New Zealand Labour Party

Child-first policies needed to combat entrenched poverty

The Children’s Commissioner has supported a call from Labour for a child-first approach to policies in order to address persistent and entrenched child poverty, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.

“Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft appeared today at the Social Services Select Committee where he advocated for a more child-centred approach in all policy areas in order to address child poverty.

“There are currently between 85,000 and 90,000 children living in severe material hardship, yet the Government has failed to address this.

“Labour wants to tackle child poverty, and has already put forward an amendment to legislate a child-first approach to social welfare.

“This was supported by Mr Becroft who said it aligns with international obligations that New Zealand has to reduce child poverty by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

“National claims to be aspirational, yet Minister Anne Tolley has already stated she will not be supporting this child-first principle in the Social Security Act.

“We need a Government that will put our children first, and it is clear this National Government will not. They have failed to take any steps toward fulfilling New Zealand’s obligations under the SDG’s, and have instead allowed child poverty to become entrenched in New Zealand.

“Bill English has a real opportunity to show some leadership on this issue.

“Labour is committed to putting the wellbeing of children first in all policy areas, and fixing the crisis left behind by this Government,” says Carmel Sepuloni.