© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

New figures paint a bleak picture of child poverty

Oliver Cowan

Statistics New Zealand has released new figures showing how many children are living in poverty.

About 13 percent of children in New Zealand live in a household that cannot afford more than two pairs of shoes or put off visiting the doctor.

The Government and Statistics NZ currently do not have a definition for child poverty as it is hard to differentiate between poor and non-poor. They instead use nine different measures to gain a better understanding of what child poverty looks like across the country.

"Today’s release provides a comprehensive picture of child poverty in New Zealand,” Household Statistics Senior Manager Jason Attewell said.

Another 16 percent of children live in poverty before housing costs are deducted from household income, with the figure increasing to 23 percent after housing costs.

Statistics NZ is going to increase the number of households surveyed from three to five thousand to 20,000 next year.

The nine statistics will be used for the Child Poverty Reduction Act.