Thursday, June 20, 2024

Latest child poverty report provides food for thought

Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, Jan Tinetti says the annual Child Poverty Related Indicators report, released today, shows that Government action during the most challenging economic conditions in a generation or more has resulted in a significant drop in food insecurity rates.

The latest data shows 13% of all children (0 – 14 years) live in households where food runs out sometimes or often, compared with 20% in 2019/ 2020.

“I’m heartened we are seeing meaningful decreases in critical statistics, but I know there is a lot of work ahead to really shift the dial. No child should be living in poverty,” said Minister Tinetti.

She said the Child Poverty Related Indicators report is an opportunity to look at the wider impacts of poverty on children and families in New Zealand. This year, the report shows some longer-term improvement trends.

“We’re seeing fewer children living in poor quality housing, and despite the tough economic conditions, those living in households spending more than 30 percent of disposable income on housing has remained stable,” the Minister said.

The report compares trends over time based on ethnicity and socio-economic status, as well as other demographics.

“It’s good to see that some of the longstanding disparities affecting tamariki Māori and Pacific children are showing signs of improvement.”

“Tamariki Māori and Pacific children still face greater barriers to living in quality housing, but rates for Pacific children have significantly improved. Likewise, tamariki Māori and particularly Pacific children face much greater barriers to food security, although rates appear to be trending down, with rates for tamariki Māori statistically significantly lower than the last two years.”

The progress highlighted in this year’s findings build on the latest child poverty data, for the year ended June 2022. Eight out of the nine child poverty measures have seen a statistically significant reduction since 2017/18, while all three primary measures of child poverty are now lower than they have been over the past 10 to 15 years for which comparable data is available.

“This Government remains completely committed to tackling the persistent disparities that remain for many groups. We won’t stop until Aotearoa, New Zealand is the best place in the world for all children and young people,” Ms Tinetti said.

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