Child poverty should be addressed across party lines

Jacinda Ardern

Wellington, December 7, 2017

A small drop in the number of children in low income households is welcome but the Government is committed to making significant progress on lifting children out of poverty.

Every child deserves the best start in life and to grow up and reach their potential free of the burden of poverty.

While it is encouraging to see the gains reported in the Child Poverty Monitor today, there are still thousands of New Zealand children going without the basics they need.

Strong commitment

When I took on responsibility for child poverty reduction six weeks ago, I committed to making substantial progress on lifting children out of poverty.

I am ambitious for all our children. They are relying on the Government to make real change, and I am prepared to be held to account for achieving it.

Over the past six weeks, my ministers have been busy on a range of measures that will make a meaningful difference for children.

Legislative changes

The Families Package, and my Child Poverty Reduction Bill, will have a significant impact on families who are struggling to pay for the basics for their children and will ensure the public can track our progress.

Details of the Package will be announced next week.

It is targeted at those who need support the most, and will be much more effective at lifting children out of poverty than the Opposition’s plan.

My Poverty Reduction Bill is an opportunity to reach a long-term commitment to tackle child poverty and I am keen to work with the Opposition to make that commitment durable.

The Bill will set a range of measures that ensure that the progress we make towards meeting out targets is making a real difference.

Jacinda Ardern is Prime Minister of New Zealand. Many related reports follow.

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