The Latest

October Newletter

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

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

In This Issue

CPAG Summit in September
CPAG Welfare Fit for Families campaign

Discussion paper: Strategic responses to the review of the Residential Tenancies Act

Thanks to Auckland City Mission

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

CPAG Summit in September "Rethinking the Welfare System for the 21st Century"

On 12 September, CPAG held its annual summit in Wellington. The day-long event featured guest speakers from all walks of life, including experts across a range of disciplines and those with a lived experience of surviving on welfare in New Zealand. They examined the urgent need to influence the welfare reform agenda - a key focus for the current Government, with a Welfare Expert Advisory Group dedicated to identifying areas for transformation. The Summit explored what changes to policies could alleviate chronic problems across the welfare system, and what developments could improve that system and result in it working much better for families and children. Holding the event in Wellington for the first time was a great success. The venue, generously provided by the University of Otago who partnered with CPAG to hold the Summit, was packed to capacity. Feedback has been very positive, with many considering the event had a valuable point of difference with a balance of lived experiences and policy discussion. For more information and to watch the livestream recordings, visit CPAG's past events page.

Welfare fit for families


Campaign Launched in September

CPAG says 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. We have launched a campaign, "Welfare Fit for Families", asking 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.

Personal stories

As part of our campaign we have been hearing from people about their experiences of the welfare system, and what thoughts they have for improving it. Read more here about how struggling with the welfare system leads to increased stress, hungry children, and significantly reduces a parent's ability to make healthy choices - despite how hard they try. If you have a personal experience about the welfare system you would like to share, please get in touch.Thanks to those who have shared their stories so far - your voices are a powerful tool for change!

ActionStation collaboration on Welfare Reform submission

CPAG has teamed up with ActionStation to transform our welfare system so it works better for whānau, communities and children! Please join us in sending a robust submission to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group to ensure that our welfare system provides adequate support and is a caring and compassionate response to the need of our worst-off children.

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

New discussion paper from CPAG: Strategic Responses to the review of the Residential Tenancies Act by Alan Johnson

The current review of tenancy law offers us an opportunity to move beyond tinkering with current legislation. We have as a nation the opportunity to reconsider the role which private rental housing is likely to play in providing people not just with accommodation but a home and from this to think about the extent of rights which tenants should reasonable enjoy. Such a re-consideration might possibly look at the reform of tenancy law from four angles as outlined in a new background paper written for Child Poverty Action Group by Alan Johnson. The paper provides useful information to help guide submissions on reform of the Residential Tenancies Act in 2018 and does not comprise CPAG's submission which is now available online. Click here to read the discussion paper online now!

Thanks to the Auckland City Mission for their ongoing support!

CPAG wishes to express our deep gratitude to Chris Farrelly, Helen Robinson and the whole Auckland City Mission team for their amazing and ongoing support and kindness towards CPAG. We especially want to show our appreciation for the donation of an office space for CPAG to use as our HQ and for including us while they temporarily move to a new site. As well as doing valuable work in the community, Auckland City Mission is working on developing a groundbreaking community facility to assist in solving chronic homelessness in Auckland which is called the HomeGround project. We look forward to supporting and collaborating with Auckland City Mission in future projects.

Policy News

Welfare Expert Advisory Group seeking public feedback

In May 2018 the Government announced it had established a strong Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) to examine current welfare policy and practice, and report back to the Government with recommendations in February 2019. CPAG is delighted that its very own Innes Asher is a part of the group, and is satisfied that the range of expertise and experience among the groups members is commensurate to the extent of the task, but feedback from the public is critical to their work. As such, the WEAG has spent the past two months holding a number of public Hui across the nation, and are calling for submissions via their website. They have provided survey questions to guide responses and submissions can be sent via email or the online form. The last day to send in submissions or to answer the survey is November 9.

MSD announces review of privacy protections in serious fraud investigations 

On October 18 the Ministry of Social Development announced that it will review the best way to gather necessary information about high risk benefit fraud while balancing clients' right to privacy. Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery Viv Rickard says the Ministry has committed to working with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) and beneficiary advocacy groups to review its Code of Conduct in relation to Section 11 of the Social Security Act. This comes after Auckland Action Against Poverty released an OIA report which highlighted MSD's invasive investigation practices, which allow unfair prying into the personal lives of beneficiaries. CPAG welcomed the announcement and said that it is time to end cruel and invasive practices that can have devastating impacts on children.

Salvation Army Report: Beyond Renting

In a report released on 17 October the Salvation Army's said that changes in the private rental market mean that private rental housing is no longer a reliable housing option for those families and households not wealthy enough to move into home-ownership and not "poor enough" to qualify for state housing. The report makes sound suggestions for Government to consider as a way forward, including a shared equity "KiwiBuy" scheme which would take the form of a government-subsidised home ownership programme designed to help modest households get into their own homes.

CPAG Submissions

Submission on the Electricity Price Review

CPAG submitted to the Electricity Price Review on October 23, that fairness of the pricing structure is important, and that low-income families who chose to use a pre-paid service paid a disproportionately high amount for their energy consumption, and are forced to reduce their consumption with high risks to children's health. Businesses that provide an essential service/product, which to otherwise live without would impede upon citizens' rights and ability to live a normal life, should prioritise reducing hardship as a social responsibility. Read more here.

Submission on proposals to Reform of the Residential Tenancies Act 

On August 28 Government announced its intentions to reform the Residential Tenancies Act, inviting public to feedback responses to proposals for reform. Submissions closed on October 21. CPAG submitted that, while in support of some of the proposals generally, the organisation is concerned that the proposals do not include a robust response to addressing tenants' rights, including insecure tenure under the RTA with the dominant practice of periodic tenancies, nor does it set out the standards of healthy housing which landlords must comply with. Read the submission online here.

CPAG News Update

Latest press releases from September - October 2018

3 Sep A safe harbour in life's financial storms - Nga Tangata Microfinance

6 Sep CPAG launches Welfare fit for Families campaign

7 Sep A more supportive welfare system will benefit the whole nation

21 Sep Recommendations to make Welfare Fit for Families in the 21st Century

1 Oct Green Party campaign for welfare reform welcomed by CPAG

4 Oct Cross party support for Child Poverty Reduction Bill welcomed by children's advocacy community

15 Oct Loan shark net tightens, but holes still remain (Nga Tangata Microfinance)

18 Oct KiwiBuy could provide security to low-income families

19 Oct It's time for the punitive, stigmatising nature of welfare to change

CPAG Blog Update

Latest blog posts September - October

4 Sep Money Week 2018: Weathering a perpetual storm - Dr. M. Claire Dale

'Money week' is like birthdays and Christmas - they are not something you look forward to if you don't have any money. No-one can save if they can only afford to pay the rent if they pay that first every week, and limit the time they run the heater and only do stove-top cooking so they can pay the power bill. Then of course there is the difficulty of buying enough good food for the family for the week. They can't afford to buy nice presents for their children's birthdays or Christmas, and struggle to afford school trips and visits to grandparents.

25 Sep Fill a hungry belly or meet nutritional guides? The impossible choices facing low-income families. - Dr Rebekah Graham

In New Zealand, the most reliable measure we have of food insecurity in our country is from the 2008/2009 Annual Nutrition Survey. This survey asked eight questions regarding the ability of people to afford to eat properly, how often food ran out due to lack of money, eating less, limited food options, social participation, and having to make use of food grants/food banks/rely on friends or family. From this survey we know that in 2008/09, 7.3% of New Zealand households - that is, 113,141 families - severely struggled to afford sufficient food to feed everybody.

1 Oct Launch of the Greens campaign on welfare reform  - Assoc Prof Susan St John

Congratulations to the Green Party for their initiative that calls for an overhaul of the welfare system which is no longer 'fit for purpose'.  2018 offers a unique opportunity to get meaningful change - but it will only happen If civil society campaigns vigorously for it. If we could get only a fraction of the attention and enthusiasm for this issue that will flow into the America's Cup as nationalist fever builds.

4 Oct About that Winter Energy Payment  - Mary Mowbray

On the week in which the Winter Energy Payment runs out for many in need, Mary Mowbray, long-time member of CPAG, asks why some struggling families miss out on the Government's Winter Energy Payment over winter, while many over-65s not in need get it automatically? Mary highlights the fact that a proportion of those who get it are very likely "not in need."

Fundraising and supporters

CPAG is very humbled by all the support we have received from our members, supporters, regular donors and generous funders over the past few months which has helped CPAG be more effective in our work towards eliminating child poverty.  We are also encouraged by the fact that more New Zealanders care that all our children flourish, free of poverty.

PMP Fitwear support

A wonderfully kind and generous CPAG supporter Joe Costello who runs a small gym clothing line PMP fitwear has asked CPAG to be one of three charities his clothing line supports. PMP fitwear will support our ongoing work by donating 5% of each hoodie sale to CPAG. We really appreciate his wonderful support!

Got a fundraising idea or would like some support on ways to help? Please get in touch with admin@cpag.org.nz or read our fundraising guidelines for more info on how you can help support CPAG's ongoing work.

Sign up as a CPAG Regular Donor 

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 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 

Become a regular donor or make a donation via Online banking

  • Account number: 38-9003-0066858-00
  • Reference: your name and REGDON for regular giving or your name and DONATION for a one off amount.

Become a regular donor or make a donation via Cheque - post to:

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

Please email  with your details for receipting purposes.

Other related news

Shared working space available at Auckland City Mission

Auckland City Mission has several different office space options available on the first floor of their "temporary premises" at 23 Union Street which they are keen to rent out to like-minded organisations. Temporary means for around two years while they redevelop their site between Hobson Street and Federal Street.  The first is a fully self-contained tenancy of approximately 85 square metres with its own kitchenette, and shared use of bathroom facilities. The space is airy and bright, open plan with a separate 8 square meeting room as well. 

 

The second option is shared office space of up to about 300 square metres and use of shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, adjacent to a large open plan office currently used by the Mission's administration staff, once again on the first floor. Secure car parks are also available for rent at reasonable rates as well. 

 

If interested the best person to contact is Roger king (General Manager Commercial) preferably by email or alternatively his mobile 027 5632300

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 us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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

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.