The Māori Party is supporting a call from the Children’s Commissioner for the Government to lead the development of a plan to reduce child poverty in Aotearoa.
“It is within our capacity to eliminate poverty if there’s will and we must act before it is beyond us,” says co-leader Marama Fox. “We can’t wait another generation before we take more active steps to reduce and eliminate poverty, or we will see yet another generation of hardship where families are forced to choose between feeding their children or paying their rent.”
Ms Fox said the Ministerial Committee on Poverty was set up because of the 2008 Relationship Accord and Confidence and Supply Agreement between the National Party and the Māori Party.
“The Māori Party has sucessfully advocated through this commitee for investment to fight rhematic fever; to insulate more than 100,000 cold and damp homes; to make visits to the doctor and prescriptions free for children under 13 as well as budget for emergency housing for the homeless and the introduction of the Housing First policy”.
“We will continue to utilise this committee and other mechanisms to advance the Government’s agreement to halve the numbers of children in poverty by 2030.”
“In support of Judge Becroft we call for bi-partisan collaboration to eliminate poverty and we agree with the Children’s Commissioner that it’ll take a whole of population approach to alleviate severe poverty for 90,000 children, material hardship for 155,000 children and income poverty for 295,000 children.
“The Government has committed our nation to halve the numbers in poverty in 14 years. We need a plan and we need it now.”
Last year the Government signed up to the United Nations sustainable development goal which, among other things, obliges al signatories to eliminate poverty in their respective countries by 2030.