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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government’s Child Poverty Reduction Bill will ensure NZ becomes 'the best place in the world to be a child'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government’s Child Poverty Reduction Bill will ensure NZ becomes 'the best place in the world to be a child'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government’s Child Poverty Reduction Bill, unveiled Tuesday afternoon, will ensure New Zealand becomes “the best place in the world to be a child.”

The Bill is a framework for measuring and targeting child poverty and will set in law four primary and six supplementary measurements.

The Bill does not set targets, but instead establishes primary measures targets will be set against. Future and present governments will be required to set the targets to reduce child poverty.

Primary measures include low income before housing cost – below 50% of median income, low income after housing costs set at 50% of median income.

Material hardship, using the European Union’s standard threshold, and a persistence measure will also be monitored.

Statistics NZ will be required to produce independent reports on all 10 of the primary and supplementary measures of child poverty.

As well as this, current and future governments will be required to publish a report showing the progress made in meeting targets on budget day, as well as explaining how the budget will reduce child poverty.

Governments will also be required to set 10-year targets on a defined set of measures of child poverty and periodically set and publish three-year targets.

“For too long, too many of our children have lived in poverty and hardship. Economic growth alone, while a crucial part of the solution, has not fixed this,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says in a statement.

The Bill is about “building consensus on behalf of children,” she says which is why Ardern has not included individual government targets in the Bill.

“We want to leave room for each government to determine their own child poverty reduction ambition.”

The Prime Minister says between 150,000 and 290,000 children in New Zealand are living in poverty or hardship, depending on the measure used, with 80,000 in more severe hardship.

National Party leader Bill English is critical of the Bill, saying it contains “no substance to address the drivers of deprivation.”

National shares the Government’s goal of reducing child poverty, English says, but this does not require new legislation.

“The Government’s new proposals are so high level and general that they refer to no one in particular, and no one will be held responsible for any lack of progress,” he says.

“A plan that will really, truly tackle child poverty must address the drivers of social dysfunction and hold the public service accountable, not just rely on the Government’s good intentions."

Ardern says the Government will release its targets "very soon, one this week."

Here's a background summary released by the Government. And the Bill itself is here.

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.


"But the other half of the story with poverty is the social dysfunction that traps people in it for a long time - long-term welfare dependency, child abuse, often ill-health, disability."

The issue is that we live in an economic system based on price stability which inherently required a % of the population to be unemployed. Unfortunately for some this will be long term unemployment.

Given that the rest of us get to have jobs, we need to ensure those "trapped" have the full range of social support and can play an active part in society.

which inherently required a % of the population to be unemployed. Unfortunately for some this will be long term unemployment
Wish I could remember who said people who talk about "pools of unemployment" should be forced to swim in them. If that's the economic system we have,, then maybe its time to change it.

I think you will find the issue is not with the disabled, terminally ill looking for jobs but rather no jobs they can be employed in. Employers and HR normally cut them out in the first run, sometimes they are lucky and make it to an interview without the disability being identified & obvious and then they most of the time get cut out. Not to mention most council transport development being anti disabled and pro bike (had a couple of job losses because transport accessibility for disabled was removed for bike lane barriers). Suffice to say it was worth less than the job opportunities & accessibility to facilities that were cut and the public costs to cover the effects.


WFF and the benefits system ensures there is an incentive to have dysfunctional kids. More kids, more money. Lower income (lower IQ), more money. Have kids with more fathers, more money. They don't even have to name the father anymore.

By all means give these kids an education so aren't trapped into a lifestyle of crime. But something needs to be done about the source of the problem. After 2 kids here is the deal: you get a decent form of birth control or you lose half the benefits darling. The nuclear family is the building block of any healthy society so this must be stomped out aggressively.

I'm tired of being a hard working young person paying for dysfunctional degenerate "families" and entitled boomers' retirements. How about you let us decent couples have kids for a change huh?

If I have a kid I get no WFF. If there is a bread winner in the family they get taxed at 30% plus the 15 GST, plus everything is a ripoff here anyway because the ComCom are wet noodles. Why raise the nations IQ when the election is only ever a few years away.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make It drink. Or as Dorothy Parker put it, you can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her think. Same outcome really and sad as it is there seems to have been this element in society, been beyond recorded history probably, simply, that there are those who are unable to fend for themselves. The Roman Empire called them plebs, the British Empire the hoi polloi. So in these modern times with the great extent of wealth available to a great percentage of the population, there is no choice if only on humanitarian grounds, to keep improving the circumstances of this age old reality, it is a responsibility that cannot be ignored anymore than compassion can be denied.

That joke is really shit when you miss out the part where it was a challenge to use the word 'horticulture' in a sentence.

I’m sure there are low IQ fathers out there with multiple children to different mothers, and who aren’t paying child support. If you dont have a job then child support is no disincentive, and the desire to procreate outweighs any logical planning.
Contrast to the working couple in Mount Eden who’re in their 40’s earning 160K a year, and who're putting off having children because even a crappy house would cost them almost 2 million dollars. Raises interesting questions, should we be trying to engineer a system where high IQ people are encouraged to procreate. Not trying to vilify the poor, (even Jesus said they’d always be with us) but the would-be upper middle class needs some sort of help-package from the government. Even if it’s just a ban on foreign house buyers.

The line between genius and madness is very thin, wouldnt get too much into selective breeding.

perhaps, but I believe IQ is normally distributed.

Of course,
Have you met people who top exams nationally or are the shining stars of their university but take to alcohol,
Or successful professionals taking medication for schziophrenia.
A fine line.

Always exceptions to the rule like the mathematician John Nash, however overall mental illness is financially emotionally, and in every way devastating for the individual and their family. If we could genetically eliminate severe illnesses like Schizophrenia, Down syndrome Parkinson’s, motor Neuron disease etc, by preventing the children from ever being born in the first place then the sum and total of human misery would be substantially reduced. Likewise, if we could somehow encourage higher IQ breeding then poverty wouldn’t be such a problem because more intelligent people would likely better take care of themselves and make better life decisions. Hmm this probably isn’t a very popular opinion..

Spike Milligan the classic example of that, straddled that line well.

And he gave so many people pleasure.

We already have selective breeding but it's in the wrong direction.

Recent scientific data published has confirmed that children actually end up with the IQ level within 5% of their Mother's IQ. So females with a high IQ that choose stupid men to breed with, will have almost zero impact on her children's intelligence, where the father is an imbecile. This suggests that stupid men can still father brilliant children, as long as the mother is only using him for breeding purposes. hehe I must find this article and re-post it here. But food for thought anyway.

You are kidding right? How does that explain siblings with widely divergent IQs or children with clearly higher IQ than their mothers? Please find the article so we can view its credentials.

I have often wondered if attractive/beautiful yet not intelligent women might reduce the intelligence of some populations. Conversely women may generally be too smart to fall for the same trap in men.

Or not?

I remember the mother inheritance article that went viral. Pretty sure that was a very dodgy misrepresentation of the actual science quoted;

Parenting and circumstances are often dominant factors in a persons success or otherwise. for parenting - hard regulation (possibly even bordering on some seriously UN PC rules) is required, for the rest opportunities provides the answers.


Maybe a means test for unprotected sex?

Even the village idiot who has the ability to impregnate most of the women in his entire social circle, will only produce children with lower IQ's than himself, if the woman he impregnates has a low IQ herself. It makes sense when you think about it. Nature versus Nurture and the Human Race is designed to weed out those weaker ones.

One flaw with that: warning labels.

You mean tattoos?


By the time you have the opportunity to stare at the tramp stamp for that long a stretch, the relationship has already advanced quite far.

Here's the best and easiest solution ............ HAVE LESS CHILDREN .

We knew we could afford 3 kids , so that's where we stopped, .

My wife has 5 siblings , and her family struggled their entire lives , and it was because there were so many mouths to feed

And both her parents had jobs ............ imagine if they we on welfare ?

If you are on welfare with no skills , you cannot afford to have 4 or 5 or 6 kids often with different fathers , its a sure way to poverty .

It's proven that educated women have fewer children. We want a world class education system but aren't prepared to pay for it. Finnish teachers are well qualified, well paid and are held in high regard. No surprise that in NZ teachers are over-worked, not very well paid and aren't highly regarded as a profession. Start with valuing teachers, pay them properly and good quality candidates will step forward.

Here is an interesting and common issue. One parent dies, divorces or gets critically ill. Effect solo parent household with now less income than they need to support the children. It is not the child's fault they are alive and it is not their fault that life, and shit happens.


unfortunately with child poverty defined as a percentage of medium incomes the result of this new framework will be to pay low income people for children...circular and long term dangerous for children and for NZ

So what's the ultimate agenda that's being pursued?

don't know if there is an alterative agenda, I think they want to help poor children. But if people are paid to have children, they will have more. That's the wrong motivation to have children, and can lead to harms.

Maori and pi like having families and kids and when the income is guaranteed it's very little stress. In general they don't have the ambition to get ahead in life

I live in a maori community,
Their manners are superb and they are a very accepting society, even better, visible signs of young children.
Whats not to like.
Im pakeha by the way.

I wouldn't disagree with this. There can still be a lot of violence and theft but the point is about children in poverty. Gaming of the dpb and assoc benefits isn't doing anyone any good.


Having a Samoan wife and being very close to what goes in within this culture, you obviously have no idea. My wife is one of six children, her father was a carpenter, and her mother held various low paying cleaning jobs and worked all the hours god gave her. They supported many other families coming from the islands in the 70s and 80s and are one of the few families still in grey lynn today. Lack of ambition ? Different values, and in lots of respects better values.

Yes Maori and PI are the only ones, wonder what happens in countries where the population is predominantly white. Lets still blame Maori and PIs. That is what I would class as racist, and Im pretty tolerant of these types of things.

"In general they don't have the ambition to get ahead in life" what a lot of sh&t.

"a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another."

So I take it you have never been to Gloriavale.

Read Hillbilly Elegy, about Scot-Irish stock poverty in Kentucky and Ohio. Poverty is not genetic, but systemic.

Here's a little known fact. In the 1920s Maori had five times the infant mortality rate of pakeha. By the 1980s the gap had virtually closed. Then along came the neolibs...

The ultimate agenda being pursued is Socialism!


The problem isn't the children, it's the stagnating wages, obscenely bloated housing costs, and ridiculously expensive cost of living.

I am some what liberal with most things, but regarding people having children I would agree that there needs to be common sense involved. If you cannot rise X number of kids then don't make them in the first place!!! Is just unfair for responsible parents with the right number of Kids to subsidise irresponsible parents with their tax input. That little bit extra tax can help raise the quality of their own kids if it were not taken by force and given to kids that should not be born, thus lower quality for all kids.

What are people supposed to do when circumstances change? Stuff the kids in a sack with some bricks and drop them off the wharf?

Bear bear... I tend to agree... to a point.
The way it is now, a woman on the DPB can have as many children as she wants, while on the dpb, and social welfare seems to pay for it all. ( this is not due to a change in her circumstances).

In the statistics, I suppose all those kids would be called as "in poverty"..??

I don't have solutions to all things, just like life is hard and often give many surprises despite one do the utmost to prepare for it... but I look at society like a body and its issues like cancer. While at times we do try to treat it and hope that all parts survives. However not all the time one can save all parts and if you were to pick ether to save the body with most of its members or try to save the whole lot with the possibility of cancer spreading what would you pick??
About time we cut out the cancer to preserve most of the body perhaps??

Well you would certainly like the movie Dr Strangelove where after a complete debacle only the politically favoured are chosen to survive for 100 years down mines where they can breed with their hareem.

Well there are times in life that are about making hard choices, even evil choices but what choice do humans as a whole have when so much cancer is growing because of individual life choices??? Killing kids would be last resort but I would suggest making irresponsible parents sterile first.

Killing kids a last resort?? You accept that it should be any sort of resort at all??

Depends on how dire the situation is. We do live on a finite planet so for every human born the resource pie gets lesser for everyone. Or put it this way if the whole of humanity was left to just a few dozen on a life boat would you not ration resources to allow the most survivable 2 so that there is a thin hope that they will make it and breed again?? I certainly hope we never get to that stage so hence sterile the parents first and even before that perhaps limit they resources so they are not encouraged to have kids???

I am a huge advocate of us reducing our numbers, however, I absolutely would never advocate what you are suggesting, eugenics. Who gets to get sterilized then? Who gets to decide? And who is going to get their resources limited. Pretty nasty situation you are setting out here. The ONLY humane way for this to happen while there is still a little time is what I set out further down in these comments.

If we can't manage it the sensible voluntary way, perhaps the best way would be some kind of Black Death II, in which we all have to take our chances together.

PocketAces, I thought you promoted abortion as a valid form of fertility control?

I don't promote as a first line, most definitely, however, I believe it needs to be in the toolbox, within the first trimester, along with the morning after pill. Abortion would not be the contraception of choice for anyone, I would imagine, it is not as if it is a nice wee walk in the park. Forced abortion, never.

perhaps you should talk this over with a counsellor, they are called also called pychotherapists.

Well, even if it's done as a last resort, let's do it properly, build a pyramid of babies' skulls. We could put it by the gelato stand in Westfield Mall, where they put the Santa Grotto.

You would have been at home in Germany in the 1930's.

I would suggest making irresponsible parents sterile first
I'd like to know who defines what "irresponsible life choices" are? Along with failed Victorian economic policies we've got the Victorian (eugenicist) attitudes too!

Start with Moko’s parents and work our way back.

To promote the pseudo sucessful to have children when the poor may not is a path to stupidity.
Children of the rich crash and burn as do the poor but the gifted are distributed as well, regardless of background.
Goodman, Armstrong from the poor, Ellington, Baez from the well to do. Dylan, middle class promoted by Hammond from a New York Elite.
New Zealand is too young to start selective breeding

I often find the crash and burn type kids from both end of the extreme, the too rich or too poor group. The more average the kids the more they just get on with life without causing disruption for others.

Yes, i think you are right.
But many years ago there was discussion about the tall poppy syndrome.
True or not I think we need more to accept the rich and poor, bright and challenged, and accept them in our society.
They all contribute.

I am not sure on this but I would see that a strong middle class is a good sign for any society. I would vote for policies that would cut off the lowest 5 or 10% that are a drag on the middle as well as bringing down the top 1-2% as often they are just parasite for everyone else. In my opinion society would be better without these 2 extremes

CUT OFF the lowest 5 or 10% but just bring down the top 1 to 2%?

No such thing as child poverty in NZ.
There are children that are from families that aren’t capable of economically being able to afford them due to bad choices and the country always foots the bill for this.
Go,overseas and you will see child poverty but not in good old NZ.

I believe the word is “Material Poverty”. Kid down the street has a laptop but I don’t.


Please, please can we have a down vote button.

IKR I was about to remark on the Godwin's law levels above but when it came to a rendition of the killing fields there is really nothing you can do.


Well I find myself agreeing with most of what Jacinda Ardern and Bill English both say.

I have no problem with a government setting out strategic direction without much detail, especially when the challenge is immensely complex. Kind of impressed they didn't trot out simplistic & hollow platitudes just to be sent do something.

And yet Bill English is absolutely right that big words don't in themselves fix social dysfunction.

The Trump approach - tactics with no strategy - is far worse.

The Chinese had the fortitude to bring in their one child policy and do not try to tell me that did not increase the per capita wealth of their population.

"The Chinese government has acknowledged the potentially disastrous social consequences of this sex imbalance. The shortage of women may have increased mental health problems and socially disruptive behavior among men and has left some men unable to marry and have a family. The scarcity of females has resulted in kidnapping and trafficking of women for marriage and increased numbers of commercial sex workers, with a potential resultant rise in human immunodeficiency virus infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. There are fears that these consequences could be a real threat to China's stability in the future."

Well, the sex imbalance is something they brought on themselves. Didn't quite think that through.

The other day I was watching a doco on Youtube about it, and part of it was an interview with a factory owner who was saying that the women did good work, but the men caused too much trouble and aggro and he was thinking of replacing them with robots.

Not a good situation for any country, having a pool of millions of young men with no prospects, no families, and nothing to lose. That's how you get revolutions. Unless you start a war and feed them into the meat grinder before they turn on you.

It could be pretty brutal. Birth rates naturally fall where women are well educated, able to participate fully in an economy and have full control of their fertility. They then choose to have fewer children, start later with them and some eschew reproducing altogether, because raising kids is a tough gig. That is the way forward and it even allows for some who actually might choose to have more kids. The birth rate will still fall, and fall it must, imagine this planet with another 3 billion of us, what it really needs is about that many less of us, can we do it without ripping each others throats out.

The answer is no, people will not learn unless you show them their coffin, hence war has never departed us since we learn to use fire and make shape sticks. I do wish we can sort out disputes the civil way... but unless you selectively breed people with near values or at least non aggro traits, there will be war...

Good grief, you actually meant to write that?

Seems that a surprising number of people would prefer genocide to providing affordable housing.

Put it this way I am sure at some point there is some issue in or society that we are all concern about and wish someone in charge will do something about it. So one of the civil way would be to write to your MP about your concern and start a dialogue. So did it work?? Or did it come back with thank you so and so we are looking into it... cheers... a non civil way is to round up a mop and start a revolution or at least storm the parilment!! Do you think they will listen to you now??? Now that you got something to barter with???
War is a nasty and crude way but it gets things done, hence humans deploy this use every now and then when one group disagrees with another. I do hope in the distant future we can all sort out our differences with the civil way but as it stands or evolution is stuck at warring with one another because it is the most effective tool.

I guess what would be helpful if we are trying to change our ways that we eliminate first all those who advocate violence.

What a brilliant idea. Eliminate violence with violence??????

I know, I know. I let my feeling of utter distaste at his remarks run away with me. I notice how people like him who advocate stuff like eugenics use words like them, they, those. Clearly they do not for a minute expect that it might be them for the chop, no, no, they fully expect to be the ones wielding the axe. I just would like him for a minute to consider it just might not be him at controlling the gates of the drafting race.

I think its just the full moon.
I one managed a place and the staff swore the behaviours of the residents changed on a full moon.

I would believe it with some on this site. Some sound like Mugabe or Putin.

Its all about me.

And with all those grandparents and parents to look after , no pension/healthcare etc, they will be savers for a long time, when the world needs them to be consumers.

There are

adult poverty
child poverty
mental health issues
suicides exceed the number of road deaths
depressive illnesses
Unattended & widespread dental issues among the young

all of those can be resolved by giving people jobs

The government can solve that by ceasing all immigration altogether and not renewing any work visas

Its been a long night.
I believe work gives people a social structure, a sense of value, mental health, and for that reason our society must offer work to those that want.
Many organisations are doing a good job of that and they must be supported.
Government need to continue the strategy of our people first.

That was true back in my day, when even the guy swinging the shovel digging a ditch earned enough to live on. Things are very different today.

Many people with jobs still face those challenges so it can't be just having a job/money that solves those problems.


The Boy has no idea at all but what would you expect for someone who has to resort to being a real estate agent for a living. Not a lot of education. There is child poverty in New Zealand. Housing and food are very expensive in this country. Is he implying that mums and dads who were not born with masses of grey matter and who therefore have no chance of obtaining decent paying jobs should not have children. His comment today is up there with his recent comment about Jacinda’s pregnancy in terms of sheer ignorance or lack of intelligence and thought. Take your pick.

Sometimes i wonder if The Man is from mars

Men are from Mars.

I listened to Guyon interview Twyford on RNZ this morning. Guyon pushed him on rent controls and a part of Twyfors's response to a question on rent increases was an argument about landlords pushing rent up to "what the market will bear." Lets be clear "What the market will bear" means what renters can afford. For stupid MPs and others in denial - THE MARKET HAS GONE WELL BEYOND "WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR" TO THE POINT THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO SUBSIDISE LANDLORDS TO THE TUNE OF $2 BILLION PER YEAR!

Rent controls and other rules that prevent landlords from tossing their toys will be the single most effective thing that the Government can do to have a significant effect on poverty and housing across the country. Why should landlords have their business risk covered by the tax payer?


I think I've posted this link for you before.
For the umpteenth time... Rent controls are quite possibly the stupidest idea you can propose.
The notion actually holds a very unique position in economics; regarded as both one of the best understood issues in economics, and one of the most universally abhorrent ideas in a market with already short housing supply, poor housing stock quality, heterogeneous housing stock, and the now currently artificially inflated value of land.

You say "Rent controls and other rules that prevent landlords from tossing their toys will be the single most effective thing that the Government can do to have a significant effect on poverty and housing across the country."
And...I agree...
However, these will not be positive effects. You are correct that they will be significant - significantly adverse.

"Why should landlords have their business risk covered by the tax payer?"
Again, I agree.
However, I don't see how rent controls fix this in the medium term.
A complete revamp of our tax system and a shakeup of supply channels might address this. Market controls will not, however.

Anyway, this time I hope you read the link and some of the metric shit tonne of research into the effects of rent controls to better form your opinion.

Yes and I read it and as I said then - rent controls is isolation did not work. But making sure properties are to a minimum standard, and must be rented (cannot be held empty). Other legislation is required to stop a revolt from those who manipulate the market - Landlord are not the angels you suggest they are unless you ensure a) your property is of a good standard, and b) the rent you charge is affordable for the tenant without any support (25 - 30% of their take home pay). If you cannot meet these requirements then you are effectively a parasite bleeding people who cannot afford your greed, but who will be trapped by it. If the returns you expect cannot be achieved within those criteria then you made a stupid business decision. Why should you be able to expect the taxpayer to cover your risk?

"rent controls is isolation did not work"
Yes. That is the point.
If you cannot make them work in isolation, they are never going to be welfare maximising in the larger system.

There is no arguing this.
Economists, no matter their creed, don't even bother arguing this.

M86.. Seriously..?? I suppose after you impose rent controls, you will make it illegal for landlords to sell their properties..??
It seems obvious to me that as more and more rules and regulations are heaped on landlords, quite a few will leave the mkt.... I would.
SO...declining available rental properties + rent controls. ( I would want be a renter for life, but of course I'd need to be one of the "lucky first", rather than on a waiting list )..
What are u going to tell people who can't find a place to rent..? ... That its the scumbag Landlords fault.. or would u be honest and say it was your fault..??

Next it will be price controls...
I thought history has shown that these kinds of controls are highly distortinary to the supply/demand dynamics of any market... over the medium term..

Well, what is going on right now isn't working either. Having a fair chunk of society having to cough up the majority of their income into the roof over their heads then cannot afford to operate in the wider society, so this landording thing has been a double whammy in our lack of productivity. The real answer is going to have to come from govt and they are going to become again a major player in the housing market for a number of years until it is skewed back into a more affordable place. It has to happen or we are going to end up with barrios and the like.

I reiterate there is no such thing as child poverty in NZ.
The children’s parents may be financially not very well off but the children are always looked after in NZ by the welfare system and I have never seen any starving children in NZ.
Often on TV we see these people who are living in cars or garages because they are not able to get a state house or house in the private sector!!!
Children are often shown and Not once have I seen them look like Biafrens and probably quite the opposite in that they look more than well fed.
Gordon, should people that aren’t born with large masses of grey matter be able to breed?
Very good question from you!
If they can not afford children and need to rely on everyone else to pay to bring them up then maybe they shouldn’t.
Just as I don’t expect everyone else to pay for my children’s upbringing then Why should others?
The welfare system in NZ should be a backup system rather than a god given right and lifestyle choice to not contribute to NZ financially rather than being a total drain.
The problem is that the cycle can never be broken without NZ making hard but fair decisions!!!

"I reiterate there is no such thing as child poverty in NZ."

And not two lines later...

"Often on TV we see these people who are living in cars or garages because they are not able to get a state house or house in the private sector!!!"

Seriously, what is poverty if living in garages or cars isn't an indicator?

Have you ever thought about doing some opinion pieces for the Herald?
Your unique perspective would compliment Mike Hosking's and Kate Hawkesby's "Breaking News" ramblings quite well.

Yes - puzzled why the Herald thinks that the ramblings of the Hosking household are important. Whats next - the thoughts of their kids. Do the Hoskings have a picture of the editor with a sheep?

The MAN 2. Spend a few days with a social worker. It will humble you, open your eyes and with luck, make you a better person.

The issue I have with some of your statements there TM2, is that you often compare NZ with 3rd world countries, yes there are far worse places in the world to be born into poverty, but we are NZ, a first world nation, we should do better. The fact that we have 3rd world preventable diseases in this country is an appalling state of affairs.

Children looking well fed is because they are obese through eating junk food - again you'll say this is the fault of the parents - and it is to a degree. However, I feed my family healthily and it costs a lot of money, whereas you can fill your family up for $25 at a crappy fast food restaurant, pizzas are $5, a share box at McDonald's is $25 10 packets of chips are cheaper than a bag of lettuce - this is a systemic problem with the food chain in NZ, despite the fact as a nation we produce more than enough to feed the country, the prices are extortionate.

I agree with your statement that more education is required as to the cost of children, more access is required to birth control, and more education, more opportunity in general. These are things that cost money, which you don't appear to want to pay for however, you'd rather take from your tenants, fiddle your taxes and go to the Gold Coast on holiday.

Depends how you define poverty. I would define a child growing up experiencing sleeping in a car because your parents can't afford rent as an example of poverty in this country. Your measure might be different and that's fine.

This bill shouldn't be about politics, it should be about what we deem the minimal standard of living for children in this country. This bill is about holding our politicians to account.

Not once have I seen them look like Biafrens
Lol. NZ holds itself to a higher standard when making comparisons - Australia, Canada, US, Europe - not third world countries. And yes, I have lived in one, so know the difference.
(edited original comment)

Nymad, child poverty is when kids are not being fed, and we don’t have that in NZ!
Poverty is not people sleeping in cars sorry!
People sleeping backs of cars has often got nothing to do with lack of funds but because of circumstances rather than monetary.
Go,overseas and you will actually see what child poverty actually is.
Yes there are families that don’t spend wisely in NZ but that is not child,poverty!

Poverty does not refer to solely food scarcity.
if you don't believe my interpretation, at least believe Google's...

"the state of being extremely poor."
"the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount."

I'm pretty sure living in a garage or car (at least somewhat) fulfills those definitions.

"People sleeping backs of cars has often got nothing to do with lack of funds but because of circumstances rather than monetary."
Really? So if money isn't an issue, why then do they not stay in temporary accommodation - a motel/hotel/alpine chateau...

I'm pretty sure living in a garage or car (at least somewhat) fulfills those definitions.

I've met people who have lived in garages...and also a couple of people who had to live in a car for a short while.
They did this for varying reasons. ranging from wanting to be high criteria on the HNZ waiting list for a state house, to an inability to manage money..
(If you have a really bad credit history , it is unlikely you will easily find a place to rent..)

living in a car , with kids, is extreme, ..... and should never happen ( at the least there should be some kind of emergency shelter..??? )

Point I'm making is that , in itself, living in a garage does not define poverty..

Looking at the metrics used to define poverty, I and a few of my friends would probably have been defined as "poverty children", ... even thou we never felt like it... eg. hand me down clothes, no shoes, sleeping in a leanto ..etc

Very Correct. There could be a myriad of reasons.

I also recall someone in this comment thread talking about population dynamics and, importantly, Gausian distributions.
In your everyday work, I know that statistical moments should be quite relevant - Ask yourself, in all seriousness, what the moment characteristics of this sample of the population is going to look like.
I very much doubt it is going to be representative of your anecdotal examples over a more classical definition of poverty.
I would love to be wrong, though.

When I came back from Europe in 2012 I was talking to mother in a Christchurch children's playground. She said her rental had ice on the inside of their bedroom windows in winter. She went to her landlord and asked for a heat-pump to be installed. He declined by just walking away without answering her question. The housing market in Christchurch in 2012 was such that this family had no choice. I thought at the time this is absolute poverty -not some relative to income poverty. No families in the parts of Europe I was in were having to tolerate icy bedrooms.

So Mr Man bugger off with your blame the victim crap -there are real systemic poverty problems that need to be fixed in NZ and clearly you have little positive to contribute.

I worked in poverty alleviation in the Third World and can vouch for the fact that relative poverty is a major issue. In fact, the problems we have in our relative slummery here resemble so remarkably the problems we were dealing with in Third World slums.

We need to get past this "I've been overseas and seen real poverty through a taxi window, our poverty isn't real, these people don't know how lucky they are" mantra. It does not reflect the reality of issues we have to deal with in both the Third and First worlds. There are real cyclical and social issues in relative poverty and we cannot ignore our way out of them.

Relative poverty is only a major issue to people who cynically garner votes from it. During my time on the coal face I can't recall anyone mentioning relative poverty being an issue. Clean water, sanitation, jobs, adequate diet, medical care came up quite a bit though. Then again I wasn't working in the poverty industry.

That's a pretty cynical comment. No, I didn't make any money in anti-poverty work. And am using the term to acknowledge that those in poverty in NZ still have larger dollar amounts than someone in a Third World slum (which is the foundation of the "they don't know how lucky they are" schtick) , not to pretend they don't face real hardship. Although I can appreciate the fear I'm a nasty communist come to equalise everyone's wealth...that gets some airplay these days.

There's a good deal more reasonable discussion actually being had that delves into how we should be measuring poverty in First World countries - right down to the reality of absolute poverty. Here's a quote that adds some clarity:

The Oxford economist Robert Allen recently estimated needs-based absolute poverty lines for rich countries that are designed to match more accurately the $1.90 line for poor countries, and $4 a day is around the middle of his estimates. When we compare absolute poverty in the United States with absolute poverty in India, or other poor countries, we should be using $4 in the United States and $1.90 in India.

Once we do this, there are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards. This is a small number compared with the one for India, for example, but it is more than in Sierra Leone (3.2 million) or Nepal (2.5 million), about the same as in Senegal (5.3 million) and only one-third less than in Angola (7.4 million). Pakistan (12.7 million) has twice as many poor people as the United States, and Ethiopia about four times as many.


I don't argue we do not have welfare dependancy. I read an interesting account from a social worker that suggested maybe 10% of his recipients were long-term dependants in intergenerational welfarism, whereas 90% were simply average folk who had fallen on hard times.

If you're serious about helping the poor then acknowledge that a high proportion of poverty stricken households are also consumers of tobacco. The previous government's extremely high tax on tobacco is actually a regressive tax on poor people. The governments own treasury projections show that an extra 280 million of tax revenue is projected by the year 2020-2021 if the price increases are maintained. This kind of indicates that nobody expects smokers to give up, but rather just pay more in tax.

I'd also say it's helped drive petty crime up, robbing of dairies, petrol stations - if you can nick 20 cartons of smokes that's a retail value of $5,000-ish.

As a smoker, I've tired to stop multiple times (I'm weak willed etc... a vaporizer will be heading my way soon, which is my next crack at stopping) I say to myself every year, how much money have you spent on cigs this year, why don't you stop you moron? And every year I'm still smoking despite the insane cost. I've got private health insurance before anyone has a pop at what I'm costing you, I'm in fact a super net contributor to the country's coffers! :)


1.5 billion per year of tax revenue. We’ll be sad to lose you as a customer but good luck :)

I would also suggest you read Alan Carr's book. Apparently, I unknowingly used his method when I quit some 11+ years ago, so I would guess it probably works. You have to change your mind is the trick and you can start on that even when it is rebelling against you, once your mind is changed, you are done.


That's a global phenomena. Youth smoking rates are also declining in Germany where the per gram cost of the cheapest tobacco is less than one ninth of what it costs in NZ. We're well past the point where benefit turns to determent in terms of price setting... IMHO

Poverty is not the problem that needs addressing.
You can chuck unlimited money at the so called poverty living families and it won’t help very much at all.
We have generations of people who have become totally dependent on welfare and think it is there right to continue to have children without consequences and it is up to the taxpayer to pay for their lifestyle.
I realise that most will not agree with “The Man” but then I wouldn’t expect them to as many on here are reliant on welfare, which is the cold hard truth!

As a 'professional' landlord, aren't you one of the people who is most heavily reliant on welfare?

I'm not disagreeing that welfare is a dangerous trap.
Instead that it doesn't justify a position that poverty doesn't exist.

Nymad, not all reliant on tenants being paid welfare.We have one lady who,is reliant on welfare and we took her on because of our good nature.

All our other tenants are full time in work or students.

Oh, so students aren't welfare recipients?
Again, an interesting perspective.
Tell us all how the current student allowance or loan scheme is not a form of welfare...

Also, tell us what would happen to your rental returns if the govt. removed the accommodation subsidy - you don't think market rents would decrease?

Says "The Man" who brags about going on holiday to the Gold Coast, as if that's the height of decadent wealth, a $300 flight and a $150 a night hotel!

Every time you put finger to keyboard and press enter, I'm more and more convinced you're a parody, or a poe.

The delicious irony is that you have tenants paid for by the government, your whole "business" is reliant on welfare..

Love the GC as it is very relaxing.
Height of decadence???
Where did that come from? Return flight was over 600 and accommodation approx 250 per night.
We have been overseas numerous times and many countries as our business allows us to be able to do this and as life is limited, then Why not if you can?????

Good on you. Congratulations on your success.

Now, instead of deriding and insulting everyone who hasn't achieved your level of success, you use your high intelligence, good nature and vast experience to help the less fortunate to achieve the same.

Wouldn't it be great if every NZ citizen owned a family home and 10+ other properties and were able to live their dream as well. You could help eliminate poverty entirely and create a lasting legacy.

Solidname, the challenge that I have been offering Gordon for several years is now offered to you!
Love you to take it up or stop calling “The Man” a parody or a Poe!!!!!!

So who on Interest is reliant on welfare? Apart from you, of course.

He continually says very stupid comments and keeps digging that hole deeper and deeper. Remember he is an agent which tends to indicate a lack of education as why would you resort to being one if you were educated and were successful In your chosen career. His spelling for “ biafran” this morning was a classic. He has always knocked the welfare system and the recipients of it who feed him. Total hypocrite or pig ignorant. You chose.

Gordon, have dug a few holes over the years in regards to maintenance on property!
Am an “ex agent”:haven’t been one for several years now.
As for spelling of Biafren or Biafra. Don’t care as we haven’t got any in NZ.
Of course I Knock The welfare system in NZ as it is far too generous and doesn’t encourage self improvement.
Not a hypocrite or pig ignorant, just a realist and progressive rather than regressive!

"Not a hypocrite or pig ignorant, just a realist and progressive rather than regressive!"

I don't think the term progressive means what you think it means, TM2.
Especially with what you have said throughout this comment thread.

THE MAN 2, "the welfare is too generous in NZ"

Really? does this apply to NZ Super too? Remember you did say that you would never apply for NZ Super yourself as you are too financially successful to ever need it.

Should we try and reduce all benefits (Ruth Richardson) style so that many are forced into a life of agile dumpster divers. Is this your version of self sufficiency? .

He will apply for National Super and a gold card for sure. I have paid lots of tax as a real estate agent and therefore I am entitled to them.