WelCom March 2020:
This year’s State of the Nation Report by the Salvation Army: Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Huia Tangata Kotahi—People of the Land, People of the Treaty, Bring Everyone Together promotes a unified approach to key social issues like adequate housing for all, the wellbeing and safety of our children, and reducing poverty levels.
The report measures the progress of people’s wellbeing. The 2020 report offers a mixed bag of outcomes, with some significant headline progress – but also an ambitious list of ‘can do better’. This election year, it aims to stimulate a conversation that asks: ‘How are we doing as a nation? Where do we want our nations to head? Where do we want our politicians to lead us?’
Government action is delivering limited improvements in people’s lives but the degree of change required to deal with entrenched poverty has not yet been reached, said The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit (SPPU), which produced the report.
In its thirteenth year, the report continues to survey a variety of social progress indicators to offer a detailed report card of how New Zealand is doing in terms of jobs, housing, crime, addiction and gambling, and the wellbeing of our tamariki.
The government can take heart: some level of progress is seen across most indicators. Unemployment is down and household incomes have increased. Child poverty is somewhat reduced and other youth indicators like unemployment, education, and pregnancies are also on a downward trend.
‘But sadly, poverty at the most disadvantaged levels of our community remains stubborn and other factors linked to poverty like high social housing demand, crime, and children at risk of harm still exist,’ notes Lt Colonel Ian Hutson, SPPU director.
‘Also, we see levels of family violence, drug and alcohol use, and problem gambling at persistently high levels,’ he added.
Ronji Tanielu, one of the authors of the report, said, ‘In this election year, we have chosen the theme ‘huia tangata Kotahi’ [bringing everyone together]. We are trying to make the point we should all be working together as New Zealanders to achieve better outcomes for everybody. This report must inform, raise awareness, and lead to effective social action and change, particularly in this election year.’
The report was launched in Wellington on 12 February and regional launches followed. Details are online at: https://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/SOTN2020
Source: Salvation Army