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Shining a light on local child poverty

File photo.

A new Child Poverty Action Group is looking for people interested in taking action to help lift Western Bay of Plenty children out of poverty.

The new Child Poverty Action Group - CPAG WBOP - is part of the national group whose vision is an Aotearoa where all children flourish free from poverty.

CPAG is a charity founded in 1994 which works to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand through research, education and advocacy.

CPAG spokesman David Riley says whanau in the Western Bay of Plenty are paying huge amounts of rent, and this, along with low incomes, inadequate benefit levels and the rising costs of living means that children are missing on out on some of the basic necessities that most New Zealanders would take for granted.

“There are hundreds of children in emergency accommodation who are trying their best, however, they come home from school to crowded motel rooms and not enough food,” says David.

“All the Government’s move from transformational change to foundational change is doing, is short-changing children.”

He says CPAG WBOP urges the Government to raise income support significantly for children in families receiving benefits, and to use a multi-pronged approach to tackle the housing crisis.

SociaLink, which supports the Western Bay of Plenty social sector, is supporting the local CPAG to act and be a voice for children whose health, education and wellbeing is compromised by poverty, says SociaLink general manager Liz Davies.

“WBOP CPAG plans to also take action locally to support national campaigns. We welcome anyone interested to participate in the local Child Poverty Action Group to join us now. We meet every first Thursday afternoon of the month.”

Anyone interested can contact CPAG WBOP directly on wbop@cpag.org.nz

For more information contact: Charlotte Van Doorn, SociaLink Collaborative Practice Coordinator on 021 193 2618.

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9 Comments
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Tom Ranger

Posted on 29-03-2021 15:16 | By

Combination of. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. If you have parents whom are what I call "lifer" beneficiaries. They will teach their kids how to survive with the skills they use. If your parents work full-time and come home knackered. You are much more likely to do the same and fight your way from ground level up the ladder like they did. If your parents own a house, obey the law, have a particular political party they support. If the parents have financial skills regarding passive income, small business. The kids generally end up there or there about’s. The other option intrigues me. The child looks at them and says. I love them. But I will never be like that and I want change! Then they stare their problems down and prepare for the fight of their life!!!

Generalizations

Posted on 29-03-2021 11:07 | By Kancho

Think we need to be careful about this issue. There is a level of poverty and it has always been so. It has varying affects . Some manage quite well on a benefit and with family help, a bit of work if available etc but it’s still a struggle. Others don’t do so well but sometimes not their fault as stuff sometimes happens out of their control or caused by circumstances or people around them. And yes some don’t have life skills or good upbringings and it’s a deep hole. The point is that they don’t need sanctimonious judgement but maybe practical help . So when you judge those needing help on a benefit you are judging most who are doing ok an the best they can as well. Yes a fewe abuse the system or help but not the majority from my experience

Society

Posted on 29-03-2021 09:54 | By

I wonder how many of these families have the latest Apple phone, big screen tv, big bass thumping stereo, label clothing, and driving a V8 . . . just thinking ’child poverty’ may also in a lot of cases, certainly not all, may be neglect stemming from relying on organizations to give handout after handout instead of relying on parenting and family skills.

Rent

Posted on 29-03-2021 09:33 | By Kancho

Well there is a market rate for rent so regardless who rents them . Government supplied homes have lower rents. There are not enough state houses so market rents apply. However my understanding is that Winz has rent assistance and working for families etc. Benefits are minimal no doubt but I guess they have to be to encourage people to do what work they can. So little money but priorities in spending. It’s hard . I lived in a state house way back and my mother cleaned neighbors houses and was paid with food for us kids, she skipped meals sometimes. We struggled but we got through . Absolutely no frills, no takeaways no phones, no waste of anything , no dislikes, no car etc. We got some help from school etc a different time maybe.

I have been a Labour supporter

Posted on 28-03-2021 19:17 | By Bruja

forever and a day but if they do not put rent controls in place, yesterday!!!!....then I will not vote for them again. Poverty could be all but stamped out if people did not have to pay out more than 25%of their income in rent. FACT! It is sheer greed that is feeding poverty. FACT. How the hell some people can sleep at night knowing that they literally take the food from the mouths of fellow Kiwis is beyond me. Is this the NZ you want? It’s not the NZ I want. Kids without food, school uniforms, staying in motels??? Really???? While you swill cocktails at the local bar and head for the snow in winter. :(

Ethics

Posted on 28-03-2021 17:09 | By

Perhaps it’s not child poverty that needs directly addressing. Perhaps it’s peoples spending, priorities and mindset . . .

Free Doctors visits

Posted on 28-03-2021 16:21 | By Equality

Looking at the above photo, it can be assumed that two of these children qualify for free doctors visits! Op shops are very cheap - and in some cases will supply free shoes and clothing where a need can be proved. There is no excuse for children to be in this sorry state. Dysfunctional families!

Poverty?

Posted on 28-03-2021 16:03 | By Equality

Child poverty is caused by dysfunctional parenting. Parents, who, regardless of the family income attend to their own ’needs’ first and foremost - drugs, alcohol, gambling etc. The children come last in such families.. There are of course exceptions to this premise.

Do gooders

Posted on 28-03-2021 15:31 | By

We need to focus on the source of the problem - not going to school therefore not getting an education and skills therefore no job or low income job and then having children you cannot provide for. Why are people having children if they are on benefits or low income?