24 November 2017

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) joins today’s calls by the children’s advocacy community for an evidence-based plan to reduce child poverty in New Zealand.

“Reducing child poverty was a key election issue for many,” says NZMA Chair Dr Kate Baddock. “And it’s been a concern for the NZMA for a long time.

“In the past few years, we have seen a valuable report on Solutions to Child Poverty in New Zealand from the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group, and a landmark report from the Parliamentary Health Select Committee on improving child health outcomes. Each of these reports has made a long list of evidence-based recommendations, including the need to measure, set targets and report on progress.”

The Select Committee’s report in 2013 recommended:

  • establishing an overall action plan for reducing child poverty
  • constructing policy objectives to give every child the best possible start in life
  • establishing an integrated approach to service delivery to children
  • progressing policies to address disadvantage for all children, covering poverty, discrimination, healthy housing, optimal nutrition, access to health and education services, and safe home environments.

“There is no need to start from scratch. Building on the foundations provided by this report and its predecessor means action can—and must—be taken; sooner rather than later,” says Dr Baddock.