Ev­ery­one’s in­put wanted on re­duc­ing child poverty

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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