WelCom March 2022
As many as 21,900 fewer children are living in material hardship, while 66,500 children have been lifted out of poverty since 2018, according to the latest child poverty statistics, released by Stats NZ,
24 February 2022.
The data was collected up to June 2021 using a sample of 16,000 households.
‘Despite Covid-19 causing the greatest global economic downturn since the Great Depression, the Government has delivered reductions in child poverty across all nine measures,’ Prime Minister Ardern, the minister for child poverty reduction, said in a statement.
But Child Poverty Action Group spokesperson Professor Emeritus Innes Asher said the progress wasn’t fast enough. Meanwhile, Māori and Pacific children feature highly on all poverty measures.
‘Given the lag in this data, what’s happening today for our children is not sufficiently captured. Rents and household costs have gone up significantly in the past year and foodbank demand demonstrates that the Government is failing in its duty to children,’ she said.
The nine key measures – of which three are considered primary measures – give a broad outlook on child poverty in New Zealand.
In reporting on one of the primary measures, the Report says that in the year ended June 2020, about 1 in 7 New Zealand children (157,800) lived in households with less than 50 per cent of the median equivalised disposable household income before deducting housing costs. This was slightly down from the 1 in 6 children (183,400) reported in the year ended June 2018.
A child is considered to be living in material hardship if it is in a household that goes without 6 of 17 essential items because of the cost, such as regularly eating fresh fruit and vegetables, or putting up with feeling cold.