The Latest

July Newsletter

Kia ora koutou katoa, and welcome to CPAG's July 2019 newsletter.

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

In This Issue

24 July - Annual General Meeting & Guest Speaker Laura O'Connell Rapira
Submission: Submission on the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill
Report: Relationship Status and the welfare system in Aotearoa New Zealand
Six-monthly update: October 2018 to March 2019
Policy news
CPAG news update
CPAG blog posts
Making Children's Rights Real in Aotearoa: Civil Society Seminar hosted by Action for
Children and Youth Aotearoa (ACYA)
Tātou tātou e! Conference: NZCCSS and Community Networks Aotearoa
Spend my Super launch on June 7
Sign up as a regular CPAG donor
Keep up with regional networks
Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Introducing Georgie Craw, CPAG's new Executive Officer

In June we welcomed our new Executive Officer, Georgie Craw into the role. Georgie has a Masters in New Zealand History and worked for a number of years at the Waitangi Tribunal and the Office of the Auditor General. Georgie is a long-time follower of CPAG and has organisational experience volunteering for Justice and health-related community organisations. She has a strong commitment to awhi the most vulnerable in our society and is excited at the prospect of working with the wider CPAG whanau to make a real difference for children in Aotearoa.

24 July - Annual General Meeting & Guest Speaker Laura O'Connell Rapira

We would love for our supporters and members to join us for CPAG's 2019 Annual General Meeting.The AGM is a wonderful chance to reflect on the previous year and what each and every one of you have helped us achieve. This will be followed by a presentation by CPAG's guest speaker, Laura O'Connell Rapira, Director of ActionStation, who will speak about ActionStation's model for people-powered change and values-based messaging. Laura will also share lessons from the successful mental and sexual health funding campaigns that resulted in a $2.3b boost in Budget 2019 as well as report on progress with Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation's joint petition-based campaign to transform our welfare system so it is 'fit for families'.
When: Wednesday, July 24, 2019. AGM at 6:30pm and Guest Speaker at 7:30pm
Where: Saint Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland
Contact: Georgie Craw on 09 302 5260 or email: admin@cpag.org.nz

Submission: Submission on the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill

CPAG submitted calling for the Government to include an interest rate cap in the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill, to complement the Bill's policy to limit to the total cost of borrowing. In the submission, CPAG said that the current version of the Bill will not provide adequate consumer protection against predatory lenders. CPAG is also calling for a rule that lenders must advertise the MoneyTalks free budgeting advice service; a ban on retail truck shops; a ban on high-cost short-term loan advertising; a ban on high-cost lenders using direct debit payment authorities; and greater regulation of debt collection. CPAG is also supporting FinCap to promote their public petition online calling on the Government, and the Minister in charge of the Consumer Credit legislation, Kris Faafoi to put an interest rate cap on the loan sharks that are hurting our families.

Sign the petition at www.together.org.nz/loansharks.
Read the full submission here.

Report: Relationship Status and the welfare system in Aotearoa New Zealand

The Public Policy Institute (PPI), University of Auckland and CPAG are pleased to publish a new report Relationship Status and the welfare system in Aotearoa-New Zealand by researchers Olivia Healey and Jennifer Curtin for the Peter McKenzie Project. This report summarised the outdated thinking about the nature of relationships and dependence on a partner, and the application of current rules, which state that to receive a Sole Parent Support benefit, an applicant: 'must not be in a relationship in the nature of marriage'. The authors say that the constitution of the family unit and nature of relationships have changed considerably in the last 60 years, and discuss possibilities for reform of the current rules.

Read full report here.

Six-monthly update: October 2018 to March 2019

Published 21 June 2018
The past six months or so have seen a gradual turn in CPAG's fortunes as we have received growing support - both financially and in people terms. But why is this so? The election of the Labour-led Government in 2017 brought with it an expectation that we might see sustained progress in the reduction, and eventually eradication, of child poverty. Our Prime Minister's leadership as Minister for Child Poverty Reduction was encouraging as was an early announcement that previous cuts to Working for Families budgets were to be reinstated. A number of working parties and task-forces were set up to undertake extensive reviews of our compulsory education system, taxation, welfare policy and mental health and addiction services; all these areas have significant impact on poverty levels. CPAG's work contributed to this mahi with many submissions, policy recommendations, campaigns and collaborations with like-minded organisations to encourage the kind of change necessary to eliminate child poverty in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Download the full report here.

Policy news

Household Food Insecurity Among Children: New Zealand Health Survey

On June 12 the Ministry of Health released a report Household Food Insecurity Among Children: New Zealand Health Survey. The report found that "children in food insecure households had poorer parent-rated health status, poorer nutrition, higher rates of overweight or obesity, asthma and behavioural or developmental difficulties" while "parents of children in food insecure households reported higher rates of psychological and parenting stress, as well as poorer self-rated health status." CPAG welcomed the report saying it contained “worrying statistics for the depth of the problem”.

New Healthy Homes standards come into effect - July 1
The new healthy homes standards released on 24 February 2019 to make rental properties warmer and drier were today came into effect on 1 July, requiring all rental homes to be compliant with the minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in residential rental properties. The new standards reflect feedback from a wide range of public health experts, stakeholders including landlords, tenants and building experts. Housing New Zealand properties will have until 2021 to meet standards fully.


Increase in paid parental leave - 1 July

On June 28 Government announced that as of the following Sunday, the period of Paid Parental Leave would increase from 18 to 22 weeks, on its way to 26 weeks for babies by July 2020, alongside a 4.7 per cent rise in payments. The maximum weekly rate for eligible employees and self-employed parents will increase from $538.55 to $563.83 gross per week.

CPAG news update

13 June - CPAG submits on Consumer Credit legislation, calls for interest rate cap
13 June - CPAG welcomes Ministry of Health focus on food insecurity
4 July - New report reflects outdated and damaging Welfare relationship rules
5 July - Children's sector welcomes Government's human rights commitment
9 July - Half of children on benefits are food insecure, and need urgent support increases, says CPAG

CPAG blog posts

20 June- Let beneficiaries keep more earnings: a letter to Jacinda, Grant and Carmel by Anne Else
Deeply concerned over the inadequate changes to benefit abatement thresholds, Dr Anne Else penned this letter to the Ministers involved in the process of change. CPAG is just as concerned - the abatement threshold hasn't changed since the 1980s, which then meant 15 hours work on the minimum wage before a benefit was reduced. Today it's worth 4 hours. The changes will mean a bit over 4 hours. How is this helping people transition to work? It limits opportunities for potential employees and acts as a disincentive for paid work - let's help people get ahead, rather than put barriers at every corner they turn. Thanks to Anne for taking action on the issue!

9 July- Still smarting from that not-too-long-ago Budget by Renee Manella
Blogger Renee Manella gives her perspective on the Wellbeing Budget, which a month or so later, still resounds in the minds of many for its baffling outcomes.

"With all the tools in our kit to finally revamp our failing social support system, the 2019 Wellbeing Budget could have been transformational for children in poverty. Instead, Budget announcements were like a game show where the contestants frantically grab at a flurry of cash shot out by a blower inside a glass cubicle, before the timer goes off. There's always a winner, and this year we saw mental health get it's much-needed boost. That funding boost represents an important shift in our approach to wellbeing, and is a political response to a very strong community-based call to action. Where is the political response in this budget to the call for action on child poverty?"

Making Children’s Rights Real in Aotearoa: Civil Society Seminar hosted by Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (ACYA)

When: 21 August 2019, Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Where: St John’s in the City Hall, 170 Willis Street, Te Aro.
Time: 2pm – 5pm.

The Making Children’s Rights Real in Aotearoa seminar is for civil society; those individuals, community groups and NGOs who have an interest in working together to advance children’s rights and wellbeing. It will be an opportunity for us to learn from and meet with visiting children’s rights experts and each other, and to build relationships with others who have an interest in and commitment to children’s rights. The seminar coincides with the 30-year anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and precedes New Zealand’s next reporting cycle to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which is set to start in 2020/2021.

By attending the seminar, participants will, among other things:

Gain new insights into children’s rights promotion and protection practices from visiting children rights experts;
Understand local issues affecting children through a children’s rights lens;
Develop relationships with others working across civil society to promote and protect children’s rights in Aotearoa New Zealand; and
Find out how to participate in and contribute to the next civil society report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Aotearoa.

For more information please contact:
Andrea Jamison andrea@andreajamison.co.nz or Jacqui Southey Jacqui.Southey@scnz.org.nz

Tātou tātou e! Conference: NZCCSS and Community Networks Aotearoa

The New Zealand Christian Council of Social Services is holding a conference jointly with Community Networks Aotearoa in Wellington over two days on August 27 and 28, with a focus on the value of relationships in building wellbeing. The event will feature many high profile speakers including Government Ministers, sharing what they envision for better community sector support. The conference will explore how community organisations can build meaningful, effective relationships with the people they serve and with each other, and look at the impacts of Government budgets on their work, among much other valuable and informative discussion.
The event is being held at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. For more information or to register visit the official website here.

Spend my Super launch on June 7

Spend My Super is a non-Government organisation whose aim is to address inequality in New Zealand by giving Kiwis who are able the opportunity to donate their superannuation to charities like CPAG. Our Co-convenor Janfrie Wakim and Management Committee member Michael Quirke had the wonderful opportunity to attend the organisation’s launch at Government House on 7 June. Spend My Super founder, Liz Grieve, shared her vision for supporting families to have better lives in Aotearoa-New Zealand, and for helping those who are working to achieve a significant reduction in child poverty. To see her address to the audience visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK38mGNha5I. We are so grateful to Sarah Trotman and Liz Grieve for including CPAG in this mahi. Your support enables CPAG to carry out our research and inform the Government on evidence-informed methods to eliminate child poverty through policy. Visit spendmysuper.org.nz to learn about how you can donate to us and support our work in 2019.

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