Continued focus on improving the lives of Kiwi kidsChild Poverty Reduction
- 15% decrease in notifications to Oranga Tamariki compared to 2020/21
- 13% of children aged 0-14 years lived in households where food runs out sometimes or often, compared with 15% the previous year and 20% in 2019/20
- 91% of young people aged 15-24 years reported their physical health as good, very good or excellent
- 88% of young people aged 15-24 years were in employment, education or training
- 85% of students aged 12-18 years had good social support, and an adult they could turn to in a difficult time
- 12% decrease in offending rates across all children and young people aged 10-17 years, compared to 2020/21
Despite some of the toughest economic conditions in a generation or more, the Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy shows continued progress in lifting children from poverty.
“This Government remains steadfast in its commitment to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child or young person. This report is an opportunity for us to take stock of how we're tracking and where we need greater focus and action,” Minister for Child Poverty Reduction Jan Tinetti said.
“Evidence that there are fewer children living in households where food runs out, that high numbers of young people are reported to be in good physical health and that most are in employment, education or training shows the Government’s policies targeting these areas are working.
“This work includes the healthy lunches in schools programme, our work around food security and the Ministry of Social Development’s food secure communities programme, the largest ever investment in health, expanding dental grants and making GP visits cheaper for lower income Kiwis.
“It also shows our programmes like the apprenticeship boost and mana in mahi have given young people options and kept them in work through tough economic times.
Whilst the report shows that the majority of children and young people continue to do well across most wellbeing outcome areas, it also highlights that disparities persist for many groups, in particular for Māori, Pacific, ethnic, rainbow and disabled children and young people.
“Our Government is committed to continue improving outcomes for these groups. A crucial part of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy is its focus on addressing the root causes of inequity, including the long-term impacts of racism, discrimination and intergenerational disadvantage.
“The report also demonstrated the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental distress rates in young people, and the role it has played in declining school attendance rates. These are both areas where we are focused right now, and know we can do better.
Meanwhile the child poverty statistics revealed by Stats NZ last month showed all nine measures of child poverty have reduced, with eight out of nine measures decreasing by a statistically significant amount compared to the 2017/18 baseline year.
“Despite the pandemic, and an incredibly challenging global economic environment, actions taken by this Government have ensured our children have not fallen backwards like some may have feared and expected,” Jan Tinetti said.
Read the full Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy Annual Report 2021-22 here