7 Sep 2012

Public told to swarm Government on child poverty

9:32 am on 7 September 2012

A forum on child poverty has been told the public must sting the Government into action like a swarm of mosquitos.

The call was made at a discussion of the Children's Commissioner's expert panel report, which last week proposed ways to reduce poverty by up to 40% within a decade.

A senior lecturer in social and community work, Nicola Atwool, told the forum the Government is refusing to properly engage on poverty, or inequality.

Dr Atwool called for a model of mosquito advocacy, in which many people each give the target a little sting until a critical mass forces change.

Some panelists questioned the report's broad-brush solutions which might not reach Maori whanau.

But the expert panel co-chair Tracey McIntosh says poverty is not permanent like mountains or rivers, and it could be overturned with the right will.