Government report shows children made to suffer unnecessarily


Grim reading: that’s the Child Poverty Action Group’s assessment of the Child Poverty Related Indicators Report released today by the Government.

“The report shows our children are suffering unnecessarily. Polling shows our communities care and want the Government to ensure families have liveable incomes – and that is an obvious, immediate step to stop many of these issues,” says Professor Emeritus Innes Asher, CPAG spokesperson and Welfare Expert Advisory Group member.

“When one out of five children don’t have enough food to eat in Aotearoa New Zealand, that’s a chronic, mass emergency. It’s politically-created distress.”

Due to systemic discrimination, whānau Māori, Pacific families and families with disabled members are more likely than others to be facing the toxic stress of poverty. Nearly half of Pacific children experience food insecurity, due to low incomes.

“That is an upsetting reality. These are urgent issues – children cannot wait – and the Government is moving too slowly. Small steps are not enough,” says Prof Asher. “The Ka Ora Ka Ako food in schools programme will assist – and it’s a good policy – but it is not a magic bullet and doesn’t reach all hungry children throughout the year. Families simply need much more money to cover their essential costs.”

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The report shows many children and their families are experiencing damp unhealthy homes, food insecurity, and increasing housing cost stress. A third of families in social and state housing report damp, cold homes.

“The report is mostly using pre-Covid data,” says Prof Asher. “We know that, due to government neglect, Covid-19 hit families in poverty harder than others. We need to see urgent, robust measures such as liveable incomes, so we can all be secure in the knowledge we are supporting families, not making their lives impossible.”


  1. Jacinda Ardern said she would personally fix this,she has failed yet again?
    Why does she make promises with no idea how to fulfill them?
    To win elections?

  2. 1 in 5 children are born into poverty. While no supporter of this government why is this state of affairs blamed on the goernment in control. There would be an outcry if birth control was dictated by those in power so it has to be down to people’s choice and self control. If you are struggling to get by another mouth to feed will not help . Situations can change and that is where the benefit comes into play to help absorb the shock so you can move on as easily as possible. The benefit should be larger for those that truly deserve it and none existent for those that chose it as a life style choice

  3. ” Jacinda Ardern said she would personally fix this, she has failed yet again ”

    Adern was foolish to say anything of the sort and will never , can ever fix the problem.

    If she had really been that concerned then she would have implemented the very well numerated Tax Working Group’s recommendations for a start and used the excuse during her campaign in 2017 that she could not answer questions or debate poverty issues around the unbalanced tax system because the working group had not reported back.

    They never had any intention of fixing the root causes of poverty because struggling hungry destitute people are the cost of capitalism and the free market economy which ensures the wealthy stay wealthy and the long promised trickle down drip has finally stopped dripping.

    The power that the neo liberal elite controls is just simply to great to ever bridge the divide. The social democrats know this and are a product of this environment and are so detached from reality that if they for one second appreciated the utter human misery in our communities and not just pay it lip service they would be governing like we have emergency level poverty and deprivation that threatens the very fabric of society itself.

    If the social democrats are the only alternative to the Nasty Natz and Seymour who wants to entrench poverty even further then this as good as we can ever expect and the poverty action report’s will continue to see worsening outcomes in the decades ahead.

    • So, a mixture of assumption, and the presentation of a fait accompli is now accepted wisdom? Ha any of you actually taken note of what has been happening over the last few months? One by one, the govt has been releasing policy that will have the effect of bypassing the main obstacles in the ministries.. These obstacles being tory political appointees in those ministries.. This was always going to be a difficult process.. You do understand that these “roadblocks” have the ear of our “news media”, along with the most discredited political party after the American Republican party (national), so every positive move made will be to a backdrop of unrelenting propaganda right across the board.. Backed up by a lazy minded electorate that is generally too self absorbed to bother to listen to anything but what suits them.. I’m starting to despair of NZers ever waking up to themselves before this country is reduced to a holiday park for wealthy Americans, or a work camp for the CCP..

  4. Mosa that’s an extreme view.
    Levels of poverty in countries that practice alternatives to capitalism have higher levels of poverty and suppression.
    That’s not to suggest we shouldn’t strive to find better ways.



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