The Latest

May Newsletter

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

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

In This Issue

Nationwide Post-budget events
Measuring deprivation in New Zealand regions - a presentation series by CPAG & Associate Professor Dan Exeter
Policy news
Report: Accommodation Supplement: The wrong tool to fix the house
Submission: On the New Zealand Health and Disability System Review
Submission: Early Learning Strategic Plan
Submission: On the Tomorrow's Schools review - Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together - Whiri Nga Kura Tuatinitini
CPAG news update
CPAG blog update
Save the date: CPAG Annual General Meeting
Spend my Super
Sign up as a regular CPAG donor
Keep up with regional networks
Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Nationwide Post-budget events

CPAG's annual Post Budget events were held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch this past week. It provided attendees with the opportunity to understand the Government's annual budgetary allocations through a child-focused lens. The events featured guest speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds and were a great success, with venues packed to capacity and a range of media coverage. CPAG is grateful to the Public Health Association for their partnership on the Wellington event, and to our wonderful speakers, supporters and CPAG networks across the country.

You can read more of our budget analysis here and, read our press release!

Please join us for Post Budget events happening in Nelson on 5 June, Dunedin on 7 June and Whangarei on 12 June!

For more information visit our website here.

Measuring deprivation in New Zealand regions - a presentation series by CPAG & Associate Professor Dan Exeter

In March and April, CPAG and Dr Dan Exeter held a series of presentations which looked at regional deprivation profiles for Northland , Nelson, Canterbury and Otago using The New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). The IMD is a set of tools for identifying and measuring deprivation at the neighbourhood-level in data zones that have been custom-designed to produce better small area information, without losing information due to confidentiality issues. In these presentations Associate Professor Dan Exeter discussed the development of the IMD, and demonstrated the different ways in which the IMD and its domains could be used to better understand the drivers of deprivation within each city's region. Dan also discussed the potential for the IMD to inform health and social policy.

You can find the reports for each regional profile here and download Dan's presentation here.

Policy News

Child poverty statistics released

The data that was released by Statistics NZ in April will be used as baseline rates for the purposes of the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018. CPAG is pleased with this move but continues to urge the government to respond to children living under the 40% after housing line.

Ministry of Education's review of Tomorrow's Schools

The review acknowledged that although many students were doing well at school under some of the current outcome measures, these measures were not working well enough for our most disadvantaged young people. CPAG is grateful that the Taskforce are highlighting some of the educational inequalities within our public education system and urges the ministry to consider other possible models for future roles of Boards in order to implement a rights-based approach for the benefit of children.

Govt responds to TWG report and will not implement Capital Gains Tax

On 17 April the Coalition Government announced in response to the Tax Working Group report that it would not proceed with the TWG's recommendation for a capital gains tax. The Prime Minister said that the Government was unable to build a mandate for the tax. CPAG said that the opportunity should not be lost for the Government to be seriously looking at other options for taxing wealth such the net equity approach, which would have better capability for addressing inequality and improving housing affordability over time.

April sees an increase to minimum wage

Last month the Government increased the minimum wage to $17.70, up $1.20 from $16.50. Indicative rates were also set with the next increase expected 1 April 2020 at $18.90 and a further increase to $20 the year after.

WEAG report released with recommendations fit to ensure dignity for all

On May 3 the Welfare Expert Advisory Group has released their report "Whakamana Tangata" to the public.The report shows the depth of the analysis that the group has undertaken in its consideration of improving support for people in Aotearoa who, in times of stress, illness and precarious incomes, rely on the welfare system for their families' wellbeing needs. At its release the Government announced that 3 of the 42 recommendations, including sanctions being lifted for mothers who do not disclose the father of their child, would be implemented in April 2020.

Govt announces "Wellbeing budget"

On May 30, the Government announced this year's "Wellbeing budget." The five focuses of this budget included improving child wellbeing through increasing expenditure in the areas of mental health, welfare - through the indexation of main benefits - and education by removing school donations. Although this provides some relief to our most vulnerable families, little has been done to address the serious problem of inadequate incomes.

Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill - submissions close June 14

This bill amends the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act by strengthening requirements to lend responsibly, especially in relation to how affordability and suitability tests should be conducted, limiting the accumulation of interest and fees on high-cost loans, and providing new remedies and penalties for non-compliance. CPAG said that the proposed amendments to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance law do not go nearly far enough to provide vulnerable New Zealanders the protection they desperately need and supports FinCap's call for the amendment Bill to include an interest rate cap to protect the most vulnerable consumers.

Report: Accommodation Supplement: The wrong tool to fix the house

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is recommending that a major $1.5 billion housing-related income supplement be scrapped while also calling for an income boost of around 40 percent for families receiving benefits, in a new report being released on Sunday May 19. In The Accommodation Supplement: The wrong tool to fix the house, CPAG recommends removing the Accommodation Supplement for around 250,000 families because the payment is overly complex and poorly designed.
The report, co-authored by Janet McAllister, Susan St John and Alan Johnson, outlines a plan to scrap the Accommodation Supplement while increasing all low incomes through a mix of increasing benefits, Working For Families entitlements, and raising the minimum wage at a faster rate than scheduled.

Download the full report here.

Submission: Early Learning Strategic Plan

CPAG welcomes the intention by the Ministry of Education to review its policies for delivering Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in Aotearoa-New Zealand. We have expressed concern across a number of issues that have impacted on the ECCE sector over the years, including funding freezes, reduced levels of qualifications among staff and pay parity issues, alongside a pressing need to address more inclusive care and education opportunities for all children. We believe there is a significant opportunity with this review not only to make critical changes to improve the standard of care children receive, but also to address the inequities that exist.

Download CPAG's full submission here.

Submission: Early Learning Strategic Plan

CPAG welcomed the Ministry of Education's intention to review policies for delivering Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in Aotearoa-New Zealand. We have expressed concern across a number of issues that have impacted on the ECCE sector over the years, including funding freezes, reduced levels of qualifications among staff and pay parity issues, alongside a pressing need to address more inclusive care and education opportunities for all children. CPAG believe there is a significant opportunity with this review not only to make critical changes to improve the standard of care children receive, but also to address the inequities that exist.

Download CPAG's full submission here.

Submission: The Tomorrow's Schools review - Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together – Whiri Nga Kura Tuatinitini

Child Poverty Action Group welcomed the Ministry of Education’s review of Tomorrow’s Schools and submitted on the 9th of April on the report Our Schooling Futures, Stronger Together l Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini.

CPAG believes that the ingrained and enduring inequalities are more a consequence of values and behaviours in our wider society rather than the result of a particular approach to how we have organised our compulsory education system. Therefore, there is a need to consider what systemic changes could be made to address the obvious bias and prejudice which is directed at children from disadvantaged families and toward Māori and Pasifika students especially. We urge the Ministry to consider other possible models for the future roles of Boards including an option to have one Board per community/suburb rather than one Board per school, and to implement a rights-based approach to supporting and protecting the interests of children with disabilities and serious learning needs.

Read our submission here.

CPAG News Update

Latest press releases from March - June 2019

25 Mar - Measuring deprivation in New Zealand regions - a CPAG presentation series

2 Apr - New Child Poverty statistics will provide a sound baseline for reduction targets

9 Apr - Broad shift in mindset needed to address deeply-rooted education inequality

11 Apr - Cap on interest rates vital to protect vulnerable New Zealanders

18 Apr - No CGT may offer opportunities to rethink policies to address inequality

1 May - New data on benefit sanctions show fairer treatment of those in need

3 May - CPAG welcomes WEAG recommendations to ensure dignity for all

13 May - CPAG welcomes Govt move to abolish NCEA fees

17 May - Income support needs $3.4 billion overhaul

22 May - Targets overlook the 174,000 children living in worst poverty

27 May - Will Budget 2019 be transformational for children living in poverty?

29 May - CPAG calls for free dental and health care for all young people under 18 years

30 May - Budget provides relief but nothing transformational for children in poverty

1 Jun - Remarkable CPAG economist's NZ honour well-deserved

CPAG Blog Update

Latest blog posts April - May

3 April - Home truths about the tricky In-Work Tax Credit by Renee Manella

"There I was, Sole Parent Beneficiary, lolling on the couch with my low-quality beverage, savouring the luxury of my state-funded holiday, when I found out that simply by securing four to six extra hours of paid work, I could increase my family's weekly income by $72 (on top of the income earned), through the In-Work Tax Credit (IWTC). Well, I was instantly jolted from my listless apathy into that fixed-term, casual job compatible with my current working and childcare arrangements that I'd been avoiding for weeks!

Renee Manella unpicks the complexities around the Government's financial incentives for paid work, how they are discriminatory and why they don't work. 

23 April - New Zealand's disability allowances are failing disabled children by Sam Murray, of CCS Disability Action

Disabled children and their families in the United Kingdom are at far less risk of income poverty than in New Zealand. One of the key reasons is much higher disability allowances in the United Kingdom. In 2013, the median payment rate for disability allowances for children in the United Kingdom was almost three times higher than in New Zealand. In 2018, it was 3.2 times higher. If we are fancy and adjust for differences in GDP per person, the United Kingdom disability-allowances are still 2.8 times higher.The higher UK allowances make a real difference and largely close the income poverty gap between families with and without disabled children. So why are the United Kingdom allowances higher?

15 May - Act urgently - change fundamentally. The time is now By Renee Manella

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.

Save the date - CPAG's 21st Annual General Meeting

Please save the date for CPAG's 21st Annual General meeting, which will be held on 24 July, 2019 at the St Columba Centre in Ponsonby. The AGM will mark CPAG's 25 year since establishment! We'll be reporting back on the past year and looking forward to the next with the election of our Management Committee for the 2019-2020 year. The meeting will be followed by a guest presentation by  Laura O'Connell Rapira from ActionStation. More details to come! Current members please ensure that your subscription is up to date, or for those who are wanting to renew or become a member please visit our "Become a Member" of CPAG page.

Spend my Super - launching this Friday!

The vision of Spend My Super is that every New Zealander has a fair chance to succeed and thrive. The organisation, which officially launches its kaupapa this Friday, aims to address inequality in New Zealand by giving Kiwis the opportunity to donate their superannuation to charities like CPAG. Your generosity and support enables us to carry out our work to provide research, education, and to inform the Government on what they can do to eliminate child poverty through policy.Visit www.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