12 Dec 2011

Opposition parties doubt poverty committee will work

8:30 pm on 12 December 2011

Opposition parties say a high-level committee will do nothing to alleviate poverty in New Zealand.

The National and Maori parties' confidence and supply agreement includes the creation of a ministerial committee on poverty.

The Maori Party says the committee will bring a greater focus to poverty, and improve the co-ordination of government activity aimed at alleviating its effects.

The ACT party's sole MP, John Banks, says there needs to be a coordinated ministerial approach to addressing poverty.

However, Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the committee will just result in another layer of bureaucracy and will do nothing for the thousands of families living in poverty.

Labour's social development spokesperson Annette King believes National is using the committee to score political points.

But child protection agency Jigsaw says it is encouraged and excited by the creation of a ministerial committee on poverty.

Its chief executive of strategic operations, Liz Kinley, says there are two areas it particularly wants to see action on from the new committee.

She says these are the green paper on vulnerable children and welfare reform.