New targets begin historic path to poverty reduction

New Zealand will take its next steps towards fulfilling new child poverty legislation by setting three year targets to reduce poverty and hardship among children, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction Jacinda Ardern says.

“I want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, and for adults to be proud of how we treat our children.

“The Government has already set ambitious 10 year targets that will effectively halve the rate of child poverty using measures in my Child Poverty Reduction Bill.

“These three year targets will keep us on track for reaching those 10 year targets. Using the primary measures defined in the Bill, the three year targets are: 

  1. On the before housing measure*: Reduce the proportion of children in low income households by 6 percentage points by 2020/21 - a reduction of around 70,000 children.
  2. On the after housing costs measure*: Reduce the proportion of children in low income households by 4 percentage points by 2020/21 – a reduction of around 40,000 children.
  3. On the material hardship measure*: Reduce the proportion of children in material hardship by 3 percentage points by 2020/21– a reduction of around 30,000 children.

“By meeting these targets, New Zealand will be well on the way to making a meaningful difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. This is on top of the difference we will make with the extra support being given through the Families Package from 1 July this year – 384,000 families will be better off by an average $75 per week.

“This is about putting an end to a political era that tolerated hardship and poverty among thousands of our kids, and instead refocusing governments on what’s needed to ensure all kids have the opportunity to thrive. Our children deserve nothing less,” Jacinda Ardern said.

 More information on the Bill can be found here and on the ten year targets here.

 *The four primary measures of poverty and hardship in the Bill:

1.  Low income before housing costs (below 50 % of median income, moving line)

2.  Low income after housing costs (50% median, fixed line)

3.  Material hardship (using the EU’s standard threshold which going without things such as healthy food, warm clothes, or delaying going to the doctor)

4.  A persistence measure (for low income, material hardship or both. The data is not currently available for this measure)