Child poverty in NZ: “piecemeal approach not enough”
Child poverty in NZ: nice initiatives, but piecemeal approach not enough
“More needs to be done to tackle the shocking health of our poorest children.” These were the words of Dr Tracey McIntosh, co-chair of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG). She was commenting this week on the country’s progress on child poverty.
The EAG is encouraged by the advent of Government and business initiatives like Warm-Up New Zealand and food-in-schools programmes, but more work is urgently needed, claims the report. “While this groundswell of work is positive, it will not be adequate given the magnitude of the challenge,” says EAG co-chair Professor Jonathan Boston. “Working in a piecemeal way, no matter how well-intentioned, is no way to tackle a complex problem like child poverty.”
Their progress paper, released on 29 October 2013, concludes with these words. “Now is the time to act. Now is the time to harness the momentum and energy across the country to work together on the quest for much lower rates of child poverty. Children deserve the best possible start in life. There is no better investment a nation can make together.”
The paper follows the progress since December, when the EAG’s report Solutions to Child Poverty in New Zealand: Evidence for Action recommended a comprehensive, holistic and sustained response to the issue.
Currently around 265,000 – or a quarter of our children – live in poverty in New Zealand. Our country has never had a national strategy to combat child poverty.
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Article published: 30 October 2013