Back to top anchor

Reducing child poverty

The Government is committed to reducing child poverty and improving the wellbeing of all children and young people.

Why it matters

New Zealand should be a place where all children and young people are loved, confident, happy and healthy, and are empowered to reach their full potential.

Too many children and young people live in families where it’s a struggle to meet every day needs and do things that others take for granted.

Evidence shows that the experience of poverty, especially when that experience is severe and persistent, can have a negative impact on the lives of children – they may be more likely, on average, to experience poorer educational outcomes, poorer health, and have more difficulty finding work in adulthood.  The harmful effects also impact on society as a whole.

See the child poverty statistics for the year ended June 2018.

See the child poverty statistics for the year ended June 2019.

See background information on these statistics.

A new approach

New legislation, introduced by The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, who is also the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, aims to help achieve a significant and sustained reduction in child poverty and to improve the wellbeing of children and young people in New Zealand.

The Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group has been established in DPMC to lead this work and support Ministers.

Read more about the Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group.

The Child Poverty Reduction and Wellbeing legislation

The child poverty reduction and wellbeing legislation creates political accountability and encourages a greater focus on child poverty reduction specifically, and child and youth wellbeing more generally.

This significant legislation was passed in December 2018 with near unanimous parliamentary support, helping to ensure enduring commitment to reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing.

You can find out more about the legislation, including information releases, below:

Child poverty reduction and wellbeing legislation

Child poverty measures, targets and indicators

The Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018 requires the government of the day to set long-term and intermediate targets on a defined set of child poverty measures.

It must also report annually on the measures and child poverty related indicators, how the budget will reduce child poverty and how we’re tracking toward the targets.

You can find out more about measures, targets and indicators, and the different reporting requirements below:

Child poverty measures, targets and indicators.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 26 March 2020

Help us improve DPMC

Your feedback is very important in helping us improve the DPMC website.