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Ask the NZ Government to end Child Poverty in 2015 Budget

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

New Zealand has a shit OECD ranking for child well-being. We're ranked above Mexico and Turkey. That's it. Out of all the developed countries in the world, we're the most deeply affected by growing income inequality. As a small nation that prides itself on innovation, world firsts, and healthy quality lifestyles – we should not put up with this. The 2015 Budget will be presented on May 21st - so there’s still time to show support for increasing family incomes and making it right.

Google “Child Poverty in New Zealand” and you can make private donations through Kids Can ("Support a New Zealand child for $15 a month"), Variety Children’s Charity, (“For as little as $35 per month…”), Child Poverty Action Group, and Feed the Need

We used to talk about sponsoring children in Africa… now it’s in our own backyard. In a developed country, why are private donations being sought - which does nothing to solve the problem longterm - when the government should be making it right? We have no civil war, no clean water drinking crisis, no overpopulation, no drought or crop failure, no natural disaster, and no plague – Child Poverty in New Zealand is an unnecessary, unacceptable, man-made problem.

The number of families with a “severe and persistent” housing need that “must be addressed immediately” has more than doubled since 2013. There are one in five (or one in four, according to some sources) New Zealand children living in poverty – which basically means that the adults have no money. A child poverty crisis is a family poverty crisis.

If the kids are being screwed, it’s because the families are being screwed by unsustainable policies. Unsustainable, because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to observe that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to live unproductive adult lives, becoming dependent on welfare themselves (unless you're like... Eminem or something)… and then they too have children they can’t afford to support... and so on and on it goes.

If the government doesn’t help struggling families to get on their feet, the welfare-class will continue to grow. We don’t really know what that version of New Zealand would look like yet, because we’ve never had it – child poverty here has doubled since the 80’s, and it's increasing, so we're into new territory. A healthy future is sacrificed by a self-serving government, in exchange for short term power and privilege for the elite minority. (It's all very U.S. of A. and I don't think we've anything to gain going that route...)

Our government doesn’t properly monitor child poverty statistics anyway - data comes from a partnership between the Children’s Commissioner and Otago University. The Child Poverty Monitor is privately funded by the JR McKenzie Trust, because our government rejected the request to comprehensively measure this poverty crisis.

You can help - sign the petition at http://www.actionstation.org.nz/endpovertynz and ask our government to boost the incomes of the poorest families in New Zealand before the 2015 Budget is presented at the end of this month.

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