Govt will halve child poverty within a decade - Prime Minister

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 09:  Labour Party Leader Jacinda Ardern announces the Labour Freshwater Policy at the Environmental Defence Society conference at the Grand Millennium Hotel on August 9, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Labour Party announced it would charge a royalty on commercial freshwater use with the revenue it gathers used to help clean up New Zealand's waterways.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the Government's plan to make an "historic dent" in child poverty levels "to levels New Zealand has not seen in decades".

Ms Ardern said her Government will roughly halve child poverty within a decade, and announced three ten-year targets on Wednesday evening. 

The Government's ten-year poverty reduction targets:

  • Reduce the proportion of children in low income households (before housing costs) from 15 percent to 5 percent or from 160,000 to 60,000.
  • Reduce the proportion of children in low income households (after housing costs) from 20 percent to 10 percent or from 210,000 to 120,000.
  • Reduce the proportion of children in material hardship (based on the standard EU measure) from the current 13 - 15 percent to 7 percent, or from 150,000 to 80,000.

The Prime Minister said the Government wants "to put an end to a political era that tolerated hardship and poverty among thousands of children".

"If we successfully manage to achieve these goals, and we plan to, we will be amongst the best performing countries in the developed world," Ms Ardern said.

It follows the announcement of The Child Poverty Reduction Bill on Tuesday. If passed, governments will be required to set three and ten-year child poverty reduction targets and report on their progress at each Budget day.

Ms Ardern is yet to announce the Government's three-year poverty reduction targets, but says she will do so before the Bill reaches select committee stage.