The Government has released the second set of official three-year child poverty targets, as required by the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018.
The new targets announced today cover the 2021/22, 2022/23, and 2023/24 financial years and are set at rates required to keep New Zealand on track to meet its longer-term 10 year targets.
“Reducing child poverty was a priority for us in the last term, and remains a key priority in this term,” said Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction Jacinda Ardern.
“We have made progress, but there is more to do to achieve our bold plan of more than halving child poverty within 10 years. The targets being released today keep us moving towards that goal.”
Achieving the new targets for 2023/24 would see the following reductions from the 2017/18 baseline rates of child poverty:
Reduction in the before-housing-costs measure from 16.5 to 10 percent – lifting around 70,000 children out of poverty
Reduction in the after-housing-costs measure from 22.8 to 15 percent – lifting around 80,000 children out of poverty
Reduction in the number of children experiencing material hardship from 13.3 to 9 percent – lifting around 40,000 children out of hardship
“Our plan is based around making progress in three key areas: increasing incomes for families, reducing housing costs and other pressures on low-income households, and changes to support the wider wellbeing of families.
“Budget 21, which included main benefit increases of between $32 and $55 per person, is an important part of this.
“Since the Government introduced child poverty reduction targets, reductions have been achieved across all nine child poverty measures, and we have already exceeded our first three-year target for the after-housing-cost measure which has lifted 43,300 children out of poverty.
“Achieving our longer term 10 year targets will place New Zealand alongside those countries with the lowest rates of poverty and hardship in the world and contribute to our goal of making New Zealand the best place in the world for children and young people.
“We know that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on already disadvantaged groups, and the long-term economic impact of COVID-19 will make reducing child poverty in the coming years more challenging.
“Nevertheless, the new three-year targets maintain our bold ambition and continue our progress towards the 10 year targets,” Jacinda Ardern said.