Slight drop in NZ child ‘poverty’

There has been a drop of 1% of NZ children measured to be in ‘poverty’.

RNZ: Number of children in poverty dropping, but still severe – report

The Child Poverty Monitor, released today, revealed 290,000 children up to the age of 17 are living in homes where money is tight and 135,000 are lacking basic items.

I’m surprised there aren’t more in households “where money is tight”. Money was always tight in the home I grew up in, and it was usually fairly tight in the home my children grew up in.

There has been a one-percent drop in the number of children living in poverty in the past year.

That’s a bare minimum change, but at least it’s in the right direction.

The Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft said it’s one of many small steps needed to wipe out child poverty.

He added that he was encouraged by the previous government’s commitment to child poverty measures, as well as the Labour-led Government’s proposed Families Package, Best Start, and increases to Paid Parental Leave will make a real difference.

So not some praise for the last Government.

 Child Poverty Monitor: 2017 Technical Report

Key Points

“Poverty is not just about having “less than” it is about “not having enough” 6

Child poverty measures

Income poverty

The number and proportion of dependent 0–17 year olds living in income-poor households increased significantly between 1988 and 1992, and these figures remain high.

The number and proportion of dependent 0–17 year olds living in households with the most severe income poverty have not declined since 2012.

To meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal target New Zealand must achieve at least a 50% reduction from 2015 levels in all indicators of income poverty by 2030.

  • In 2016, 27% of dependent 0–17 year olds were living in households with equivalised incomes below 60% of the contemporary median income after housing costs, approximately 290,000 children and young people.
  • Using a more severe poverty threshold, 19% of dependent 0–17 year olds were living in households with equivalised incomes below 50% of the contemporary median income after housing costs in 2016, approximately 210,000 children and young people. Thirteen percent of dependent 0–17 year olds were living in households with the very lowest incomes, below 40% of contemporary median after housing costs, approximately 140,000 children and young people.
  • Using a fixed line indicator, 20% of dependent 0–17 year olds were living in households with equivalised incomes below 60% of the 2007 median income after housing costs, approximately 220,000 children and young people.
  • Using a more severe fixed-line indicator, 7% of dependent 0–17 year olds were living in households with equivalised incomes below 50% of the 2007 median income before housing costs, approximately 75,000 children and young people. With inclusion of housing costs 14% of dependent 0–17 year olds were living in households with equivalised incomes below 50% of the 2007 median income after housing costs, approximately 155,000 children and young people.

Material hardship

In 2016 the New Zealand Household economic survey included child-specific items for the first time. Over half of New Zealand 6–17 year olds experienced no lacks in 12 selected child-specific items.

  • Among the 20 percent of 6–17 year olds living in households with the highest levels of material hardship, 42% experienced restrictions in 2 or more items; 28% in 3 or more and 19% in 4 or more. The restrictions most commonly experienced were lack of good access at home to a computer and internet for homework (33%), lack of two pairs of shoes in good condition and suitable for daily activities for each child (23%), involvement in sport had to be limited “a lot” (20%), lack of fresh fruit and vegetables daily (21%) and lack of a meal with meat, fish or chicken (or vegetarian equivalent) at least each second day (20%).
  • These restrictions were experienced even more strongly among the ten percent of children living in households experiencing the most severe material hardship. In this group 49% of children lacked 2 or more of the 12 items; 41% lacked 3 or more; 29% lacked 4 or more.
  • The 2016 household economic survey also included the general household items used to construct a material hardship time series.
  • Since 2015 there has been a slight decline in the number and proportion of 0–17 year olds living in households experiencing forced lacks in seven or more essential items listed in DEP-17, and in households experiencing forced lacks in nine or more essential items.

    In 2016 12% of 0–17 year olds lived in households experiencing forced lacks of seven or more essential items, approximately 135,000 children and young people.

  • Using an indicator of more severe material hardship, 6% of 0–17 year olds lived in households experiencing forced lacks of nine or more essential items, approximately 70,000 children and young people.
  • To meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal target New Zealand must achieve at least a 50% reduction from 2015 levels in all indicators of material hardship by 2030.
  • If New Zealand meets the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing material hardship levels to 50% of 2015 national measures, the percentage of children will reduce to 7% in material hardship and 4% in severe material hardship by 2030.

Persistent poverty

The lack of longitudinal data about New Zealand does not have a current longitudinal survey that collects income data from the same households over time. This is a serious lack in official data to measure indicators of income poverty.

The material hardship list:

 

 

Leave a comment

23 Comments

  1. Reply
  2. Ray

     /  December 7, 2017

    On RNZ Becroft admitted that the positive moves of the National Parties last 18 months were not really started to come on stream, so if Labour keeps up the good work progress could be made.
    On the other hand he put the present progress to the good financial progress of the last Government, which suggests bad news for the future Grant Robertson and Winston are predicting.

    Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  December 7, 2017

    1%….seriously!!!

    Reply
  4. PartisanZ

     /  December 7, 2017

    So ‘child poverty’ – arguably the most absurd *spiname* or *splabel* ever invented – is rather like Auckland house prices? Dropping by a minuscule percentage after ‘inflating’ rampantly and obscenely for 30 odd years …

    I hope this trend carries over to CEO’s remuneration packages. Anyone think it would really worry them?

    * new words # 114 & 115 – spin name & spin label.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  December 7, 2017

      Partiwords as Gezza neutrally calls them.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  December 7, 2017

      I’d like to see more analysis of the causes of Child Poverty and material hardship.
      Eg – too many children for the income of the parent to properly support? Why?
      Abandonment by a working father or mother?
      Parent(s) Income just too low, period – even for one child? Why?
      Parent(s) Education level?
      Parent(s) income spent on drugs, alcohol?
      Cultural obligations (e.g. being required to send money back to Samoa or Tonga or their Churches & going into irredeemable debt because of this?)
      Expensive medical bills?
      That sort of thing.
      If some of these factors could be / are being addressed Child Poverty would perhaps reduce.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  December 7, 2017

        Don’t be so silly Gezza! gambling, wasting money on fast food and ‘nice to haves’, poor budgeting skills, excessive alcohol and drug use & poor life choices and poor parenting are not in any way connected to child poverty.

        We all know it’s all the governments fault.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  December 7, 2017

          Well that is highly likely to be the case in some situations, in which case nothing will change unless their behsviour changes. But that’s not why I’d like to see more detailed social analysis. High level stats & bleeding heart crying about poor starving children needing help don’t give any useful information about how we can best prevent child poverty without making it the job of every responsible parent & taxpayer to fund the breeding of irresponsible parents.

          But richer social analyses would also identfy those cases where this might not be the problem. (Anyone thinking beneficiaries are living high on the hog these days is dreaming. It’s tuff trying to live on a benefit.)

          I know that many Pasifika families sre put into debt thru cultural, church & family pressure to give money they need to their families & village projects back in the Islands, & get into debt rather than say no. They need to say no. This is not Tonga or Samoa. Same with large families. We don’t have tons of kids here & then expect the government to house them.

          But these sorts of cases may just be be a minority. Who knows? There’s no freakin rich social analysis data available. Nobody’s doing this research. Evernody’s just shouting the odds.

          Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  December 8, 2017

          Even Maxim Institute’s Julian Wood –

          “People have a worth and dignity no matter what their life decisions or circumstances. As a society, we owe an equal duty of care to every person, no matter the expected return on “investment.””

          https://www.maxim.org.nz/investing-people-regardless-return/

          Reply
  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  December 7, 2017

    I can’t see doing without meat as a hardship. Vegetable meals are just as healthy and a lot cheaper.I haven’t eaten meat for years. I can’t believe how expensive it is, and it’s not hard to have a good meal without it.

    Opshops have very cheap clothes, and as children tend to outgrow theirs before they are worn out, there are some good clothes to be had there. I haven’t looked for children’s shoes, but I would be surprised if these were not available.

    Reply
  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  December 7, 2017

    If someone has a car, they can’t be that poor.

    No, I don’t have one-before Blazer asks.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  December 7, 2017

      So, let me get this straight Miss Kitty, you want to consign the poor to … poverty?

      One of the great thinkers, Socrates or Aristotle, apparently said, to paraphrase: We can deal with inequality using military-like tactics – including the ‘violence’ of Shane Jones-style derision – or we can deal with inequality by making things more equal ….

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 7, 2017

        I didn’t say that at all. Where and when did I say it ?

        Apparently said would be about it. How can we ‘make things more equal’ ? Would you be willing to give half of your income to someone else ? I’d be surprised if either of those two said anything so facile.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 7, 2017

          I can’t believe that ‘poverty’ includes being unable to give other people gifts on special occasions. In other words, the taxpayer should be giving other people’s ‘family and friends’ wedding and birthday presents. Why ?

          Reply
    • PDB

       /  December 7, 2017

      Having a car is one thing Kitty, being able to afford to run it is another.

      Reply
  7. PDB

     /  December 7, 2017

    The irony is that the left believe the ‘trickle down theory’ doesn’t work but also believe giving more money to parents will cure child poverty.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  December 7, 2017

      if trickle down works..why has inequality skyrocketed since that neo lib b/s term was first bandied..about.

      Reply
    • David

       /  December 7, 2017

      All children live in poverty. Child labour laws have a lot to answer for!

      Reply
  8. David

     /  December 7, 2017

    “The number and proportion of dependent 0–17 year olds living in income-poor households increased significantly between 1988 and 1992, and these figures remain high.”

    We can solve this overnight. Simply make it illegal for poor people to have children.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s