web analytics

Poverty Watch 44

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, August 17th, 2013 - 3 comments
Categories: national, poverty - Tags:

Two weeks ago the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) released, in two parts, a report into the links between poverty and child abuse (Part 1 pdf, Part 2 pdf). I covered Part 1 last week, today for Part 2.

This document is called “Child abuse: an analysis of Child Youth and Family data”. Early in the introduction we get this assessment of the National government’s policies to date:

The current National government has made a strong commitment to highlighting and addressing the plight of ‘vulnerable’ New Zealand children. The 2011 Green Paper on Vulnerable Children (New Zealand Government, 2011) (hereafter ‘Green Paper’) sought public submissions on dealing with child abuse. The Green Paper was criticised by many organisations working with children for its narrow focus (Caritas New Zealand, 2012; Child Poverty Action Group, 2012; UNICEF NZ, 2012) and its focus on dealing with child abuse by re-prioritising existing spending on social services. Based on public feedback on the Green Paper, the government produced the White Paper (New Zealand Government, 2012c) (hereafter ‘White Paper’). The White Paper failed to reflect the many submissions received that noted the role of poverty and deprivation in child maltreatment and neglect (New Zealand Government, 2012b). The White Paper included a Children’s Action Plan (New Zealand Government, 2012a) that had little to do with preventing the abuse of children but was more pre-occupied with identifying and tracking “high-risk adults and offenders” and workforce training and development.

In contrast to this narrow focus, here is CPAG’s position:

Two key points emerge from the large body of literature and research into child abuse: firstly that child maltreatment and neglect are associated with poverty, an association that cuts across individual and community characteristics; and secondly that child maltreatment and neglect occurs within a dynamic matrix of individual stresses and capabilities, changing household circumstances, and the wider family/whānau, communities and neighbourhoods (Wynd, 2013). This complexity means it is difficult to identify at-risk children reliably, and to design programmes that work to protect children. Indeed, accurately identifying at-risk children and designing programmes that are effective at protecting children in the long-term remains the Holy Grail of child abuse research.

This paper explores the association between poverty and deprivation and child maltreatment and neglect in New Zealand, as reflected in the data available from Child, Youth and Family (CYF). … The paper proceeds as follows: a discussion of the aims and methodology of the research including the strengths and weaknesses of the study; the results of the study; a discussion of the results and their implications; and finally a conclusion and some thoughts on areas of further New Zealand- based research.

I’ll skip the brief chapter on aims and methodology. The results section is organised as follows:

3.1 Substantiations by type: A breakdown of the “substantiated” cases of abuse by type. Emotional abuse dominates (over 10,000 cases per year) with Neglect second (around 4,000), then Physical (over 2,000), then Sexual (over 1,000)

3.2 Proportion of notifications resulting in substantiation: This section looks at the proportion of notifications that resulted in substantiated claims of abuse (typically 20 to 30%) broken down by year and region.

3.3 Proportion of 0-17 year olds who were victims of abuse: Shows the proportion of children who are the victims of substantiated abuse, broken down by region, from Papakura (4%) to far North (over 2%). This regional analysis was one of the few aspects of the report that attracted any mainstream media attention.

3.4 Rate of substantiated abuse findings and proportion of young people: No strong result here but “a higher proportion of young people in the population may be a factor in child abuse”.

3.5 Benefit uptake: This section correlated rates of substantiated cases of abuse with proportion of beneficiaries over various regions. There was no statistically significant effect. This is probably the most politically fraught data, so a brief quote:

The weak [not statistically significant] relationship between benefit receipt and child abuse may be no more than a reflection of the impact of the low incomes of benefit recipients (Perry, 2007). The data here shows no evidence of an association between benefit receipt and distinct substantiated rates of child abuse.

3.6 Ethnicity: The data collected had “shortcomings” so this brief section notes only that, as anyone familiar with the racial dimensions of poverty and race in NZ, that compared to Pakeha, Maori are overrepresented, with Pacific and Asian / Other more mixed.

Finishing with just a couple of quick quotes from the conclusion:

The data presented in this paper lends support to the proposition that higher rates of child abuse are associated with socioeconomic deprivation. This relationship is not conclusive in part because there is significant diversity within many site offices. However, the inclusion in the list of less diverse areas such as Clendon and Whakatane (which includes the low-income districts of Kawerau and Opotiki) strengthens the case. Conversely, the more affluent areas of Wellington City, Takapuna, and parts of Christchurch/Canterbury have far lower rates of substantiated abuse.

Of some surprise was the broad – although not definitive – finding that higher rates of child abuse appear to be linked to a younger population structure. Also surprising given the assumptions behind much current social policy was the finding that benefit income does not appear to be related to rates of child abuse.

Overall, even a cursory examination of the New Zealand data such as that presented here suggests that dealing effectively with child abuse will entail paying a great deal more attention to socioeconomic deprivation than has been the case so far. …

As I said at the end of last week’s post – we have all the studies and evidence that we need. Time to stop wringing our hands over the national shame of our child abuse and poverty rates. Time to stop ignoring and marginalising the poor. Time to address the real problems. Can Labour lead the way?


Here’s the standard footnote. Poverty (and inequality) were falling (albeit too slowly) under the last Labour government.   Now they are on the rise again, in fact a Waikato University professor says that poverty is our biggest growth industry.

Before the last election Labour called for a cross party working group on poverty. Key turned the offer down.  Report after report after report has condemned the rate of poverty in this country, and called on the government to act. Meanwhile 40,000 kids are fed by charities and up to 80,000 are going to school hungry. National has responded with complete denial of the issues, saying that the government is already doing enough to help families feed their kids. Organisations working with the poor say that Key is in poverty ‘la la land’.

The Nats refuse to even measure the problem (though they certainly believe in measurement and goals when it suits them to bash beneficiaries). In a 2012 summary of the government’s targets and goals John Armstrong wrote: “Glaringly absent is a target for reducing child poverty”…

The costs of child poverty are in the range of $6-8 Billion per year, but the Nats refuse to spend the $2 Billion that would be needed to really make a difference. Even in purely economic terms National’s attitude makes no sense.

3 comments on “Poverty Watch 44 ”

  1. red blooded 1

    Just imagine the clamour that would have been made if there had been a strong correlation found between benefits as income rather than lack if adequate income. Paula Bennett would have been in attack mode (& so would many other commentators).

    One wonders what the effects of halving the incomes of those judged not to be actively seeking work will be. Golly, more extreme poverty = more likelihood of..? Shameful.

  2. xtasy 2

    Those who abuse the disowned, downtrodden, dis-entitled, marginalised, exploited, shunned, shamed and persecuted parents, by blaming them for failing to be “responsible”, to feed, clothe and house their kids warmly and safely, while they are being denied the opportunity and support to earn sufficient through safe employment, or otherwise through sufficient welfare support, and then even intimidate them that they will be punished for failing “social obligations”, they are the greatest child abusers out there.

    One such child abuser would be Paula Bennett, as the Minister for Social Development, with the ultimate responsibility for her portfolio and her Ministry, and the departments that are administered under it.

    For every finger that is pointed at the alleged, blamed culprit, or suspect, there are at least three fingers at the same hand pointing directly back to the person who stretches out that finger.

    So dear Paula, you there in Henderson, at other times in the Beehive, sit down, do some reflecting, and perhaps let the penny drop. Perhaps look back in time, and remember the days you were there?

    The longer you are in your powerful role, the more you are losing touch with where you came from. Shame on you and your “leaders” in MSD, of whom I know, that you are the ones that ultimately think out and design the policies that you present us. They are thought out by their very own policy and planning departments!

    • +1 Xtasy, especially the first paragraph.

      The parallel between negative attitudes political parties encourage in the population toward those in less fortunate circumstances and ‘family violence’ are so blatant it is hard to see how they can be ignored.

      I’ve had enough of this crap.

      Humans are intelligent and good hearted when they make a bit of effort in that direction. Any effort, other than in that direction is a counterproductive complete waste of time. Its time we all worked that out and moved on from the ever-decreasing circles we are being led into.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Deposit taking measures protect financial stability and New Zealanders
    Cabinet has finalised a package of new measures to protect New Zealanders’ interests in the banking and financial system, including guaranteeing deposits of up to $100,000 per eligible institution. These measures, the final part of a comprehensive review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, have been the subject ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Apprenticeship numbers jump in 2020
    The number of apprentices continues to grow, with people from across the community signing up for careers in the trades, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for enrolments in tertiary and vocational study as at December 2020 shows that the number of apprentices increased by 17.6 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand to open new Trade Commission in Fiji
    New Zealand will open a new Trade Commission in Fiji later this year, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor has announced.  “Fiji is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in the Pacific region”, Damien O’Connor said. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, annual two-way trade between New Zealand and Fiji was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Building a New Zealand Health Service that works for all New Zealanders
    HON ANDREW LITTLE SPEECH Morena tātau katoa. Tēnā tātau kua karahuihui mai nei i tēnei ata, Ki te whakarewa te rautaki hauora matua o Aotearoa, Kia hua ko te oranga pai o te motu. Tena tatau katoa.   INTRODUCTION Welcome. Today, I am laying out for you a plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major reforms will make healthcare accessible for all NZers
    All DHBs will be replaced by one national organisation, Health New Zealand A new Māori Health Authority will have the power to commission health services, monitor the state of Māori health and develop policy New Public Health Agency will be created Strengthened Ministry of Health will monitor performance and advise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister Henare contribution to speech on Building a New Zealand Health Service that works for all N...
    We talk a lot about being a transformational Government. Some imagine this statement means big infrastructure builds, massive policy commitments all leading up to a single grand reveal. But this is what I see as transformation. Something quite simply and yet so very complex. Māori feeling comfortable and able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health reform announcement
    On Wednesday morning, Minister of Health Andrew Little and Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Peeni Henare are announcing major health reforms.  You can watch the announcement live here from 8am Wednesday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Alpine Fault research supports Government’s work planning and preparing for earthquakes
    New research into the probability of an Alpine Fault rupture reinforces the importance of taking action to plan and prepare for earthquakes, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. Research published by Dr Jamie Howarth of Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington today, shows there is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further support to UN North Korea sanctions
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare today announced that New Zealand is deploying a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft in support of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on North Korea. The Resolutions, adopted unanimously by the UNSC between 2006 and 2017, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Transmission Gully review shows flawed planning process should have been addressed before project st...
    The Transmission Gully Interim Review has found serious flaws at the planning stage of the project, undermining the successful completion of the four-lane motor north of Wellington Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Transport Minister Michael Wood said. Grant Robertson said the review found the public-private partnership (PPP) established under the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australian Foreign Minister to visit Aotearoa New Zealand
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today that Australian Foreign Minister Hon Marise Payne will visit Aotearoa New Zealand for the first face-to-face Foreign Ministers’ Consulations since the COVID-19 pandemic began. “Australia is New Zealand’s closest and most important international partner. I’m very pleased to be able to welcome Hon Marise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Border exceptions will see more families reunited
    Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Government closed the border to everyone but New Zealand citizens and residents, in order to keep COVID-19 out, keep our economy open and keep New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • “He Taniwha He Tipua, He Tipua He Taniwha – The Dragon and the Taniwha”
    Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Foreign Minister 8.30am, 19 April 2021 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Speech to the NZCC Korihi Pō, Korihi Ao E rongo e turia no Matahau Nō Tū te winiwini, Nō Tū te wanawana Tū Hikitia rā, Tū Hapainga mai Ki te Whai Ao, Ki te Ao Mārama Tihei Mauri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Backing sustainable wool carpets to create a compelling yarn for New Zealand’s strong wool sector
    The Government is supporting a new project with all-wool New Zealand carpet company, Bremworth, which has its sights on developing more sustainable all-wool carpets and rugs, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced.  The Ministry for Primary Industries is contributing $1.9 million towards Bremworth’s $4.9 million sustainability project through its Sustainable Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand provides support to Timor-Leste for flooding and COVID-19 surge
    New Zealand is providing further support to Timor-Leste following severe flooding and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Our thoughts are with the people of Timor-Leste who have been impacted by the severe flooding and landslides at a time when the country is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • WHANAU OF MĀORI BATTALION SOLDIERS REUNITED WITH MEDALS
    A ceremony has been held today in Gisborne where the unclaimed medals of 28 (Māori) Battalion C Company soldiers were presented to their families.   After the Second World War, returning service personnel needed to apply for their medals and then they would be posted out to them.  While most medals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Reducing barriers to breastfeeding
    The Government is committed to increasing the number of mothers who breastfeed for longer to give babies born in New Zealand the best start in life. The Ministry of Health recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six month but only about 20 percent of children at this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • SolarWinds compromise attributed to Russian state actor
    New Zealand has today added its voice to the international condemnation of the malicious compromise and exploitation of the SolarWinds Orion platform. The Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau, Andrew Little, says that New Zealand's international partners have analysed the compromise of the SolarWinds Orion platform and attributed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Queenstown roading project given fast track approval
    An expert consenting panel has approved the Queenstown Arterials Project, which will significantly improve transport links and reduce congestion for locals and visitors in the tourism hotspot.   Environment Minister David Parker welcomed the approval for the project that will construct, operate and maintain a new urban road around Queenstown’s town ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Screen industry secures landmark project
    Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash says a landmark deal has been agreed with Amazon for The Lord of the Rings TV series, currently being filmed in New Zealand. Mr Nash says the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) secures multi-year economic and tourism benefits to New Zealand, outside the screen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Report into review of health response to lead contamination released
    The Government welcomes the findings from a rapid review into the health system response to lead contamination in Waikouaiti’s drinking water supply. Sample results from the town’s drinking-water supply showed intermittent spikes in lead levels above the maximum acceptable value. The source of the contamination is still under investigation by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ Upgrade Programme revs up economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today marked the start of construction on the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s Papakura to Drury South project on Auckland’s Southern Motorway, which will create hundreds of jobs and support Auckland’s economic recovery. The SH1 Papakura to Drury South project will give more transport choices by providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech releasing the Digital Council's report 'Towards Trustworthy and Trusted Automated D...
    CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY  E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēna koutou, tēna tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua, ko Ngāi Tahu, ko Waitaha, ko Kāti Māmoe  anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Green light for 10 minute e-bus to Auckland Airport
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today marked the completion of upgrades to State Highway 20B which will give Aucklanders quick electric bus trips to and from the airport. The State Highway 20B Early Improvements project has added new lanes in each direction between Pukaki Creek Bridge and SH20 for buses and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Review into greyhound racing announced
    The Government is putting in place a review of the work being done on animal welfare and safety in the greyhound racing industry, Grant Robertson announced today. “While Greyhound Racing NZ has reported some progress in implementing the recommendations of the Hansen Report, recent incidents show the industry still has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Road safety boosted by increased penalty for mobile use while driving
    The infringement fee for using a mobile phone while driving will increase from $80 to $150 from 30 April 2021 to encourage safer driving, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said too many people are still picking up the phone while driving. “Police issued over 40,000 infringement notices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific mental wellbeing supported across Auckland and Wellington
    Pacific people in New Zealand will be better supported with new mental health and addiction services rolling out across the Auckland and Wellington regions, says Aupito William Sio.  “One size does not fit all when it comes to supporting the mental wellbeing of our Pacific peoples. We need a by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fresh approach proposed to Smokefree 2025
    New measures are being proposed to accelerate progress towards becoming a smokefree nation by 2025, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced. “Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke kills around 12 people a day in New Zealand. Recent data tells us New Zealand’s smoking rates continue to decrease, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt expands Mana Ake to provide more school-based mental wellbeing support
    More children will be able to access mental wellbeing support with the Government expansion of Mana Ake services to five new District Health Board areas, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Health Minister made the announcement while visiting Homai School in Counties Manukau alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record Number of People Move Into Work
    The Government’s COVID-19 response has meant a record number of people moved off a Benefit and into employment in the March Quarter, with 32,880 moving into work in the first three months of 2021. “More people moved into work last quarter than any time since the Ministry of Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Significant global progress made under Christchurch Call
    A stocktake undertaken by France and New Zealand shows significant global progress under the Christchurch Call towards its goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.  The findings of the report released today reinforce the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach, with countries, companies and civil society working together to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New chair of interim TAB NZ Board appointed
    Racing Minister Grant Robertson has announced he is appointing Elizabeth Dawson (Liz) as the Chair of the interim TAB NZ Board. Liz Dawson is an existing Board Director of the interim TAB NZ Board and Chair of the TAB NZ Board Selection Panel and will continue in her role as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to phase out live exports by sea
    The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. We must stay ahead of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Workshop on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems – opening remarks
    WORKSHOP ON LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS SYSTEMS Wednesday 14 April 2021 MINISTER FOR DISARMAMENT AND ARMS CONTROL OPENING REMARKS Good morning, I am so pleased to be able to join you for part of this workshop, which I’m confident will help us along the path to developing New Zealand’s national policy on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inter-prison kapa haka competition launched
    For the first time, all 18 prisons in New Zealand will be invited to participate in an inter-prison kapa haka competition, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The 2021 Hōkai Rangi Whakataetae Kapa Haka will see groups prepare and perform kapa haka for experienced judges who visit each prison and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government takes step forward on counter terrorism laws
    The Government has introduced the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill, designed to boost New Zealand's ability to respond to a wider range of terrorist activities. The Bill strengthens New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm. “This is the Government’s first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Carbon neutral government a step closer
    Coal boiler replacements at a further ten schools, saving an estimated 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Fossil fuel boiler replacements at Southern Institute of Technology and Taranaki DHB, saving nearly 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Projects to achieve a total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Chief Parliamentary Counsel
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Cassie Nicholson as Chief Parliamentary Counsel for a term of five years. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is the principal advisor and Chief Executive of the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO).  She is responsible for ensuring PCO, which drafts most of New Zealand’s legislation, provides ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Emissions report shows urgent action needed
    Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows that both gross and net ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ becomes first in world for climate reporting
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says Aotearoa New Zealand has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business and explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities. The Financial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago