Plunket today expressed its concern over a new UNICEF report which finds the child poverty rate in New Zealand has reduced by just 0.4 per cent since 2008. The report also finds the proportion of New Zealanders who state they don’t have enough money to buy food for themselves or their family has increased from 9% in 2007 to 14% in 2013.
“The report is a stark reminder that too many New Zealand children are living in poverty, and that too many New Zealand families don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs. Parenting in poverty is tough on families and a health risk to children. This report is deeply concerning and further evidence that, as a nation, we need to do more to support families living in poverty,” said Helen Connors, Plunket’s General Manager of Clinical Services.
“Evidence shows children who live in poverty are likely to have poor nutrition, live in cold or overcrowded housing, and have barriers to accessing health services. They’re significantly more likely to be sick or suffer injury. Due to the nature of brain development, suffering an even relatively short period of acute physical or emotional hardship may have a lasting impact on children.”
She said that parents and caregivers need more help to equip them to provide the essentials for their children: “We need to work together to see the number of children living in poverty start to reduce. Too many children are continuing to miss out on the basics such as access to enough food, clothing, adequate shelter and health care - and the learning experiences and opportunities to develop to their full potential.”
Plunket says it supports more Government action to tackle poverty as it is critical for the health and wellbeing of New Zealand’s children: “UNICEF’s report highlights the need for more effective action to reduce the number of children living in poverty, from every level of society - from local communities to policy-makers. We are encouraged by the Government’s comments that supporting vulnerable children is a priority. This report highlights just how important it is for our political leaders to act quickly in putting children’s health and wellbeing at the heart of policy-making. When we put all of our children first, the whole country benefits.”
For more information contact:
Jen Riches | Plunket Media Manager | 021 405 842 | email@example.com
For over a century Plunket has supported New Zealand parents to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies.
Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five.
Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).
Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.
For more information visit plunket.org.nz.
About BNZ – Principal Sponsor
Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.
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Tags: poverty 0 Comments Posted by Jen Riches on 29 October 2014