Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her plan to ensure future governments reduce and monitor child poverty in New Zealand.
Her bill will require all governments to set and monitor child poverty reduction targets and publish a child-wellbeing strategy, with a focus on those most in need.
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"I am committed to achieving a significant reduction in child poverty and I want to create a framework that is durable enough to require future governments to do the same," Ms Ardern said.
She said she wants to put an end to the political debate about what the measurements of child poverty are.
"For a country with relative abundance, New Zealand has the opportunity and the moral obligation to ensure children are free from the burden of poverty."
The Child Poverty Reduction Bill will require governments to set three and 10-year targets on child poverty reduction, and provide updates in each Budget.
On Budget day, governments will be required to report on how the Budget will reduce child poverty and give an update on how it is tracking towards its reduction targets.
While governments will be able to set their own targets on child poverty reduction, they will be required to use 10 specific measurements.
"There is no doubt that material hardship and the income that a family lives on is one of the key measurements of a child's wellbeing," Ms Ardern said.
Statistics NZ will be required to provide annual reports on all of the child poverty measurements.
The four primary child poverty measures:
- Low income before housing costs (below 50 percent of median income, moving line)
- Low income after housing costs (50 percent median, fixed line)
- Material hardship (using the EU's standard threshold)
- A persistence measure (for low income, material hardship or both)
The six supplementary child poverty measures:
- Low income before housing costs (60 percent of median, moving line)
- Low income after housing costs (60 percent of median moving line)
- Low income after housing costs (50 percent of median moving line)
- Low income after housing costs (40 percent of median moving line)
- Severe material hardship
- Both low income and material hardship (using 60 percent after housing costs, moving line and the primary material hardship measure)
Ms Ardern's Government will announce its child poverty reduction targets in time for the select committee process.