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Child Poverty In New Zealand: Causes And Solutions

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Table of contents

  1. What are the causes of child poverty in New Zealand?
  2. How does New Zealand child poverty rate compared to other countries?
  3. What are the possible solutions to child poverty?

The idea of child poverty and its effect on New Zealand emerged after seeing the documentary on YouTube. This thought arose from my curiosity regarding the effectiveness of attempts to eradicate and reduce child poverty in New Zealand. My hypothesis was that the child poverty rate in New Zealand was not so bad as compared to other countries. Nevertheless, I also feel that to conduct my research; I decided to ask three questions; ‘What are the causes of child poverty in New Zealand?’, ‘How does New Zealand child poverty rate compared to other countries?’ and ‘What are the possible solutions to child poverty in New Zealand?’

What are the causes of child poverty in New Zealand?

The OCC source states that ‘the causes are multiple and varied’. Not surprisingly, according to this source, the most important causes of child poverty in New Zealand are ‘low family income, poor academic performance, social and health problems and public spending priorities’. The source goes further by citing that children living with one parent, large families, people with disabilities and living in social housing can significantly increase the chances of children living in poverty. They had a valid point because the people who came from large families who experienced their form of material deprivation. While most of these causes are apparent, I am not convinced that social housing is a cause. I am sure that those in the social houses are there because they have a low income and, for me, it is right to remember that the poverty associated with social housing was born as a result of events before families were placed in social houses. I believe these are direct causes that have accumulated and constituted a complex problem. The advisory group has written the source of experts from the Commissioners of Children acting independently of the government, which means that they do not have a political program and this avoids the possibility that their information is partial.

Similarly, according to ‘’, it also states the same causes of child poverty in New Zealand. She mentioned Emily Keddell, a sociologist who attributed the causes of child poverty only to lack of money and said: ‘It does not matter if the money is delivered through wages, benefits, taxes or universal subsidies for children: it is money what it does the difference. Without it, people are poor. ‘While I agree that money is essential, I feel the need to challenge it when it states that it doesn’t matter how money reaches families. In a sense, I think it’s important and plays an important role in how poverty is caused and worsened because families have become so dependent on the government to fulfil their responsibilities, while these families don’t make a significant attempt to get good remuneration and support each other. I think it’s not the lack of money that causes poverty, but the way the money is paid. The emphasis should be on the use of transfer payments to help people with significant deprivation, but proper wage use should be emphasized. For me, I found this particular information invalid. This is because I see ‘hands-out’ only as a way to facilitate life in poverty, rather than take away their families for their long-term benefit. Jonathan Boston is a well-known child and academic researcher in poverty with government analytical credentials to justify the information presented in this source. What makes it respectable is the fact that his work has been recognized by the Commissioner for Childhood and the tertiary education academics.

How does New Zealand child poverty rate compared to other countries?

While, in my opinion, child poverty in New Zealand is not as severe as in other countries of the world, child poverty remains very significant. An article on “” provides data that amazes me. Although OECD presents data for profitable profits, which can sometimes make presentation information difficult, I trust this source in this case, since they got their information directly from official data. The source states New Zealand’s rate was 15%, while Australia’s (11 United Kingdom’s (10%). France (9%) and Finland (3%) were all lower despite their larger population.

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On the contrary, the information from ‘’ shows that the rate in New Zealand was more severe than that mentioned in the previous source. This source states that the New Zealand rate is 28% as opposed to 13% of the last reference. What seems unusual to me is that both data from these sources were published according to data from 2018, yet they seem to differ from one another. Now, this second source appears to be reliable because the organizations behind this source seem to be non-profit organizations with a genuine attitude towards children in poverty. As a result of these results, it is right to mention the challenges that different child poverty measures must present direct information because it is not a straightforward problem. I am not necessarily convinced of the information provided due to some factors that should have influenced New Zealand’s child poverty rate, such as; population, the gap between rich and poor, income distribution. I think I would need to undergo another survey with more recent results in my opinion that the New Zealand rate is not as significant as that of other countries, to change it.

What are the possible solutions to child poverty?

I hope to find a good income, educational achievements and a stable economy where economic growth is achieved and maintained as solutions to child poverty. I also know that government policies have an impact on child poverty, and I am sure that more draft amendments would be presented to the House of Representatives in an attempt to reduce child poverty. However, the ‘’ site states that ‘economic growth alone will not necessarily face poverty’. Although this surprises me, the article refers to how this occurred. ‘Growing the cake (economic)’ does not necessarily mean that everyone receives a more significant portion. Recent evidence from the World Bank and the IMF recognize the need for growth to be ‘favourable to the poor’. Although the article begins to seem very stubborn, I found that there was an equal balance of facts and opinions, which adds validity to this source. This is also a very current source, as the information found by the World Bank was published at the beginning of last year. I find it hard to believe because economic growth indicates that the economy is improving and that people have more money to spend. It seems logical that when the economy grows, people are much better, and that is why this discovery surprises me.

Community support was the most extensive quoted; This source supports proposed initiatives, such as the use of schools as community centres to help people in the neighbourhood. Other proposed solutions include improving educational participation (to increase literacy skills between Maori and the Pacific), food in schools and more comfortable access to quality medical care. I believe that community support is a good idea because child poverty does not only affect people financially, but debt is a somewhat traumatic experience that is very demoralizing and can lead to complications of social well-being. Despite being a newspaper to attract readers for profit, I believe this source is commendable for its proposed solutions to child poverty. This is because the case examined people about what they think they can do to alleviate child poverty in response to the government’s recent approach to tackling child poverty.

As a result of my findings, I concluded that the child poverty rate in New Zealand is not as vital as comparsion to countries. However, I am not surprised to find that the government had waited seven years before they decided to try to alleviate child poverty in New Zealand. They seem to have remained until the problem worsened instead of preventing it from getting worse, almost as if the government wanted New Zealand to tolerate significant child deprivation. I believe that investing in children should be a top priority of the government, as they will be the ones who will lead the country of tomorrow. If I had to do more research, I would be interested to see exactly how realistic it is to eradicate poverty, the accuracy of child poverty stereotypes in New Zealand and the latest global child poverty rates. It is an unfortunate situation for children living in poverty, and that is why it must be urgently addressed.

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Child Poverty In New Zealand: Causes And Solutions. (2021, September 22). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from
“Child Poverty In New Zealand: Causes And Solutions.” Edubirdie, 22 Sept. 2021,
Child Poverty In New Zealand: Causes And Solutions. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Sept. 2023].
Child Poverty In New Zealand: Causes And Solutions [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 22 [cited 2023 Sept 25]. Available from:
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