Yesterday in The Herald: Desperate Saitu family share story of child poverty in South Auckland. The situation is so bad that The Guardian has continued its coverage for a second day:
Unicef and charities urge New Zealand to act on child poverty
Unicef and children’s charities are urging the New Zealand government to do more to help the most vulnerable in society after a Guardian report highlighted the extent of child poverty in the country.
More than 300,000 children live in poverty in New Zealand – an increase of 45,000 since a year ago and double the number since 1984.
“An increase of 45,000 since a year ago”.
The Unicef country executive director was quoted as saying New Zealanders’ empathy had hardened towards its most vulnerable citizens, and child poverty was becoming “normalised” in the island nation of 4.5 million.
Have we become a country without empathy?
Labour’s spokesperson for children, Jacinda Ardern, had asked the minister: “What recent publicity does she think led to the Guardian writing an article titled “New Zealand’s most shameful secret: we have normalised child poverty”?”
Tolley replied: “I have no responsibility for articles published in the Guardian, a leftwing English newspaper that supports [the leader of the opposition] Jeremy Corbyn.
Untrue, irrelevant, and pathetic to boot.
Vivien Maidaborn, the executive director of Unicef New Zealand, said since the article had been published visits to the charity’s website and donations had increased by 30%. “We have had emails and phone calls from colleagues around the world expressing shock at this level of child poverty in New Zealand,” she said. “They had no idea that the myth New Zealand told about itself as the ideal place for children to live and grow up is only true for some of our children.”
Think how shocked they’ll be to discover that our “100% pure” image is nonsense too.
The prime minister, John Key, and Tolley were contacted for comment but did not respond.
Of course not. Key used to talk a big game about poverty and “the underclass”. But just like with housing, it was all talk and no action, and the crises are getting worse under his watch.