Source: Beehive New Zealand, 30 January 2018
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released her Child
Poverty Reduction Bill to drive a significant and sustained
reduction in child poverty that lasts beyond successive
"For a country with relative abundance, New Zealand has
the opportunity, and the moral obligation, to ensure children are
free from the burden of poverty," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
"For too long, too many of our children have lived in
poverty and hardship. Economic growth alone, while a crucial part
of the solution, has not fixed this.
"This Government is committed to genuine change to tackle
poverty and help ensure New Zealand becomes the best place in the
world to be a child. Introducing this Bill is a key promise in our
100 day plan.
"The Bill is the framework for measuring and targeting
child poverty. It sets in law four primary and six supplementary
measures of poverty and material hardship. It requires the
government of the day to then set targets to reduce child
"We have not included individual
government targets in the Bill. We want to leave room for each
government to determine their own child poverty reduction ambition.
This Bill is about building consensus on behalf of
"We will be making our targets available in time for the
public to submit on them, alongside the Bill, as part of the select
"We know targets are not enough. The Bill requires
governments to develop a comprehensive child well-being strategy
that keeps child poverty top of mind, and keeps the focus on
improving the living standards of children.
"We're already taking action to reduce child poverty and
hardship. Our Families Package will increase the incomes of many
families by meaningful amounts and children will be much better off
through our commitment to restore funding in education, and health
while also growing the economy.
The Bill specifically requires governments to:
Set ten-year targets on a defined set of measures of child
poverty and periodically set and publish three-year
Develop and report on a strategy to promote the overall
wellbeing of children, which will include a particular focus on
reducing child poverty.
Report, on Budget day, how the Budget will reduce child
poverty, and how the Government is progressing towards its
"The Bill requires the Government Statistician to report,
independently from government, trends in the range of measures
specified in the Bill in order to give a comprehensive
"The Bill includes a suite of four primary and six
supplementary measures in order to properly monitor the financial
and material disadvantage of children, and provide valuable
"Tackling and measuring child poverty is complicated and
demanding, but our children are relying on us to act.
"I am committed to achieving a significant reduction in
child poverty and I want to create a framework that is durable
enough to require future governments to do the same," says Jacinda