Ardern’s record on child poverty

UNICEF has just ranked New Zealand near the bottom of OECD countries for ‘child wellbeing outcomes’.

Jacinda Ardern made a big deal out of child poverty when she became Prime Minister. She appointed herself Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.

She has responded to the UNICEF rankings saying their rankings are based on ‘old data’ from when National was in Government, and things are getting better.

How well has she done on child poverty?

I posted in November 2017 Eliminating’ (reducing) child poverty:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has virtually staked her political career on reducing poverty.

Image

In her ‘Speech from the Throne’ in November 2017:

In the last nine years, New Zealand has changed a great deal. Ours is a great country still. But it could be even greater. In our society today, no one should have to live in a car or on the street. No one should have to beg for their next meal. No child should be experiencing poverty. That kind of inequality is degrading to us all.

This will be a government of transformation. It will lift up those who have been forgotten or neglected, it will take action on child poverty and homelessness…

Child poverty is a moral issue but it is also an economic one. Infometrics has estimated that poor investment in children in their early years costs the country between $6 billion and
$8 billion per annum.

This government will put child poverty at the heart of government policy development and decision-making. It will establish targets to reduce the impact of child poverty and it will put these into law.  A work programme will be put in place across all relevant areas of government to achieve these targets.  Heads of government departments will be required to work together to deliver real reductions in child poverty.

To deliver genuine change for children, transparent mechanisms are needed to hold the government to account on poverty reduction. 

Ardern mentioned ‘poverty’ 14 times.

A year later (December 2018): 2018 Child Poverty Monitor

When becoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that dealing with child poverty would be a priority for her and her Government.  However there are no easy or quick fixes – yet at least.

“The 2018 Child Poverty Monitor puts a spotlight on critical areas in a child’s life where poverty continues to have an adverse impact. The four areas of focus are health, food insecurity, education and housing.”

Click here for the Child Poverty Monitor: 2018 Technical Report

Something was being done about it: 119-1 support for Child Poverty Reduction Bill

All parties except ACT (David Seymour) voted in favour of the third reading (and final vote) of the Child Poverty Reduction Bill in Parliament yesterday.

NZ Herald: Child Poverty Reduction Bill passes third reading

The bill, which will set measures and targets for reducing child poverty, inform strategy to achieve that and require transparent reporting on poverty levels and introduce accountability for governments, was a cornerstone of Labour’s election campaign last year and on the list of achievements for the coalition Government’s first 100 days in office.

Speaking in Parliament today, Ardern said it was no longer just a Labour Party bill.

“This is now an initiative that has been led by a coalition Government with the support of New Zealand First and the Green Party.

“And it also is an initiative that has had the support of the National Party. I want to acknowledge that. This is this Parliament’s collective challenge, and the groups that have come together in Parliament today to support it in this House mean that it will have an enduring legacy”.

That seems like reasonable success getting National alongside the three Government parties.

But in 2019: Budget falls short of child poverty targets

This year’s budget was promoted as a Wellbeing Budget, but it has been criticised for not moving far enough towards addressing things that will improve the well being of the less well off, especially children.

Newsroom:  Budget moves not nearly enough to meet child poverty targets

This is the first Budget under the new Child Poverty Reduction Act rules. 

So how did Grant Robertson go first time out? How much progress towards cutting poverty was there actually in the Budget? The short answer is a bit, but almost certainly not enough to meet all three short-term targets by the deadline of June 2021.

Approximately 55 percent of children in poverty live in households reliant on benefit as their main source of income. Indexation of the benefit to wages is an important long-term change, but indexation to inadequate basic rates is not enough. It will simply not be feasible to address child poverty without either (or both) raising benefit rates or the Working for Families tax credits paid to parents on benefit. We did not see either of these in this first Wellbeing Budget.

I noted:

The last government was already nudging things towards more ‘social conscience’ spending. The current government has nudged things a bit more. Perhaps they will push things further towards wellbeing in the next budget, which is in election year.

This year the budget was dominated by measures trying to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech did mention poverty:

We have long faced a housing crisis, our environment has been suffering, inequality and child poverty have all been issues we’ve had to tackle.

In three years’ time I want to look back and say that COVID was not the point those issues got worse, but the chance we had to make them better.

And that brings me to the last challenge, child poverty.

We know this has the potential to get even worse than where we are now. And while we moved quickly, even before lock down providing increasing government support to those out of work through benefit increases and the winter energy payment, today we focus on kids, with a major expansion of the food in schools programme.

We already started this programme last year, now we expand healthy lunches in schools so that for around 200,000 more children across the country benefit. Based on what we know, this will also create an estimated 2,000 jobs in local communities. And equally important it will mean in the tough days ahead we can guarantee our most vulnerable kids will get a filling healthy lunch every school day.

But that was a minor mention and Ardern followed it with.

Mr Speaker, I want to finish where I started. On our businesses, on our job creators, on our innovators and on those who have carried such a huge burden over these last weeks and months.

Mr Speaker, I said yesterday that this budget would be about jobs, jobs, jobs. In total it seeks to save as many as 140,000 of them over the next two years, and to support the growth of 370,000 more over four years.

This Budget shows how we are positioning New Zealand for that right now. It shows that we know this is not the time for business as usual, it’s the time for a relentless focus on jobs, on training, on education, and the role they all can play to support our environment, and our people.

So Mr Speaker, let’s begin our recovery and let’s rebuild, together

Word counts from the speech:

  • Poverty 2
  • Business 19
  • Jobs 23

Obviously business viability and jobs are important for family incomes and for the care of children, and Covid necessarily changed the Government focus a lot, But of the many billions of dollars spent on on Covid support most has been for propping up businesses and jobs, and little has directly addressed poverty issues.

Coming towards an election Ardern and Labour needed to be mainly focussed on dealing with Covid, and that seemed to dominate their campaign strategy, but yesterday UNICEF brought attention back to children.

RNZ: NZ ranked near bottom of UNICEF child wellbeing ratings

New Zealand is near the bottom of a UNICEF league table ranking wealthy countries on the wellbeing of their children.

Of the 41 OECD and European Union countries surveyed, New Zealand ranked 35th in overall child wellbeing outcomes – and UNICEF says that is failing children.

The UN Children’s Fund rankings show this country’s youth suicide rates are the second highest in the developed world, with 14.9 deaths per 100,000 adolescents, and only 64 percent of 15-year-olds have basic reading and maths skills.

The rankings also show too many children and young people in New Zealand are overweight and obese.

On mental wellbeing alone, New Zealand sits at 38th on the list and on physical health it is ranked 33rd.

NZ has ‘normalised inequality’

UNICEF NZ executive director Vivien Maidaborn said New Zealand’s rankings were driven by inequality.

“I think we normalise inequality. Somehow it’s alright that some families can’t afford homes and are living in motels and emergency housing. Somehow its alright that many of our lower socio-economic families can’t access high quality early childhood education. And then we wonder why we finish up with a statistic like only 64.5 percent of 15 year olds have got proficiency in reading and maths.

“Right now in Covid-19 there is a real worry we’re increasing inequality,” she told Morning Report.

She said while there were wage subsidies and mortgage holidays, there were no rent holidays, and the doubling of the winter energy payment was due to run out on 1 October.

“I just think we’re in danger of investing in the New Zealanders who already have wealth and assets and forgetting that the poorest New Zealanders, people living on benefits, are not being well supported.”

More from Maidment (and Chris Hipkins’ response to the ratings) from Stuff: New Zealand continues to fail children, Unicef report shows

Ardern issued a media release Prime Minister responds to child wellbeing report

A UNICEF report reflecting poor rates of child wellbeing in New Zealand between 2013 and 2018 underscores the Government’s work to break the cycle of child poverty.

“The report itself acknowledges in many cases data was missing or was several years old, largely painting a picture of the previous Government’s underinvestment in our families,” Prime Minister and Child Poverty Reduction Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“The report pre-dates our progress in rolling out the $5.5bn Families Package, setting child poverty targets, lifting 18,400 children from poverty, and improving seven out of nine child poverty measures.

“Our plan to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child is making a difference but there is more to do…

“That work is all under way, with 6000 young people contributing to our Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, the historic Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018, and the alignment of our goal to halve child poverty in a decade with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals.

“One of the things I’m very focused on through the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy is to systematically collect and publish data on a much broader range of child wellbeing indicators, which is why we invested $21 million in Budget 20 to measure persistent poverty.

“What’s important is that as a Government we keep making progress to ensure our children have a warm, dry home, access to healthcare, safe and healthy food, and the chance to have a childhood in which they’re free to learn and play,” Jacinda Ardern said.

(Edited)

But that was a defensive response.

A week ago Bryce Edwards compiled Political Roundup – Politicians making inequality worse

Inequality and poverty look to be the forgotten issues of the election campaign, with not much more than lip-service being paid to them on the campaign trail. Yet decisions are currently being made that appear to be fuelling a greater gap between rich and poor.

Newsroom’s Bernard Hickey has tweeted this week to sum up how the Government has chosen to manage the Covid-19 health and economic crisis: “This Covid-19 response has all been about bailing out property owners, helping banks, propping up zombie small businesses, big grants and loans to well-connected big businesses and middle class welfare via special Covid dole to higher-paid jobless. Not a team of 5 million at all.”

Hickey has elaborated on this in a column, saying the Government has made policy choices that have advantaged the rich and disadvantaged the poor, which will fuel higher levels of inequality: “without debate, the Labour-led Government has delivered the biggest shot of cash and monetary support to the wealthy in the history of New Zealand, while giving nothing to the renters, the jobless, students, migrants and the working poor who mostly voted it in” – see: NZ’s ‘K’ shaped Covid-19 recovery.

Hickey has also written today about housing inequality, arguing that the Government has chosen to prioritise the housing market in order to prevent a crash in values – see: Our housing market is too big to fail (paywalled). He believes the Government has chosen not to embark on “massive state house building”, nor implement a capital gains tax, because these might upset wealthy property owners.

Of course, the problems of inequality and poverty aren’t simply down to the Covid-19 crisis. At the last election, Labour, the Greens and NZ First campaigned strongly on inequality, pointing out that under nine years of National things had got worse for the poor and working people in a variety of ways.

Have these parties actually made a significant difference during their three years in power? There are signs that things haven’t improved much at all. The Government has largely chosen not to transform the economy or redistribute wealth in any meaningful way.

This was reflected in February when the official economic statistics were released, showing little change. Financial journalist Brian Fallow reported the details: “Data out this week on household incomes and housing costs make uncomfortable reading for both the Government and the Opposition. A centre-left Government should not be happy that in the year to June 2019 — its first full year in office — it has not moved the dial on income inequality at all. A standard measure of inequality, called the Gini coefficient, at 33.9 is as bad as it has been at any time in National’s last nine years in power and higher than it was before the global financial crisis” – see: Numbers show Government hasn’t moved the dial on income inequality at all (paywalled).

Fallow made the notable comment: “Neither the Government nor the Opposition is offering any plan to change that.”

A major problem with Covid that despite all the Government subsidies there is less work available and take home wages have decreased for many people, and this has impacted on the lower waged most. And that impacts on many children.

Ardern has a chance to address this with Labour’s campaign policies, but those will be political promises for the future. There’s a good chance Labour will have more unconstrained power next term, but under Ardern the Government has talked up transformation but under-delivered.

Leftwing blogger No Right Turn: Labour doesn’t care about the already poor.

While they talk about ‘kindness’ and ‘wellbeing’, when push comes to shove, they’re happy with existing inequalities, happy even to exacerbate them, happy with the underclass Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson created, happy with the status quo and all its injustices.

Because doing anything about any of those problems would mean them having to pay more tax on their $180K+ salaries, or on their property portfolios or family trusts, and that seems to be something which is simply unthinkable to them now.

Ardern has achieved a bit on child poverty this term but Covid may have reversed some of that.

The UNICEF report is timely – it should have reminded Ardern of her commitments on child poverty, and she will no doubt be reminded again through the campaign.

Three years ago:

This will be a government of transformation. It will lift up those who have been forgotten or neglected, it will take action on child poverty and homelessness…

Ardern managed only modest gains and some of those have been reversed by Covid.

Early in her first term she talked the transformation talk. We are waiting for a bold walk.

Labour wimped out on a number of major polices, like Kiwibuild and CGT, and underperformed on others like child poverty and homelessness.

Next term she won’t be able to blame National as much. She may not have Winston Peters holding her back. She may have the Greens pushing her for action.

Leave a comment

50 Comments

  1. David

     /  4th September 2020

    Not her fault, she has issued a lot of press releases and working groups reports.
    Seriously it is poverty of parenting and the soft bigotry of low expectations in our union run education system

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  4th September 2020

      David, dead right.
      Ardern and her coalition partners abolished sanctions being placed on the 10’s thousands of irresponsible mothers who annually produce children from multiple fathers and refuse to identify the father.
      Some regard producing babies as 21st century ATM machines.
      We, the taxpayers pick up the rapidly increasing tab while the sperm donors move on with alacrity to the next “ victim.”

      Reply
      • I don’t think that many deliberately have children for that reason, but there’s no reason not to.

        I was abused and sneered at for inventing and repeating urban myths despite their being from WINZ and the organisation concerned about (a) a woman who had been on the DPB for well over 30 years and (b) a budget advisor who had lost her job because she was advising women to have a new baby every 18 months or so.

        There was already provision for the ‘father’ not being identified (or gone after for child support) in cases of rape, incest or domestic violence, something that the PM and Labour tend to ignore. No one would expect someone to be endangered in order to claim child support.

        Reply
    • artcroft

       /  4th September 2020

      Unions don’t run our education system, Boards of Trustees and the MOE do.

      Reply
      • What about the teachers union ?

        Reply
        • artcroft

           /  4th September 2020

          Unions collect fees and lobby the govt but have insignificant impact on what happens in the classroom. And no impact on the curriculum.

          Reply
      • FarmerPete

         /  4th September 2020

        Actually, I believe that is incorrect. Teachers unions are probably the most powerful lobby group in education at a national level and unions dominate Labour educational policy making.
        A labour government is almost always in lockstep with the teachers union.

        Reply
  2. John J Harrison

     /  4th September 2020

    This exposes Ardern as an “ empty vessel.”
    Reading out speeches prepared by one of her many speech writers no longer cuts the mustard.
    Nor too her propensity to frown and wave her arms in the air for the cameras.
    The opposition cannot be held liable for Ardern’s 2018 and 2019 budgets, nor can this be blamed on the Covid pandemic.
    Whatever she has promised or touched we have only witnessed unmitigated disasters.
    Because of her massive fail in KiwiBuild homelessness has tripled.
    Child poverty has increased by similar levels.
    All Ardern has accomplished is massive spending ( most of it wasted ) to paper over the chasms she has created.
    Witness her continuing war on mum and dad property investors who provide a valuable service in the form of rental properties.
    The majority are now liquidating their portfolios to owner occupied residences.
    We now have innumerable instances of her government paying $3,000 per week for hovels for single parent families to live in.
    Not forgetting that 1/2 the motel units are now taken up by WINZ clients.
    Ardern’s attempt at deflection will not wash when her government has been shown as a total failure in all areas of social policy.
    Her government could not run a bath without a highly paid committee of Labour luvvies instructing her how to turn the taps on.

    Reply
  3. Labour had all the answers in opposition. We’ll provide cheap houses for all, end child poverty, end homelessness and reverse the housing shortage they proclaimed. Three long years later, little has changed. Kiwibuild fail. Housing shortages increased. Homelessness still with us. i recall Ardern saying she would fix child poverty in her first year in government. Child poverty has worsened, not improved. What happened Miss Ardern?

    Reply
    • Hospital waiting lists have changed…they are much higher than they were.

      Hasn’t the emergency housing waiting list gone up to three times what it was ?

      A man who builds really good prefab houses (I have seen them and they are good enough for anyone to live in) talked to Phil Twyford about these. The minister showed great interest….then didn’t remember the longish conversation afterwards. These would have been excellent KB houses. They come in several designs, are largely built under cover so can be made in all weathers, are virtually maintenance free and take weeks to build.

      Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  4th September 2020

      Fine selection of PM jacinda Ardern bagging posts,pity a person who admires our PMs efforts is unable to post,but right leaning posters continue the background hatred and bagging…as an afterthought the current leader of the opposition isn’t a beacon for the poor and downtrodden.

      Reply
      • Nor is Megan Woods whose busybody interfering with powercos has to be instrumental in the massive rises that people are facing. The discount is gone and prices are up. Once the heating allowance goes, people are likely to be really struggling to pay the power bill.

        Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  4th September 2020

    The barrier to transformational change is the tenuous grip on power Labour achieved by dint of a Col Govt.

    Appeasing the middle class had to be the priority.

    Just look at the need for a Capital gains tax and the furore that proposal caused.

    Survival in politics means compromise.
    A resounding election win and being able to govern alone would give Labour the mandate to really tackle inequality.

    Reply
    • David

       /  4th September 2020

      Capital gains taxes raise very little revenue and she did inherit some pretty grunty surpluses pre covid.
      Spraying money at people doesnt work, never has and never will. In effect all countries have to have some form of welfare system and with that unfortunately comes some “freeloaders” which for a percentage of humans is a natural state, call it genetic disposition but we have all worked or know someone like that. Sadly some of these people will have children and pretty awful lives with little quality but also one with little responsibility to society, its something all governments have to live with.
      Ardern probably knows deep down, despite her Key like sunny disposition that everyone has potential that is just untapped is that some people prefer a hammock to a hand up. Thank god for people like Key, English, Bennett and now Ardern who wont give up despite all odds.

      Reply
    • alloytoo

       /  4th September 2020

      What need for a Capital Gains Tax?

      Labour inherited a budget surplus and promptly raised taxes

      Reply
      • Fight4nz

         /  4th September 2020

        You both make the error of attributing the target of the CGT being revenue. However it was as a market lever to try and shift NZers away from residential property as their primary investment.

        “ Spraying money at people doesnt work, never has and never will. ”
        What evidence is this assertion based on?

        Reply
        • Alloytoo

           /  6th September 2020

          So the solution legislatively suppressed supply is to legislatively reduce demand.

          Because command economies always work so well.

          Reply
  5. Duker

     /  4th September 2020

    The Unicef report is based on old data from 2016 so describes the 9 years of neglect. Indeed its a rehash of the same report released just before 2017 election
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/93583589/unicef-report-wellbeing-of-kiwi-kids-languishes-behind-other-developed-countries
    Thatt too was the earlier period

    PG you often ask that it cant be 9 years of neglect and yet heres the evidence
    “A UNICEF report reflecting poor rates of child wellbeing in New Zealand between 2013 and 2018 underscores the Government’s work to break the cycle of child poverty.”

    The CGT didnt have a majority in parliament to pass, thats what happens when Labour had 35% of the vote. National couldnt pass some of its pet projects either and they were around 45% when in government.

    Reply
    • If the Unicef report is outdated and uses old data as you and Miss Ardern claim surely it can be easily refuted? Miss Ardern must have access to the latest data? Why didn’t she say “no” UNICEF is mistaken. Here is the latest data and give us the facts and figures to back it up? She didn’t do that because she knows the figures have worsened under her leadership. So instead of proving evidence that things have improved she gives her usual hackneyed response “nine years of neglect”. Bullshit!

      Reply
      • John J Harrison

         /  4th September 2020

        MacSlernz, yet another “fail” in deflection by Ardern.
        Ardern will NEVER admit a failure in her immediate area of responsibility.
        She would far rather give everyone a hug and a teddy bear – problem solved !
        Be Kind .

        Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  4th September 2020

        If the Unicef data is outdated, then I have no doubt they’ve declined further under this government.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th September 2020

          No . They have improved.

          Reply
          • Evidence please.

            Reply
            • John J Harrison

               /  4th September 2020

              MacSlernz, Duker never produce the evidence because he cannot.
              Homelessness under Ardern has rocketed 300% as has child poverty.
              Duker , being an Ardern shrill will NEVER admit her absolute failures but will endeavor to paper over her innumerable disasters.
              That appears to be his sole purpose in life.
              Sad !

            • Fight4nz

               /  4th September 2020

              Or, in reality, Duker is producing solid evidence on a regular basis, showing your nonsense up for the baseless partisan ranting that it is.
              But JJH will never admit that. Truely sad!

  6. Kiwi Dave

     /  4th September 2020

    Arden is just illustrating her inability to inspire the whole country, showing a singular lack of strong leadership. Everything else is warm fuzzy detail.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th September 2020

      What do you mean by “strong leadership?”

      Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  4th September 2020

      Is strong leadership??? putting up memes of a false report and lying about it or allowing your party to meme the PM on a porn site or her husband going off the plantation and she cannot control his loose cannon behaviour

      Reply
      • What do you mean, off the plantation ? Is this a racist sneer at him ? It sounds like one.

        Judith Collins did NOT put up the false report; she had it removed.

        Reply
        • Nor does she ‘allow her party’ to put memes on a porn site; that is a gross defamation of Judith Collins.

          Does anyone know who actually did this ? It’s a disgusting slander to say that she ‘allowed’ it.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  4th September 2020

          was that after she…retweeted it?

          Reply
      • duperez

         /  4th September 2020

        My question was a serious one.

        The implication is that Arden is not a strong leader because she is unable to inspire the whole country.

        I would suggest that her being able to inspire the whole country is impossible. There are those in this forum and others who would not be inspired by Ardern curing cancer, clicking her fingers and building a million new houses, scoring the winning try in the Women’s Rugby World Cup and personally discovering a natural resource we didn’t know we had which made the country 70 zillion dollars a year.

        Kitty would complain about how unbecoming it was that Ardern had mud on her knees from sliding in for the try. If she did those things in a weekend John J Harrison would be complaining that it took so long, Corky would grizzle that it was a socialist dictatorship and we should have been consulted. By the time anyone else had got their moans out JJH would’ve found at least 37 other complaints and Kitty would’ve had time to phrase some miserable comments about the hair and dress Ardern wore at the curing cancer presser.

        Naturally by then, the calls would’ve burst forth about how she only did those things for the PR anyway.

        Inspiring the whole country is impossible, having the country united is impossible. Any signs of the incidence of those is superficial and temporary. Our core isn’t built for those conditions.

        Reply
        • John J Harrison

           /  4th September 2020

          Duperez, at the end of 2017 Ardern introduced a $5.53 billion plan to 1/2 child poverty, to be rolled out over the next 4 years.
          “ The families package is projected to lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2020/21 “,says Ardern.
          It never happened- and it is all National’s fault !
          Come on Duperez, Blazer and all Ardern fan boys and girls , dispute that.
          Ardern is an absolute empty vessel, merely parroting what you want to hear.
          Zero accountability and results.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  4th September 2020

            I haven’t defended her achievement or lack of them. What I’m on about is the caterwauling and the stream of slurs like upset little kids calling others names.

            It is bizarre that adults have to make (or try to try to make) salient observations about supposedly serious stuff in the manner it is being done.

            Each to his or her own. Back to the point about leadership. Ardern can’t inspire the whole country because there is a churlish bunch who are blindly determined to be anti. They don’t have their favourites in charge (who would be perfect of course) and so dummy spitting is their default position.

            My default position is to enjoy the sport provoked by such an incapable, vacuous, little girl “empty vessel” who can’t cut the mustard being Prime Minister. And her propensity to frown and wave her arms in the air, a total failure in all areas and not being able to run a bath without a highly paid committee of Labour luvvies. Not the sport of her being PM, but the way she has some by the short and curlies and dominates them. That she has that power over them and can arouse such fervour. Oh the power!

            Reply
        • Duperez, don’t put stupid words into other people’s mouths and attribute views to them that they have never held or expressed. It’s bad manners, apart from anything else.

          You would dislike it if people did this to you.

          You present an idiotic premise and then invent malicious responses to it which you attribute to other people.

          Don’t be so rude and childish.

          Reply
          • Fight4nz

             /  4th September 2020

            1st sign he nailed it!
            The famous Kitty I never, you’re rude, how would you like it, when she has been very obviously skewered.
            One day you might figure out that is the sort of response that gets you a dedicated PDT following.

            Reply
  7. Unicef report is accurate and rigorously checked, co-author says

    The lead author of the Unicef report card which ranked New Zealand as one of the worst places in the developed world for children says the report is fair, accurate, and transparent.

    The Unicef report card series used pre-Covid-19 data to rank EU and OECD countries in a league table according to children’s mental and physical health, academic and social skill sets. New Zealand ranked 35th out of 41 countries surveyed.

    On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the data used in the report described a period of time under the previous National Government. She also pointed out parts of the report where data was missing.

    But Gwyther Rees, who led the research team and co-authored the Unicef Worlds of Influence Report Card, said the report was rigorously checked by global and local experts. It gave an accurate reflection of New Zealand today.

    Data was only part of compiling the report, as researchers had also spoken with experts in the countries surveyed.

    “It is true that some of the data we’ve used is older and that’s just because of the amount of time, I think, it takes for the international organisations to clear stuff. So I don’t think it’s a problem or an issue at the country level, I think it’s more an issue about how the international database is created.

    Rees said Ardern’s comments were fair, and she was right to point out the indicator on suicide statistics.

    “I see that they’ve quoted some more up-to-date figures which look encouraging and if that trend continues, that would be very positive,” he said.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300099165/unicef-report-is-accurate-and-rigorously-checked-coauthor-says

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th September 2020

      “Unicef report is accurate and rigorously checked” but is out of date

      ” It gave an accurate reflection of New Zealand today.”
      Cant be true if its out of date, they only say ‘reflection’ which is a non word to cover that the data is wrong.

      ‘Accurate and rigoursly checked – for the period before 2017-18

      I just looked back at what YourNZ was saying about child poverty in 2017
      https://yournz.org/2017/11/12/eliminating-reducing-child-poverty/
      ‘More is obviously required, but healthy children require a healthy state with a healthy economy. as always it is a difficult balancing act.”

      Reply
  8. alloytoo

     /  4th September 2020

    I don’t understand why we criticize inequality.

    Poverty is natural economic state, it takes considerable effort to generate wealth, those people are to be applauded, through unfair taxes they raise the standard of living for everyone.

    Reply
    • Sheer envy and jealousy, I expect. Blazer sneers at people who succeed in life and make money doing it. I don’t although I have done neither.

      Michael Hill saw that 80% of jewellers’ shops space was taken up with things like clocks that were 20% of the sales, and opened shops that sold nothing but jewellery.

      The man who began Sistema made a fortune when he sold the business.

      TradeMe was an idea waiting for someone to make capital from it.

      I won’t talk about my stepfather and his succcess because when I do Blazer makes sneering and offensive comments about him.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  4th September 2020

        MH Jewellers is in terminal decline.

        You shouldn’t regard yourself as a failure.

        Lindsay did indeed make a fortune from his plastics biz…good for him.

        Trade Me was a direct copy of E-Bay….Morgan was smart enough to get going early.

        No idea who your step father is and couldn’t care less either way.

        The reality is Govt, along with luck and inheritance has played the major part in the lives of most on the rich list.

        Reply
        • You would never admit that anyone has made a success of their life unaided and with their own ability and hard graft, of course.

          I mentioned my stepfather’s rise from a poor background and your response was mockery and insults towards him and me.

          I didn’t say that I was a failure.

          Reply
          • Michael Hill suffered because of the lockdown and closed shops in Australia and Canada as well as 3 here.

            The online sales have gone up by something like 200%. The business is still down, but only by 4%.

            There was nothing stopping anyone having the idea for TM in NZ. Sam Morgan had the good sense to get in before anyone else did.

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  4th September 2020

            ‘ who succeed in life and make money doing it. I don’t although I have done neither.’

            =failure.

            Results: Michael Hill posts 14% decline in underlying earnings
            | August 16, 2019 8:19am |

            and further decline in 2020=now a penny dreadfull stock.-sp apx .38c.

            Reply
          • Fight4nz

             /  5th September 2020

            Agree, in general terms, those who work hard, bring up those around them in making their wealth, are deserving and the more the better for all.
            But for 1 of those there are 10 that simply receive the family wealth and protect it and that held by those of the same ilk. Use nepotism and old school ties. Use their considerable collective wealth to ensure favourable political and economic conditions are retained.
            I think you mentioned your stepfather was Lloyd of Caroma and Puhoi Valley fame?

            Reply
            • Fight4nz

               /  5th September 2020

              Whether Lloyd was your stepfather or not, he is a good example of the success story that I have seen up close in a number of private companies.
              Yes they establish and work very hard for their venture. But all have obvious limitations of one sort or another in taking the business forward. Those that overcome this do because they are joined and often sidelined by people capable of realising the potential of the business. Never unaided!
              But I have seen none yet who do more than pay the minimum market required salary to the people that have in reality achieved the success. In fact they will regularly acknowledge in speeches at Christmas functions; I couldn’t have done it without “X”, without ever sharing any more of the return than than absolutely necessary.

  9. Frank Hematuria

     /  4th September 2020

    If Ardern’s Government had indeed lifted 18,400 children out of poverty – a remarkably specific figure – I have no doubt that she and her sympathetic media, generously given 50 million of taxpayers’ dollars to keep them on message, would by now have given us long and breathless accounts of the now much happier lives of a goodly number of those fortunate children. In fact to know that the number is precisely 18,400 our world’s second best political thinker must know exactly where those children are surely? Or maybe, just maybe, she pulled that number out of thin air.

    Reply
  1. Ardern’s record on child poverty — Your NZ | Waikanae Watch

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