Clear and agreed plan needed to address child poverty numbers

Clear and agreed plan needed to address child poverty numbers

December 13, 2016

The Human Rights Commission has today welcomed the release of the Child Poverty Monitor, which shows that urgent action needs to be taken to answer the calls for a reduction in New Zealand’s persistently high child poverty numbers.

“Currently, there are at least 85,000 children in New Zealand living in incredibly difficult circumstances. There must be a clear and agreed plan from the Government to reduce child poverty, or we will continue to talk around the issue instead of addressing it,” Chief Commissioner David Rutherford says. 

“When New Zealand signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, we agreed to halving poverty in all its forms by 2030 – that includes child poverty. The Monitor is vital in informing New Zealanders of the current situation of the children we are leaving behind, and also provides the data needed to create meaningful targets and action to enable us to reach that goal.” 

Mr Rutherford says the Monitor’s outcomes also reinforce the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), which recommended that New Zealand adopt a systemic approach to addressing child poverty. 

“Child poverty is a significant human rights issue in New Zealand and one that we all need to be working to address - not just for the children affected, but their families too. In our submission to UNCROC, the Commission emphasised the need for a systemic approach in the form of a child poverty strategy. 

“The UNCROC’s findings on New Zealand reflected the Commission’s position and recommended that a systemic approach is developed, a national definition of child poverty is established and that resources necessary to comprehensively tackle child poverty are substantially increased.”

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.