Everyone’s input wanted on reducing child poverty
The Children’s Commissioner is seeking feedback on solutions to child poverty.
A report by an advisory group established by the commissioner, Issues and Options, details solutions to the problem of child poverty.
Commissioner Russell Wills says that the solutions put forward by the 13-member advisory group are ‘‘bold, clever and have great potential’’.
The proposals include implementing a ‘‘warrant of fitness’’ for rental properties, providing food in schools for hungry children and a review of tax credits.
‘‘Many of the proposed solutions are not about spending more money but about doing things differently or with a new focus,’’ Dr Wills says.
About 27,000 Kiwi children live in poverty.
While many will
suffer poverty for only a short time, some will experience significant deprivation.
The commissioner urges everyone concerned with the wellbeing of children to read the report.
‘‘No New Zealander should accept that children in this country are missing out,’’ he says. ‘‘Child poverty can have an impact on a child’s development, behaviour and mental health and can lead to problems as they grow into adults.’’
He says that the problem also affects the country as a whole, by increasing the need for resources and funding for services such as healthcare.
Feedback on the proposals can be made online, via Facebook or in person at seminars being held in main centres.
The consultation period ends on October 12.
‘‘I am confident that the final report I give to the Government in December will lead to real change for children,’’ Dr Wills says.