The Child Poverty Monitor and this Technical Report provide data on a set of indicators that assess aspects of child poverty in New Zealand and their implications for child wellbeing.
In it are data on income and non-income measures of poverty, including measures that reflect increasing levels of severity. Other data include indicators related to health, living conditions, education, and a selection of economic measures used to assess how well we are doing as a nation that are relevant to the wellbeing of children and their families.
The Child Poverty Monitor is a partnership comprising the Office of the Children's Commissioner, the University of Otago's New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES) and the J R McKenzie Trust. The purpose is to compile and share robust information on child poverty measures that are publicly available and easily accessible. Only by having the essential measures on child poverty in New Zealand compiled, published and disseminated annually can we tell how well we are progressing in effectively reducing child poverty in our nation.
This is the third edition of the Child Poverty Monitor. As in previous years, the indicators and measures presented have been generated from two sources. First, the Children's Social Health Monitor that was produced by the NZCYES from 2009 to 2012 reported on a suite of measures and indicators related to children's health and wellbeing. Second, in 2012, the Children's Commissioner's Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Solutions to Child Poverty recommended annual reporting of specific measures that capture different aspects of child poverty. Indicators are being added each year to improve the assessment of the impact of poverty on children and their families.
Responses to previous editions of this report indicate an increasing will in New Zealand to measure whether we are reducing the proportion of children living in conditions that do not allow them to reach their potential. Regardless of the definition of poverty used, there is an increasing agreement that there are too many children living in situations where there are not enough resources to meet their basic needs. Preparation of this report has also highlighted that some of the national measures need to be more robust to provide the data needed for the future. Refinement of some measures is currently underway, and these changes are noted in this report.