New Zealand needs a cross-party, whole of government strategy,
supported by robust monitoring and evaluation, to address child
poverty levels, which despite some recent improvement, are still
unacceptable, the NZ College of Public Health Medicine says.
The College of Public Health Medicine commends the government on
its commitment to reducing child poverty however it is calling for
specific targets to reduce child poverty, which set an expectation
of equity, and are supported by robust definitions and measures of
child poverty, and a monitoring /reporting framework.
"A strategy should focus on poverty particularly in relation to
Māori, Pasifika children and refugee children, and children with
disabilities," said College spokesperson, Dr Amanda D'Souza.
She said the government strategy should be embedded in
"It's critical that a very transparent and robust monitoring and
reporting framework is established so we can better measure and
manage this issue, which affects so many thousands of Kiwi families
The Children's Commissioner has just released figures showing
that the growth in child poverty 'has been halted', however he says
sustained progress is still needed.
The College of Public Health Medicine has recently released its
policy statement on child poverty and health.
In this policy statement, the College also calls for the
government to honour New Zealand's commitment to the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG1 to end
poverty in all its forms everywhere with a target of halving
poverty by 2030.
The College also would like to see an investment approach to the
income and tax benefit system as it relates to children. This
should be applied to all low-income families with children,
including welfare beneficiaries, so they have enough money to meet
their children's needs.
"The College remains concerned by the extent and entrenched
nature of child poverty in New Zealand and, as health professionals
with a major responsibility to advocate for health at all levels in
society, we urge government to continue to act on evidence-informed
policy that will have a measurable and positive impact."
Media contact: Kate Geden, Senior Executive Officer. Phone 04
Available to comment: Dr Amanda D'Souza, NZ College of Public
The NZ College of Public Health Medicine has published a policy
statement on Child Poverty and Health. The College's policy
statement is available at: