Yesterday the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) launched a major publication and a call for action:
No New Zealand child should grow up in poverty, says CPAG
No New Zealand child should grow up in poverty. As a society we could choose to make this a reality, says Child Poverty Action Group.
Child Poverty Action Group’s flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy, launched today, calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand.
While the 2013 figures show a small improvement on some measures of child poverty, there are still 30,000 more children than previously thought living under the lowest 50% poverty line. The depth of child poverty has been seriously unrecognised, in particular the 205,000 children below the 50% poverty line who are likely to experience severe hardship.
Childhood poverty has lifelong consequences on health, education, and social and economic participation. CPAG believes child poverty is a moral and ethical issue, and any real and sustained change to our unacceptable child poverty rates must be underpinned by a cross-party agreement.
So where do the parties stand? Unicef has a handy summary:
Election 2014: What the parties say about child poverty
Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First are all committed to developing and implementing a comprehensive plan to address poverty, supported by appropriate law.
National, the Maori Party and United Future do not support a strategic plan, although they are committed to policies that improve living standards – primarily through paid work.
John Key confident Govt’s done all it can on child poverty
… However Prime Minister John Key says he’s confident his government has done everything it can. …
The statistics say otherwise, and it’s a National disgrace. Key’s “poster child” for the “underclass” (2008), now grown up and speaking her mind, also begs to differ:
Aroha of McGehan Close flees NZ
Once she was the poster girl of John Key’s rise to power. Now, the girl from McGehan Close says she would never vote for National and has no plans to return home from Australia.
As a young woman in Auckland, she says, there were no houses, no jobs, no hope: “There was nothing left in New Zealand.”
This is a dangerous story for Key – it highlights his personal hypocrisy and inaction. (You can tell it’s a dangerous story, because up pops the faux outrage of Dirty Politics Farrar (DPF) – “Recycling a three year old story to attack the PM“. Attacking the PM – quelle horreur! – but not a word in that post about, you know, the issue.) Nor is it just Aroha alone:
Community back Aroha
After six years in government residents of the McGehan Close said National had not made the changes it promised.
John Key has had six years to turn things around for a community he labelled a “dead end” during his rise to power but residents of Mt Albert’s McGehan Close say National’s promises haven’t amounted to much. …
Tamaloto said National made promises but did not follow through. The community was frustrated the government had not put in a new children’s playground like it promised, she said. … A lot of people in the area were struggling and it did not seem like National was doing anything to help, Tamaloto said …