The Latest

February newsletter

Kia ora koutou katoa, and welcome to Child Poverty Action Group New Zealand's 2019 February newsletter.

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

In This Issue

Reminder: Round the Bays 2019

Submission on the Budget Policy Statement 2019

Save the date: 2019 nationwide post budget events

Kore Hiakai: Zero Hunger Project

Public presentation: Measuring Wellbeing - Budget 2019

Hobson Street Theatre presents: That’s what Friends are For

Policy news

CPAG news update

CPAG blog update

Sign up as a regular CPAG donor

Keep up with CPAG regional networks

Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Reminder: Round the Bays - 3 March 2019

Round the Bays is almost here! If you haven't already signed up as a team or as an individual for Auckland's Round the Bays fun run on 4 March, there is still time for you to join up to support CPAG with raising awareness about child poverty and fundraising towards our ongoing work in 2019. It will be a fun day and a great way to combine exercise and support for CPAG.

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

Submission on the Budget Policy Statement 2019

CPAG's Submission on the Budget Policy Statement 2019, written by Dr Stephen Poletti and Associate Professor Susan St John, argues that while the "Wellbeing framework" is a good idea and has long-term potential it must not be at the expense of the obvious improvements to income adequacy that can - and must - be made immediately. CPAG urges the Government not to wait until the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) and Tax Working Group (TWG) reports are in before positive action is taken to reduce the worst child poverty. The submission argues that housing must be a priority for the wellbeing of our impoverished families, and also raises questions around the continuing use of the fiscal rules framework including the resumed contributions to the NZ Super Fund. Submissions closed on January 31.

Download the full submission here.

CPAG is looking forward to hosting its annual Post Budget Breakfast events in locations across Aotearoa in May. Please keep an eye out for more information, coming soon!

Kore Hiakai: Zero Hunger Project

Kore Hiakai: Zero Hunger is a collective of social service agencies including the Auckland and Wellington City Missions, The Salvation Army and the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS), who are focused on eliminating food poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand through finding lasting, structural, mana enhancing solutions. By early 2019 the collective aims to have developed a network of organisations and people who are committed to working towards a long-term, effective strategy to ensure all NZers have sufficient nutritious food so that we might see the elimination of food poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kore Hiakai has extended an invitation to all those who wish to join the korero about how as a nation, Aotearoa can achieve these goals. Register your interest here to attend a hui in Auckland on Tuesday 14 March, Wellington on Thursday 21 March and Christchurch on Tuesday 12 March.

For more information visit

Public presentation: Measuring Wellbeing - Budget 2019

This Thursday 14 February, Ngā Kōrero at St Peters on Willis will be hosting a public presentation at which speakers will discuss the Government's initiative to have 'Wellbeing' the focus of the Budget 2019 and beyond. Tune into their Facebook live-stream on the day to hear from Hon. Grant Robertson, Ganesh Nana, Suzanne Snively, and Conal Smith, and join the discussion by emailing your questions ahead of time to . More information can be found here.

Hobson Street Theatre presents: That’s what Friends are For

Peter O’Connor, education spokesperson for CPAG is directing the Hobson Street Theatre company’s production That’s what Friends are For as part of the Auckland Fringe festival. Hobson Street Theatre, based out of the City Mission, is NZ's only theatre company working with people who have or are experiencing homelessness. Opening night gives you an opportunity to have a drink and some food with our cast so if you can join us that night it would be great.  But feel free to join any night. The show moves to Wellington and Dunedin in March.

To purchase tickets and find out more information click here.

New year’s Honour’s List

Congratulations to Sir Ian Hassall  who received a knighthood for Services to the Welfare of Children. Ian has been a long-term supporter of and associate of CPAG and an important advocate for children throughout his career, which includes being a paediatrician and New Zealand's first Commissioner for Children from 1989 to 1994. Ian has also taught the Children and Public Policy masters course at AUT and has published on child rights, safety and mortality. In 2010 he received the international Aldo Farina award for child rights advocacy.

Policy news

Welfare Expert Advisory Group reporting

The WEAG recommendations to the Government are due February. The review specifically addressed 1) purpose and principles of the welfare system, 2) design and operation of the welfare system 3) how welfare interfaces with other systems, such as health, employment, housing and justice. CPAG jointly submitted to the group with ActionStation, sharing the voices of more than 200 people with first hand experience of the system. Download CPAG’s recommendations for a welfare system fit for families in the 21st century here.

Tax Working Group

The TWG interim report was released last year, and the final report with recommendations has been provided to government. The public release is due in three weeks. CPAG submission to the Tax Working Group is available here. CPAG also provided feedback to the TWG on its initial draft. For more information download the feedback document here.

Quarterly Benefit Fact Sheets - December 2018

More than $100 million was paid out in hardship grants by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in the last three months of 2018, while 6000 fewer sanctions were applied compared to the same period the year before. For more information click here.

30 January National would introduce rolling tax relief.  (National Party Press release):

A National Government would link income tax brackets to inflation, ensuring income taxes are adjusted every three years in line with the cost of living and allowing New Zealanders to keep more of what they earn.

Education Conversation / Kōrero Mātauranga

  • Tomorrow’s Schools
    • Our Schooling Futures, Stronger Together l Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini, the report of the Independent Taskforce on Tomorrow’s Schools was released on 7 December. Submissions, open till 7 April, or any queries, can be emailed to Have your say on its recommendations by completing the online survey.
  • Early Learning Strategic Plan

CPAG news update

Latest press releases October 25 to December 11 2018

12 Dec - CPAG calls for an Inquiry to review the debts of MSD current and former clients

19 Dec - Wellbeing Budget and Child Poverty Reduction Act lay foundations for change

18 Jan - Benefit data shows families cannot wait till Budget 2019 announcements

CPAG blog update

18 Dec - Taskforce report has the future success of all schools and students at its heart by Dr Vicki Carpenter

My concerns have long centred around children and teachers schools serving low-income communities, and how some children's school-enabled life chances have diminished at the same time as others living in wealthier communities have reaped educational rewards. We have some schools, generally in financially poorer communities, which are inadequately maintained, unhealthy to learn in, and curriculum-wise are under-resourced. It is hard to attract teachers and leaders to such schools. Competition and choice in education have benefited those with the 'right' cultural and economic capital, those who understand the education system, and with their financial and networking resources are able to work it to their own children's advantage.

10 January - The power of Manaakitanga: The socially-inclusive practice of sharing food amongst high school students by Therese Luxton

The essence of 'manaakitanga' is in demonstrating hospitality, showing respect and generosity and providing support for others. It is the foundation for cultivating relationships based on kindness, aroha and empowerment, relationships which strengthen the body and soul and which are the backbone of strong community networks. These are principles of Tikanga Māori that can be applied in every part of our society, including in the provision of kai to our tamariki and rangatahi in the education environment.

22 January - The recovery phase of Christmas - is there really such a thing? by Jeni Cartwright

There's a meme circulating Facebook that expresses the anguish of Christmas being finally over ... only to have kids' birthdays to contend with in January. As far as I can tell, it's widespread and resonates deeply for parents feeling the pinch of having to keep their pockets open and continuously flowing during what's already an expensive time of year. That's after having met all the expectations of extended family - who brings what to the Christmas table, who's buying what for whom. Doubtlessly, Christmas is a bittersweet time of year for many families who simply don't have the kind of cash flow to meet the endless costs. Forthcoming New Year's celebrations are tinged with the pangs of additional outgoings on credit cards and other debt repayments. And then there's back-to-school preparation.

Sign up as a CPAG Regular 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 

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.

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