New Stats NZ data shows little change to child poverty measures in recent years, with 151,700 children living in material hardship

New Stats NZ data shows little change to child poverty measures in recent years, with 151,700 children living in material hardship
Jacinda Ardern

There has been little change in the number of children in New Zealand living in poverty over the past five years, according to the latest Statistics New Zealand figures.

Stats NZ has just released data for the year to June 2019, across the nine measures it uses to measure child poverty.

It found there were 151,700 children, or 13.4%, living in “material hardship”.

These are children who live in households that can’t afford the essentials. For example, they can't afford fresh fruit or vegetables, put off doctors' visits or can't pay bills on time. 

This figure sat at 13.3% in 2018 and 12.7% in 2017. It was higher at 18.1% in 2013.

Poverty was remarkably worse in Maori and Pacific households, with 23.3% of Maori children living in material hardship and 28.6% of Pacific children. This compares to only 9.8% of European and 6.3% of Asian children.

The figures also show the extent to which more children were in poverty due to housing costs. 

168,500 children (14.9%) lived in households with less than 50% of the country's median equivalised disposable household income before housing costs. 

But adding in housing costs, this number increased to 241,600 (21.4%). So that's an additional 73,100 children living in poverty due to higher housing costs. 

There is a time lag of up to 18 months in the figures, as they’re based on a survey that asks respondents to comment on their incomes over the past year.

Therefore the data doesn’t entirely capture the impacts of changes the government has made to address child poverty, like the Families Package.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

118 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).
13
up

Have you heard of the one child policy?

The average children per household by ethnicity clearly shows that the more kids you have the less quality of standard living.

It is no secret that Maori and Pacific choose to have more children because of more handouts.

It is the handouts that lock them into poverty and child poverty!

Maori and pacific people living in AUS without handouts have far better standard living than their counterparts in NZ.

16
up

Somewhat agree - if you can't feed don't breed.

It's a sad cycle we see - and it's not just Maori/Pacifica.

Yeah and surely the wealthy should be compelled to breed to take up the slack .

The wealthy could afford to breed more if they weren't being forced to pay for beneficiaries to have babies, and their babies would (on average) be worth vastly more to NZ as taxpayer in future

Nobody needs to breed at all. There are 8 billion people on this planet. Immigration more than compensates for lower fertility rates.

Solution: seriously generous universal child benefit - paid to each parents if cohabiting with child. Also permit parents to swap income for IRD income tax purposes.

Perhaps Ming, Maori and Pacifica do well in Australia because they are free from the colonial baggage and discrimination they experience in New Zealand?

15
up

Perhaps we should consider taking personal responsibility for our own personal situation rather than blaming some vague external bogeyman?

Of course that's the better way to go, sadly many prefer to blame others (including the government)

Blaming others for your failings is debilitating loser-thinking. People who do it are doomed to fail. Whatever your real or imagined disadvantages you will only hamper your success and ensure your own misery if you give in to it.

So first you lot blatantly say Maori are lazy and dole bludgers, and then you imply that their disadvantages are imaginary.
Don't you think it would be quite a disadvantage to have everyone make assumptions about you based on the colour of your skin?

you don't have to scratch very deep JJ, as Taika said

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/09/hollywood-director-taika-w...

what discrimination?

as a Chinese, I probably experienced the most of it even in the comment session of this website letting alone the real world.

bur I am sure I am probably the most material affluent here.

You probably could be. Evident you would've made the trade-off for your moral disposition. Jinping would be proud mate.

People on this site don't discriminate against you by race..... They challenge your thoughts, as you challenge theirs. I would challenge any kiwi (white, brown, any nationality) who has the same blind following/ worshipping of a supressive regime. Understand you've been fed this crap by CCP however we can only try and help :)

I understand your fond feelings for the country where you were born and that made you wealthy. But not your steadfast refusal to see any failings with it, really the only thing China does well is long term planning, in every other respect they are a horrible failure - just look at how far behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea they are in development - all due to the terrible PRC government doing stupid thing and holding back the immense chinese talent pool. I am happy you are in NZ and that your children will be kiwis the same as my kids.

I think you will find the comments are mostly relating to your government, and your expressed love for it, not your race.
I have a lot of time for ethnically Chinese people, Singapore and Taiwan are great places.
By the way, you have just been discriminatory or racist yourself by making a big generalized slur of Maori and Pacific people.

My textual analysis says that xingmowang is in reality the glove-puppet of Gareth Vaughan.

17
up

The ones I know say it's cause they don't have their family and friends dragging them down and taking their stuff.

Like my 19 y/o forestry co-worker who told me he finds it hard to come to work every day as his friends are always hassling him to "just go on the dole and stay here and smoke with us" he also said it sucks cause on pay day they all expect him to buy them boxes of booze.

It's a story I've heard over and over again in my 20 years working in low socioeconomic jobs, and living in low socioeconomic towns.

Yep. Plenty of Maori exported themselves to Australia to escape the "you pay for everything bro" attitude for those sitting on their backsides smoking pot.

Cultural problem dating back to pre-European times. Muru, 'the theft' was a codified way of expropriating the wealth of any industrious Maori on pretext of some social faux pas.

duh -- you do realise that Australia is a wait for it Colony !

Yes, quite a few of them do so well that they are given a free trip back to NZ courtesy of the Australian Government ( albeit a one-way ticket ).

Are you not going to comment on the imminent demographic crisis that China now faces, caused by the one child policy?

Of course not, our resident CCP spam bot is to busy shilling the party line.

Racist.

Even at some point, some nations struggle to encourage their young generation couple to procreate, due to human artificial economic hardship.
I knew a lot of younger Singaporean couple I've met decided, not to have a child if they're living in Singapore to the point? that the govt. give incentive about having one, two etc. - Now Xing, you start feeling odd & difficult isn't it? - when your past upbringing carve you into thinking, that the world could be a better place if following CCP directives, but the fact is you're here isn't it? and started realised that the world is full of dynamic, outside China control. Even now China, already remove that one child policy.. why is it? - it's population getting old? less younger one to support it? - bit like Japan isn't it? - NZ is following closely, now I gave you choice let's replace this NZ lowest birth rate.. with import of younger, migrants: you choose from; South Africa, UK, Canada, Russia, US, OZ, Malaysia, India, France, Singapore, Israel, German, Brazil, Japan etc. and lastly of course from China too - ps. I'm sure your selection is closest to your culinary preferences. Right? - my bet is you knew Hangi meals but never tasted one, knew kava but never tasted one.. why? because by CCP definition it's inferior culture.

What a load of tripe.

17
up

A problem created by excessively generous welfare - that has seen generations of young unskilled Maori women having children on the DPB as a career choice - leading to ever more marginalized hopeless kids following the same path. If you want to solve this problem then stop paying people, who have failed to grow up and learn skills necessary to earn a crust, to have children.

21
up

Any worse than landlords capitalising the accommodation supplement and WFF payouts?

Any worse than landlords capitalising the accommodation supplement and WFF payouts?

Thanks for that Audaxes.

10
up

You two have created a strawman. The original post was not blaming beneficiaries for their predicament. It was blaming the state for incentivising misery. You've just given an example of the state again failing by handing out cash to the private sector (something which Labour and National both love to do). That's not a contradiction, rather an addition to the original argument.

You two have created a strawman. The original post was not blaming beneficiaries for their predicament. It was blaming the state for incentivising misery.

Garbage. The original post was a data-based measurement of children living in poverty in NZ. The only "blame" (causes) identified in the post were housing costs.

Presumably higher incomes for Maori families would help though yeah?

According to a lady working in family planning who wrote a letter to the editor of the NZHerald a year or so ago, Polynesian men won't do contraception. Free contraception is available to the 'young unskilled Maori women' but the reason they don't avail themselves of it remains a mystery. Perhaps it is a life style choice. Has anybody any other ideas ?

14
up

They are not in poverty because of their race. They are in poverty because they were born into the lower social
economic grouping. The structure of society means there will always be those at the top and bottom. Race based policies will not solve this, all they 'might' do is replace one person with another.

Cutting-edge Mudsill theory.

They are in poverty due to being financially illiterate, poor financial habits, and poor financial decisions.

Most people learn financial literacy indirectly through the behaviour of their parents, and in the lower socioeconomic group, there is a very poor understanding. Many people in NZ have poor financial literacy, and it is not taught in most schools, so it is up to the individual to take personal responsibility to learn financial literacy.

Here are examples of high income earners who were financially illiterate, had poor financial habits and made poor financial decisions
1) https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/rugby/former-blues-star-rupeni-cau...
2) https://www.scmp.com/sport/rugby/hk-sevens/article/2140041/broke-drunk-a...
3) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/newzealand/12...
4) https://deadline.com/2018/06/johnny-depp-rolling-stone-650m-film-fortune...

Upward social mobility is possible in New Zealand, although it is uncommon. It is dependent upon the mindset of the individual, as well as being financially literate.

For example, there is a guy who grew up in state housing in NZ in a single parent household, who became financially successful as an adult. That guy's name is John Key.

What is "financial literacy" to you? It's very abstract. Furthermore, we know that many h'holds in NZ across all socio-economic classes are living paycheck to paycheck. This is why the wealth effect is important for consumer spending: low interest rates should encourage people to spend. If that doesn't sound healthy to you, then why is this a key tenet of the beliefs of our ruling elite (bankers, politicans, and apparatchiks)?

It's not abstract; live cheap and invest long term.

It's not abstract; live cheap and invest long term.

Yes it is. It's also contradictory. For ex, ASB likes to teach the virtues of saving to kids. On the flip side, they require (and some to degree encourage) people to borrow mountains of mortgage debt while assuming all the risk. So ASB should be teaching kids and adults about risk as a path to financial literacy. Furthermore, we arguably learn about money and finance through failure than specious examples about what the financial establishment dishes out with their own assumptions about future returns.

ASB is a bank...

It is an individual's personal choice to
1) buy a house,
2) take on a mortgage

The individual can also choose to rent.

It is also an individual's choice on how to manage their personal income (I.e spending vs saving)

YES, so well said

The three easiest and most effective ways to save money ...

1) pay yourself first - for each regular paycheck, first transfer your savings into a separate bank account that you don't touch. Leave the remainder in your transaction bank account for all your living costs. - https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/payyourselffirst.asp

2) when getting payrises, save your pay increase (and put it in a separate savings account that you don't touch) and avoid life style creep for as long as possible.

3) if you get any bonuses, save this into a separate bank account.

Great advice.

I'm interested to know how this works on the minimum wage living in auckland. I suspect not very well.

Young people who are starting out in the work force earning the minimum wage, can choose to upskill themselves, or they can choose to not upskill themselves. It is entirely their choice. It is more of a challenge, the nearer the person is to retirement.

People can choose to find a way out of their circumstances or choose to carry on the same way in their circumstances. It is their choice.

"we arguably learn about money and finance through failure"

Here is a life choice for people. Do people choose to:

1) learn life lessons by personal experiences firsthand?
2) learn life lessons from the folly and mistakes of others? - there are many in reported in the news, it's just that people choose to ignore the lessons offered.

People are free to make their choice, but people are not free from the consequences of their choice.

“Learn from others. No one has enough time in life to make all the mistakes themselves and to then become successful” - anon

Laminar put it simply and succintly.

It assumes that the person is wanting to get themselves out of poverty and not want government handouts such as unemployment benefit, DPB, etc. There is a proportion of the population who want the handouts. But for most of those individuals who want to help themselves out there is a way.

Lets look how people can ruin their lives, and avoid doing those things. Here is a starter book.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Ruin-Your-Life-Stein/dp/1401906168

The one important area that is missing in the above book is how to ruin your health.

Sorry CN, but capitalism will always be a pyramid with a few wealthy and the majority poor. Take a look at the income distributions curves and then factor in the unemployed + those not working (housepersons etc)

A few people through hard work will climb the materialistic ladder up the pyramid, and growth in real gdp per capita will lift everyone, but it will always be a pyramid.

Aligned with this is that those unemployed are unemployed through no fault of their own (at the macro level). Running a price stability regime focused on steady inflation REQUIRES a portion of the population to be unemployed. (That is not to say that they cant contribute in meaningful ways to society)

Those at the bottom deserve the full support from those lucky enough to be employed.

On a broad macro level, agree with you.

There should be a safety net for those who are unable to truly help themselves - mental illness, physical handicap (e.g at birth, due to accident, etc), mentally handicap, physical sickness, etc.

Then there are those who have trained in industries that have been lost to competition (- such as the offshoring of apparel manufacturing in the 1990's) and are nearing retirement and unable to retrain.

Look at China with the growth in real GDP per capita, and how many millions have been lifted out of poverty. Now they are a large number of tourists around the world.

Unfortunately there are also those who have no desire to work or retrain and are gaming the system - they may choose to stay unemployed.

Capitalism has rich and poor and plenty inbetween. Hunter gatherers have shared wealth - shared by ability but shared. All other systems are a variations on feudalism with a restricted number having immense wealth and the vast majority enslaved to them.

Example of a poor financial decision

Here's an investment choice for you:

1) put money in the bank and earn 2-3% per annum? or;
2) buy your own home, invest $61,000 over 11 years and get $16,000 at the end of it? (That’s a loss of 74% of their money. )

Certainly seems like a simple decision doesn't it? How could anyone even think about option 2?

Well that is what happened to this owner who bought using a 90% LVR P&I mortgage. Remember back in 2008, owner occupiers could use 90% LVR.

i) The $61,000 is their initial deposit of $22,900 (10% of purchase price), and the principal payments on their mortgage over that 11 year period.
Ii) The $16,000 is the net sales proceeds of the house after repayment of the mortgage and deduction for selling costs.

Now imagine the impact of that single decision to buy on their future financial security and retirement …

Bought June 2008 at $229,000, sold 11 years later on June 2019 for $190,000 - a loss of 17% over 11 years.
So much for the property prices doubling every 10 years. The property price didn't even keep up with inflation during that period - the property price was NEGATIVE 1.5% per annum, so that is 3.5% per annum below the target inflation rate of the RBNZ of 2.0% per annum).

https://www.qv.co.nz/property/10-eva-street-greymouth-7805/1364994

The above numbers don't even include the additional estimated $125,000 or so paid in bank interest over the 11 year period for the privilege of owning their own home for 11 years.

Another example:

2006: Purchase price $290,000
2016: Sale price $230,000. A drop of 20% over 10 years.

Add leverage with that - possibly financed the purchase with a 90% LVR mortgage. Owner occupier lost a lot here in percentage terms. Assuming a 10% deposit of $29,000, compare that to the property price fall of $60,000 between the purchase price and sale price - more than 200% of their initial deposit.

A couple of observations:
1) price of property didn't double in 10 years
2) price of property didn't keep up with inflation.

https://www.qv.co.nz/property/6-sievwright-lane-whataupoko-gisborne-4010...

Rastus, RS tells us below that John Key was also "born into the lower social group" you refer to, he has become a very successful business man and a PM, so it's not so much what you are born into but more what you do with your life.

by RickStrauss | 25th Feb 20, 2:57pm
Well, John Key grew up on the state with a beneficiary mum

Ever shrinking social mobility.

Jeff Bezos probably had a similar upbringing to you, so shouldn't you be a billionaire too? You must be lazy and not doing enough with your life...

Studies in the US and Canada have proven the causes of poverty - its failing to finish high school, failing to be in full time work, and having children before marriage. Here in NZ we encourage young people to drop out of school, go on the dole, or have babies and go on the DPB. Its become a lifestyle choice, that is now entrenching intergenerational poverty.

All three are correlations not causes. However I agree about encouraging marriage although to be modern we may have to call it something else. How about a 20 year committment contract? Reward with giant tax breaks - say income swaps for tax purposes and universal child benefit. It is the best investment our govt can make.

Agreed, that's why Nat have the policy to import voters from mainland China, more 'sophisticated' mindset, the only one to follow in this planet, to bring future prosperity for NZ - From observation, if the current Pacifica/Maori/Elderly/disable/ADHD/FASD/DS - can be replaced with healthier Chinese imports, then why not? - we need this superior race import in order to replace the current invalid one, the Nazi failed. We should learn from them, The new modern import will do better, we'll learn from the past mistake.

10
up

Not a popular opinion but I lay the blame with the parents, if you can't look after your kids properly, don't have any. If you have kids anyway do what it takes to look after them, it's not the government's job, it's the parent's job.

I have to agree.

First and foremost it is the parent's responsibility (Both of them). Followed by the immediate family, then wider family, and if still nothing, the local community (friends, schools, religious groups, sports clubs, ethnic groups, etc...)

The government shouldn't be parenting the kids - that will just lead to indoctrination, which never ends well for anyone.

The government shouldn't be parenting the kids - that will just lead to indoctrination, which never ends well for anyone. [my bold]
Exactly:

The ultimate level of selfishness - using the State to enforce your will, demands, lifestyle..... on others, "for their own good" Link

Its simple economics; the state can't possibly afford to parent kids. 10's of thousands of hours of conscientious 90 hours a week care is required. Non-residential schools aren't and can't be a substitute. A lot of patience, love, discipline and role-model and expectation setting is needed. Fail at it and the kids will struggle to make it in today's world - and are far more likely to end up a life long burden to the taxpayer.

"Its simple economics; the state can't possibly afford to parent kids."

Applies to most parents as well.
Some can invest the time, some can invest the cash. But very few can afford both, and you need both for a healthy, happy child.

You don't need time, or money, to raise happy and healthy kids. You need diligence, persistence and love.

Not a popular opinion but I lay the blame with the parents, if you can't look after your kids properly, don't have any. If you have kids anyway do what it takes to look after them, it's not the government's job, it's the parent's job

Max Key?

Well, John Key grew up on the state with a beneficiary mum. It wasn't the government's job but they certainly helped him out a lot.

So you're saying he became PM because of the governments help? Most kids of beneficiaries don't become highly successful business people and Prime Ministers.

He more than likely wouldn't have become PM without the generosity of society supporting his mother and him, that's for sure.

However, the fact we have many kids of beneficiaries failing does highlight how difficult it can be to break the cycle once these very negative cycles have started. Likewise for the failing children of wealthy but dysfunctional people.

So why did JK manage to break the cycle? Cause he took charge of his own life!

Spot on for your last sentence.
Seen some really dysfunctional relationships between wealthy people screw up their kids.
There's no doubt a correlation between wealth and success of children, but it's nowhere near a causative relationship.
I've seen plenty of cases of low or lower-middle income households turning out great kids. The parents have been great, despite having little money.

Well, John Key grew up on the state with a beneficiary mum. It wasn't the government's job but they certainly helped him out a lot.

Sure did. Lived in a state house I believe and was fortunate enough to attend Burnside High (good school compared to those from the other side of the tracks). He later went on to study at Canterbury for more 100% govt-funded education.

Not sure I see what your point is.

I too grew up with a beneficiary Mum, attended a public school and benefited from a heavily subsidised tertiary education. This has allowed me to get a job and repay via tax many times over for the hand-up i received when i was younger.

I dont think anyone would deny the hand-up the government offers..... but where people take exception, and this is evident in the comments, is where it is no longer a hand-up but simply a hand-out.

The sad fact is 'the bennie' is considered by many as a right. It is not.

On the dole, if you do not try to find work... lose the bennie.

So.. how about....
If your kids dont turn up at school... lose the bennie.
If your kids dont get vaccinated.. lose the bennie.

The benefit is offered as a way to help individuals and families up.... if you dont want help to improve your position, dont put your hand out.

if you dont want help to improve your position, dont put your hand out.

Fair enough. Do you think that mindset should have applied to South Canterbury Finance investors?

J.C.

It is extremely unfortunate for the investors who invested a significant amount of their wealth with South Canterbury Finance. Many older investors lost their financial security, and a lifetime of hard earned savings.

I know of others who lost much of their financial security by losing money with other finance companies. There was one person who thought that they were being diversified by placing deposits amongst many different finance companies, and ultimately lost out. Some were fortunate that they still had their home.

There were also many older investors who lost due to Blue Chip and went into bankruptcy, losing their financial security.

Loss of financial security can certainly take an enormous emotional and physical toll especially for those at or near retirement where recovery from a large financial loss can be almost impossible. This happened to a family member and they needed state housing, as they also lost their home. I recall another story of a father who lost everything they had during the 1987 stock market crash using a large amount of leverage and he subsequently committed suicide. Those stories have stuck in the back of my mind, and is the sole reason for raising awareness of the higher risks of purchasing real estate in some locations in New Zealand, so that people can make fully informed decisions - I know that deposits for purchasing owner occupied property are a result of many years of savings by hard working honest people trying to get ahead in life and as a step to financial security.

From what I understand, those investment schemes (Blue Chip and Finance companies) were marketed by slick salesman. The only way to avoid financially fatal losses would have been to only invest a small amount relative to one's net worth in the whole industry or to avoid investing altogether.

Also anytime that any financial product is sold with a high commission to the salesman / broker, it is best to avoid it altogether.

Financial products are designed by savvy and financially sophisticated people, and these products can be extremely complicated to understand. There have been so many innocent hard working people caught out. For most people, it is best to avoid them altogether.

What the heck are you talking about??? South Canterbury Finance got bailed out by us (well the government). No investor lost any money

Apologies for error, I misread. For some reason I had Strategic Finance in mind not SCF.

I fail to follow your thinking comparing social welfare payments to bailing out a poor investment?

For what its worth I do know a bit about SCF and feel some investors needed to be supported due to some very poor advice. But on the whole, the government should not have bailed out South Canterbury Finance investors.. many of whom were sophisticated investors who knew the risk. Moreover, noone should lose 'everything' in an investment.

Why should taxpayers pay for people making poor decisions? Don't look for a job, don't get your kids educated.. fine, but dont expect to live off taxpayers who do seek to improve their position. Bailing out SCF investors.. same thing... "i dont need to worry about making bad decisions cos the government will look after me".

Where is the personal accountability?

"I too grew up with a beneficiary Mum, attended a public school and benefited from a heavily subsidised tertiary education"

Some other stories of upward social mobility:

1) Had relatives where their parents were immigrants, entrepreneurs and then lost it all due to lack of financial literacy. In fact, given that they were immigrants, their parents were both illiterate. Parents ended up as beneficiaries living in state housing. The 3 kids all finished tertiary education, and now paying their share of taxes.

2) Knew another guy who grew up with his divorced mum, and they financially struggled. He finished tertiary education and now paying his fair share of taxes, and is a partner in a very successful accounting business and multi-millionaire.

3) Knew another guy who grew up with his divorced mum, and they financially struggled. He was in with a bad crowd - street crime. He met a girl, and she straightened him out. She was financially literate and managed their finances. He was bright and landed a job where he was ultimately promoted to operations manager after 28 years. Financially secure with good paying jobs.

Like I said earlier, it can be done, but requires financial literacy, and avoiding making large financial mistakes.

Living in fantasy land. In the real world, the kids are here, and they don't stay kids forever.

Quite the opposite, I think thats actually a very popular opinion with all except the worst of the "woke" crowd.

It appears to be that way, I'm surprised but glad, I expected to be roasted by many

Definitely agree. Parenting is so important. Much more important than wealth or lack of it. Having g said that, being on the bones of your ass creates a lot of stress which can degrade relationships and family life

Its an opinion without a solution (unless you promote castration etc). Lifting out of poverty is a potential solution. I think better education would be a better solution.

From a material point of view I think having too strong a culture is detrimental. You want to be bound as little as possible to any particular culture. You don't want restrictive rules and obligations in your life unless they are directly related in a positive way to making and retaining wealth. Even in my own life I have pretty much cancelled Christmas and other outdated celebrations. This saves me considerable effort and money. However a Western style Christmas is probably a tiny imposition compared to what some other cultures have to endure.

Of course spiritually some may think I am somewhat impoverished although I don't feel it, in fact I feel remarkably free. Modern people don't need any of this unnecessary cultural baggage and to be successful you must be modern in your outlook and lifestyle.

So much comment on Maori. Remember the kids aren't percentages, they're individuals.
European numbers on an actual basis far outstrip any others. There must be 100,000 European kids in those figures, what the fudge is wrong with European culture that it would allow this? Too busy pointing the finger at "others", remember there's three pointing back.

"There has been little change in the number of children in New Zealand living in poverty over the past five years, according to the latest Statistics New Zealand figures."

Absurd strategic policy failure from government.

What do you expect when:
a) we running a very high immigration rate, one of the highest per capita
b) the RMA is near inelastic and can't come up with enough building supply
c) the government prefers to build roads rather than social housing (recent Xbn transport package vs 350m social housing)

Median rents are up about 30% from 2015 - well above the rate of inflation
https://www.interest.co.nz/charts/real-estate/median-rents-nz

Coalition all mouth and no trousers, again. The problem with making policy and proclamations based on feelings rather than analysis (like National did)

rather than analysis (like National did)

Heh. Nice one.

I'm not hugely surprised, unfortunately the failure of governments (current, prior) to address infrastructure issues likely grossly outweighs any financial assistance offered to those on lower incomes.

A question posted on a Winz Advice Facebook page half an hour ago....

Ok currently arguing with someone , can winz tell you you are not allowed to smoke. And can they tell you you can not donate to charities?

There is absolutely no reason for any New Zealand family to be living in poverty, we have free education , free healthcare , free handouts galore ...............almost everything on a plate in terms of welfarism , ......... we see immigrants from hopelessly poor countries arrive here , work hard and get ahead.

We need to ask why this is so

We have a real problem are some stuff simply "lacking ", like ,

Lack of family planning
Lack of financial planning
Lack of discipline to save
Lack of discipline to NOT drink , smoke or gamble
Lack of get up and go
Lack of a work ethos
Lack of ability to use our great education system to get ahead in life

And a "culture" problem

A culture of expectation
A culture of victimhood

You do have to ask how people from a third world country, who step off the plane with nothing, yet manage to make a life and home for themselves in this country without going on benefits. Yet some people born here, who have received free education, healthcare, and other support, are still sitting around whining about how its all [insert choice of Govt/colonisation/racism here] fault that they cant afford to pay their rent.

I imagine that the people from the third world country were taught the value of hard work by their parents. How do you propose we break that cycle here?

Easier said than done.
I struggle from pay packet to pay packet, I am a so called high income earner, I drink at the low end of moderate, I don't smoke.
Even moderately healthy food is bloody expensive. Sure you could get by on living on canned food....

Fritz, may I ask do you rent or own? Do you have dependants (kids, partner) and where do you live or are these questions too personal?

You know I own (as of late last year)
A lot of money goes to the mortgage.
We have two kids and they aren't cheap.
And the cost of living in this country, as you know, is very high.
Things are tight even though our household income is fairly high.
I have a huge amount of sympathy for the battlers on middle or lower-middle incomes. Don't know how they do it

Well since you bought a house recently and have 2 kids, you do indeed have a lot of expenses, the good news is that it is only going to get better from here on !

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

Somebody, somewhere at sometime had to upgrade the Ten Commandments. Well done.

The US follow those commandments. I assume they have no poverty...

All this Labour Govt has done is to pay beneficiaries to have more children. Therefore, there will be more children living in poverty.

It is not just this Government, but all before it. Addressing this and many comments further up; this is about people taking advantage of a social welfare system designed to help people in genuine need. A young girl getting pregnant is not in my view, genuine need. So why do we pay children to have children? there are some who argue from a cultural perspective that it takes a village to raise a child, and therein I suggest lies a part of the problem. No discipline, no defined roots, sense of entitlement builds to lousy, ineffective parenting! This lack of disciple and sense of entitlement also leads to violence and crime, and when reality smacks home with it's usual brutality, people resort to drugs to feel good and this leads to more violence and full prisons. And this is just a part of the problem.

Failed socio-economic policies for at least the last almost 40 years is a big part of the issue too. No jobs that provide a decent income over most of the country as out politicians sucked up the propaganda about the 'free market' and remember Mike Moore having to tell Lange and Douglas that they had to keep the business leaders on side? Sucking up to money never bodes well for the majority of the population. Successive Governments for the last 40 years have fundamentally failed in the mandate they were handed by the people - to govern in the best interests of the majority of the people!

The current Government can make a big difference for the majority of people, and especially child poverty by just properly addressing the housing issue. Building more houses will not fix the problem unless they are all State houses. what they need to do is regulate the housing market including rentals. In my view the following is the minimum that must be done; (all property reference is for residential properties)
- Regulate rents to a maximum of $150 - $200 for an whole house. Essentially 25 - 30% of the median take home pay.
- Any rental property must meet a minimum standard BEFORE it is permitted to be rented.
- No properties are permitted to be held empty, unless they are under renovation (and this must be demonstrated)
- All landlords must be registered and licenced, demonstrating a knowledge to the tenancies act, property standards and being of good character.
- No property can be owned by a foreign owner not resident in NZ. Properties owned by companies - the companies must prove their owners are resident in NZ, especially the principal owners. (any in this position must be sold within two years of the rule being introduced)

This will cause a scream I know. But I believe that the net result will be that property values will fall to affordable levels, as will rents. Government will no longer have to subsidise landlords, and most of all with affordable rents, middle and lower income groups will automatically have more money in their hands and thus child poverty will be addressed to a degree.

AS the article says unaffordable housing is at the route of most of our social ills. This government is a total failure at addressing the housing disaster and betrayed the hopes and faith of their supporters. On the basis of their past performance they do not deserve to be in government. But then every other choice is a lot worse.
Until they facilitate the building of an enormous number of homes and something like a halving of house prices this problem will never be solved. They will continue to throw away our tax as benefit rises, which will go straight into the pockets of landlords and property speculators.
Without any hope, people have nothing. No motivation, no aspiration, why work, why advance yourself, why save; for some, sadly, why live. In the current environment they will never catch up with the ever increasing prices. Labour's performance is indistinguishable from the previous National governments.
The continuing galloping immigration only pours petrol on the housing shortage inferno, while limiting any hope of work and salary advancement. This government are nothing but total traitors to the people that they claim to be looking after.

Really well put.

Very well put. You don't say why. I'd ask how many of our Labour & Green MPs own property? How many have supported themselves by manual work? How many meals do they have with lobbyists or businessmen and how many with working class families or pensioners? They are just so out of touch.

Yeah good questions. Many of them seem to have had it cushy.
Jacinda grew up in a pretty comfortable household.
Bunch of chardonnay socialists.
Woods is possibly the one I dislike the most.Has an arrogant, privileged ex academic air to her.

Powerful, eloquent comment - heart and soul.

Passive aggressive leftism.

All the facile psychobabble in the world won't change the facts or hide Labours failings.

When houses have been allowed to get so overpriced (and I am not talking here about 'affordability, which is artificial due to historic low interest rates), what do we expect. The system is geared to those people who already own houses. The housing market is now too big to fail, as it is now too interwoven with the banking system, due to the large amount of lending banks have done to buy these overpriced shacks. Overpriced houses and huge increases in their price in the last decade has led to rents also needing to rise, and many of the renters are those lower socioeconomic groups who will never be able to afford to buy a house.

Gosh, who knew?

There is an afwul lot of doublethink about in policy lala land these days (or is it usual in bureaucracies, public or private?), it seems to be a required skill:

1 More immigration will lead to more and better housing, a reduction in homelessness, higher wages for all and an increase in social harmony.

2 Lower interest rates will lead to more affordable and better quality housing and a reduction in homelessness and dependency.

3 More regulation will obviously lead to less homelessness and more affordable and better quality housing.

Yer gotta larf.

This always gets overlooked - according to Jordan Peterson at least 10% of the North American population have an IQ less than 85. At that level or less, a person is unable to learn skills and how to do tasks that make them employable - the US Army won't accept recruits with an IQ less than 83 because they are effectively useless even for the army. Here in NZ we could have half a million people with a similarly low IQ. So really there's not much that can be done and there's no need to go around looking for someone to blame. Everyone is certainly not equal! And not everyone has the mental capacity to take advantage of opportunities even if presented them on a plate.

Yep it sucks, and IQ is highly heritable. If your parents were both thick then you will be too (on average), though slightly less thick than they were (regression to mean). If you parents were both geniuses then you will (on average) be very smart. There is nothing that can be done after conception to fix this inequality. Lesson is: Use smartest sperm donor you can if you want your kids to have happy successful lives.

We can't let mere child poverty getting in the way of the "kiwi way of life".

According to some "hard working kiwis" here, those children can only blame themselves and do their best to look out for their own needs.

Wow, what a pile-on.

Of the children in poverty I wonder what percentage have a smoker in the family. Nobody in government wants to know the answer so the question is never asked. Smokerfree 2025 = poverty 2025.

Your access to our unique content is free - always has been. But ad revenues are diving so we need your direct support.

Become a supporter

Thanks, I'm already a supporter.