New Zealand Labour Party

Labour committed to eliminating child poverty

Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“The call from the Children Commissioner to cut child poverty by 10% by the end of next year is a welcome step towards Labour’s vision of a New Zealand where no child grows up in deprivation.

“The level of child poverty in New Zealand is shocking and inexcusable:

295,000 kids live below the poverty line

149,000 are in material deprivation

110,000 children live in damp, mouldy houses

10,000 children are homeless

“Even today, there is another story of a family with four children facing homelessness and the government has had to admit that there aren’t enough state houses to help them.

“John Key’s cowardly refusal to commit to a 10% reduction is, unfortunately, what we expect from this tired government. He will promise to kill every rat, stoat and possum in the country but says a target for lifting kids out of poverty is too big an ask.

“Eight years on, Key is reduced to arguing against child poverty measures rather than just getting on with helping children in need. Is this the same man who stood on McGehan Close and promised that no Kiwi kids would be left behind?

“We all know there are too many kids in poverty. The time for quibbling is over. Let’s just get on and fix it.

“Labour will work with any party that is committed to ending child poverty. We’ve got the ball rolling with a member’s bill that locks into law child poverty measures and a management plan, and I have personally committed to ending child poverty.

“Labour’s plan starts with good well-paying jobs, affordable housing, and properly-funded core public services like health and education so that every kid gets the best start in life,” says Andrew Little.