29 Oct 2013

Commissioner to do annual report on child poverty

3:18 pm on 29 October 2013

Children's Commissioner Russell Wills will publish an annual measure of child poverty, which he says is a world-first.

The report, done in conjunction with the University of Otago, will be published annually for the next five years and will be underwritten by the J R McKenzie Trust at a cost of $100,000 a year.

Children's Commissioner Russell Wills.

Children's Commissioner Russell Wills. Photo: OFFICE OF THE CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER

It will identify measures of child poverty in order to assess if it is getting better or worse.

Dr Wills says while the Government has done some good things on reducing poverty, including allocating more than$3 billion of new spending in the May budget, measuring child poverty was not addressed.

He says the report will be the first of its kind in the world, and will be available to everyone and in a form that people can understand.

"We want the public of New Zealand to look at this report so they can understand the impact of poverty on children and on their health, their education and their social outcomes, because that's how we're going to get real change in time."

Dr Wills says communities can help in reducing poverty.