This Child Poverty Monitor is the seventh consecutive annual report on implications of child poverty in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and updates the progress made toward a society where every child can flourish and achieve their potential. This report uses a variety of data sources to measure child poverty and is the first in the series to use the baseline data source recently developed by Stats NZ.
This Child Poverty Monitor is comprised of three clusters of indicators. The first group of indicators sets the baseline for measuring progress from 2019 toward a substantial reduction in the number and proportion of children living in households that experience income poverty and material hardship. This section also includes information about the number of children in households that are eligible for and receive financial assistance. The second group of indicators tracks progress toward goals to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing, ensuring access to sufficient and nutritious food, promoting nurture and protection within families and wider society as well as equitable, high-quality education for all. The final group of indicators provides information about the context in which the specific child-related issues arise and is particularly relevant to goals to ensure access to adequate, safe and affordable housing, promote full and productive employment and good work for all, and to reduce inequality within and between countries.
- Adequate household financial and material resources are important for children’s positive health, educational and social-behavioural outcomes.
- In 2018 there were an estimated quarter of a million children (23%) living in households with disposable equivalised income less than 50% of the median after housing costs for the 2018 financial year. This measure forms the baseline for ongoing monitoring of the ‘fixed-line’ primary measure of low income.
- Income poverty for New Zealand children has been consistently higher after housing costs compared with the rates before housing costs. In 2018, there were an estimated 183,000 children (17%) living in households with equivalised disposable income below 50% of the contemporary median before housing costs. This impact of housing costs on disposable equivalised household income saw an additional 71,000 children in low-income households using the 50% of the 2018 median measure after housing costs.
Access to essentials:
- In 2018 there were approximately 148,000 children (13%) living in households that were unable to afford six or more essentials for a decent standard of living, while 6% of children (approximately 65,000) were living in households experiencing severe material hardship with a lack of nine or more essentials for a decent standard of living.
- The Government has established child poverty reduction targets for each primary measure of child poverty. Significant acceleration in child poverty reduction is necessary for the government to meet these targets.