Thursday, September 4, 2008

230,000 Children Living in Poverty in New Zealand

Source: NZHerald, Thurs 7 August, 2008
"The Government is being urged to do more to alleviate child poverty in New Zealand in the wake of a major report issued today.

Commissioned by Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro and Barnardos, the report shows that about 230,000 children, or 22 per cent, of New Zealand children are living in unacceptable poverty.
"There are too many poor children in New Zealand and ignoring them threatens our future economic prosperity and social well being," Dr Kiro said. Barnardos New Zealand chief executive Murray Edridge said the report made it clear that the country could not afford to sacrifice the healthy "development of our children and therefore our productive human capital".

The Families Commission said families, communities, the business sector and government needed to work together to address poverty.
Chief commissioner Rajen Prasad welcomed the report, A Fair Go For Children - Actions to Address Child Poverty in New Zealand, and said it added to the growing understanding of poverty issues within New Zealand. The Paediatric Society of New Zealand urged the Government to take seriously the policies proposed in the report, so that every child in New Zealand was able to grow up to reach their full potential."

Further link:


  1. AnonymousJuly 11, 2010

    With a high Maori population and higher unemployment in Northland, the story on the street here is at least as grim as the figures suggest, said Isopo Samu of Whangarei's One Double Five Community House.

    "There are people living in caravans and lean-tos, you know, just tin pushed up against a tree."

    The centre's emergency housing manager, Chris McLoughlin, is aware most New Zealanders' perception of poverty is not having a Sky TV subscription.

    "Most people don't want to know. We've got three generations of poverty driven society.

    "Probably some of our people use their money unwisely, but the bottom line is, in a lot of cases, they just simply give up," McLoughlin said.

    "They've never got a chance to have their own home, they've never got a chance to have their own rental property.

    "People don't realise this still happens, but I've seen a lot of children with scabies, children with nits. And they hardly ever get to the doctor.

    "A lot of people are living in caravans, in sheds. To me that's just horrendous in this day and age, in a country supposedly of plenty."

    These places are cold, they're damp. They have broken windows and leaking roofs that families cannot afford to fix, she says.

    In winter there is no electricity allocated for heating. In some cases there is no electricity at all.

    Dorothy Nelson of Rawene Budgeting Service tells the same story, of shivering families in broken down houses.

    The Hokianga, along with much of the Far North and Mid North, is one of the poorest areas in the country, according to a 2001 report on Northland's health needs by the Northland District Health Board.

    "Some live in garages, there would be people without electricity, or with their electricity set up just for lights," Nelson said.

    She knows of a case where 10 people live in the same, small, three-bedroom home.

  2. Thank you for the link.

    Since that was written things have become worse. Migrants think because they have job offers or lump sums that they're immune to situations such as these.

    However, we're hearing more and more stories of unemployed skilled immigrants unable to claim benefits and reduced to living on the street, in vehicles or in overcrowded houses, most of them rely on charity handouts to survive from day to day.

    How quickly the NZ dream becomes a nightmare.

  3. AnonymousJuly 17, 2010

    The attitude at WINZ is that all or most migrants have money. Showing up and saying that you have done (or have none anymore) elicits nothing more than a shrug. The assumption is that all migrants are rich and can get cash from their home countries easily enough, so there is no need to be receiving any from the New Zealand government. It is a crazy attitude that ignores reality.


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