2 Dec 2014

260,000 children in poverty

8:51 am on 2 December 2014

Children are still more than twice as likely to be in poverty than those aged over 65, according to a new study.

Children's Commissioner Russell Wills has today released the second annual Child Poverty Monitor, which shows 260,000 children, or 24 per cent, were living in income poverty in 2013, compared to 285,000 in 2012, Radio New Zealand reports.

This compares with only 10 per cent of those aged 65 and over living in income poverty - a measure which looks at the amount of money families have to pay bills and purchase everyday essentials.

Of the children 260,000 children, 37 per cent came from working families.

> READ the full Child Poverty Monitor report [pdf]

Dr Wills said it was encouraging to see a fall in the numbers since the last report, but he was worried that more than 110,000 children were living in the hardest end of poverty.

“Any action to reduce child poverty needs to focus on these children as a matter of urgency,” he said.

The report also found 180,000 children are going without basics such as fresh fruit and vegetables, a warm house or decent clothing.