Judge Andrew Becroft
Wellington, December 15, 2017
We welcome the Families Package announced yesterday (Thursday, December 14, 2017) and we hope it will make a big difference to the lives of many New Zealand children.
These are really positive steps, many of which echo recommendations made by the Expert Advisory Group on child poverty in 2012.
Raising family incomes, enabling warmer homes, and providing additional assistance for the first year of a child’s life (targeted thereafter), will do a great deal to improve outcomes for our children. Income is fundamental to better outcomes for families.
The projected numbers (raising 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021, based on 50% of median income Before Housing Costs) are encouraging, but still only estimates. We look forward to seeing the significant improvements in the wellbeing of children that this package promises.
We will continue to monitor progress through the Child Poverty Monitor, in partnership with Otago University and the J R McKenzie Trust. We would also like to acknowledge the J R McKenzie Trust for extending funding for the Child Poverty Monitor for at least another three years.
We are excited to see this commitment by Government, along with the continued contribution by the philanthropic sector, NGOs and the whole community, to ensuring all children have the opportunity to develop and thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Judge Andrew Becroft is Children’s Commissioner of New Zealand