Approximately one in four children in Aotearoa New Zealand live in poverty.
The Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018 has made a start in creating the benchmarks to quantify exactly ‘what’ child poverty looks like, however there has yet to be any tangible impact for our tamariki.
25% of children are in poverty, and 40% of parents regularly run out of food for their families.
Currently, the Government School lunch programme provides lunches into 1.5% of our schools. As a result of COVID-19, the Government aims to increase the programme to 7% of schools by the end of 2020, beginning with the East Coast of the North Island.
Integrity New Zealand has a big goal:
To impact the lives of every kiwi child in poverty within 12 months of coming into office, and to elevate our children from their current position to the bottom of the OECD Child Poverty ranking.
We will ensure every child in New Zealand has access to breakfast, and that every child in New Zealand has access to shoes, two simple strategies to begin to lift the health and self esteem of our children.
We will lift the current earning abatement levels which drastically impact disposable income of anyone on a benefit, and we will continue to put more cash in the hands of those who need it, by introducing free public transport to all members of any family receiving a benefit.
These are all low cost strategies which will have instant impact.
We need to work with families, not against them, to truly fight the effects of poverty. Because as our country advances, no-one should be left behind.