schools
The Government announced plans to put almost 600 new special education teaching positions in schools throughout the country. CPAG welcomed this announcement saying that the increased support could not come soon enough considering the latest OECD stats on education inequality.

25 November MSD announces Easier access to health assistance for clients
The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, announced that from 26 November, people on the Disability Allowance, Child Disability Allowance or the Supported Living Payment would be able to have assessments completed by nurse practitioners. This is a welcome improvement to policy which may reduce the cost and access barriers for those who qualify.

4 December Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry report released
Health Minister Dr David Clark said the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we handle some of the biggest challenges we face as a country. CPAG welcomed the report with a press release saying it provides a comprehensive and substantive response to the wide ranging submissions, with commendable focus on prevention, and notably on the impacts of poverty on children's mental health. See CPAG's submission here.

December 7 Tomorrow's Schools Taskforce releases report
CPAG said that the release of the 31 recommendations from the Tomorrow's Schools Independent Taskforce provided a genuine and game-changing blueprint to radically change New Zealand education. Professor Peter O'Connor from the University of Auckland, and CPAG spokesperson for Education said the report is an acknowledgement that the current system has failed the poorest and the most vulnerable in New Zealand. The New Zealand Principals' Federation (NZPF) has also welcomed the taskforce report on Tomorrow's Schools.

News update

Latest press releases October 25 to December 11 2018

25 Oct - Rental reform proposal offers little more than minor modifications
31 Oct - TWG: Importance of Working for Families recognised, but problems not addressed
7 Nov- Government on the right track to making education more inclusive
8 Nov - New report shows four out of five people have had negative experiences at WINZ
20 Nov - Collaborative video project will amplify the voices of welfare recipients
22 Nov - New article on child poverty and disability welcomed by CPAG
28 Nov - New report from MSD shows urgent need for Government action on poverty
4 Dec - Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy welcomed by CPAG but levers for change needed
6 Dec - CPAG welcomes He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction
7 Dec - Tomorrow's Schools Taskforce provides "bold, brave blueprint For radical change"
10 Dec - Child Poverty Monitor 2018: Inadequate incomes and high cost housing to blame for rise in food poverty

Blog update

Latest blog posts November to December 2018

1 November - Important questions from an advocate at the coalface by Pip Colgan, AAAP.

In her work as an advocate who supports beneficiaries with their Work and Income (WINZ) appointments, author Pip Colgan sees many heartbreaking cases where families living in poverty have difficulty accessing the support they need to get by. Many miss out on the basics, while others are going hungry to make sure children are fed. A lack of income to make healthy choices means that children's nutritional needs are compromised, and when an unexpected bill arrives, families are forced to take on debt. Meanwhile, missing a WINZ appointment may result in a sanction that reduces the budget for food even further. Pip asks why - why are we punishing those who need help the most?

20 November - Time to fast-forward to a future where tenants have control of their housing situations by Sara Epperson
When our laws don't protect security of tenure, children suffer. Their health is more likely to be worse than that of their peers whose families own their homes, and they're less likely to be enrolled with a General Practitioner. They may have to switch schools multiple times. Although their parents would probably say they wish their housing situation was more secure, the fact is, it isn't - in part because the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) doesn't go far enough to protect them.

Fundraising and Supporters

Round the Bays 2019

If you haven't already signed up as a team or as an individual for Auckland's Round the Bays fun run in 2019, there is still plenty of time for you to join up to support CPAG with raising awareness about child poverty and fundraising towards our ongoing work in 2019. All running/walking levels welcome.

We recommend starting up an Everyday Hero fundraising page to share with your family and friends. Instructions below:

  • First, register for Ports of Auckland Round The Bays 2019
  • Once you have registered click on 'Start a fundraising page'
  • Start a fundraising page as part of the Child Poverty Action Group team and click "Join Team"
  • Share the page with your friends and family so they can help support our cause.

CPAG will be automatically notified when you choose us as your charity, and if you contact us with your address we can send you a beautiful orange CPAG race t-shirt. We'll arrange a meet up with the CPAG team before the race.

Now you can start training for the day!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Christmas appeal

Child Poverty Action Group depends on your financial and moral support. We are so grateful to each and every donor, supporter, volunteer and child advocate who, behind the scenes, keeps CPAG operating as an effective organisation. We wish to acknowledge and thank all those people from all walks of life who have contributed to CPAG this year by fundraising, speaking or helping at one of our events or assisting with research projects and campaigns.

If you would like to support CPAG in 2019 you can make a donation to ensure we can continue our research, education and advocacy work towards eliminating child poverty.

Donate now via credit card

Donations can also still be made through online banking, payroll giving, tax credit donations and cheques.

Online banking
Account number: 38-9003-0066858-00 Reference: your name and DONATION

Cheque - post to:

Child Poverty Action Group (Inc).
PO Box 56 11, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141.

Sign up as a regular CPAG donor

If you would like to support our important ongoing work, you can become a regular donor or make a donation to ensure we can continue our research, education and advocacy work towards eliminating child poverty.

Become a regular donor or make a donation now via our donation page

Please email with your details for receipting purposes.

Keeping up with CPAG 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 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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 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.

Ngā mihi nui