Child Poverty In New Zealand Essay

1354 Words 6 Pages
The presence of child poverty in New Zealand has been a long standing issue since before the 1990’s and continues to be prevalent in today’s New Zealand. Although child poverty can be linked to multiple causes, there is one major cause that is not widely discussed enough within the political world of New Zealand. This is the issue of structural inequality, structural inequality can be loosely described as “denot[ing] methodical and often subtle processes through which social structures disadvantage and harm certain groups of people” (Hodgetts,2014). This, in turn, causes a stressful living situation for benefit dependent families, and creates an environment that is more susceptible to child poverty. With sufficient evidence, I will explain …show more content…
According to statistics found in an article titled “Feral Families, Troubled Families: The Spectre of Underclass in New Zealand” by Liz Beddoe “New Zealand ranked 28th out of 30 OECD nations for child outcomes and just over half of the 200,000 New Zealand children living below the poverty line are M¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬aori (54,651) and Pasifika (44,120)” (Beddoe,2014). These numbers are astonishing, and prove that we have a massive child poverty problem here in New Zealand. The correlation between the increase of child poverty and decline in government assistance for beneficiaries could just be a coincidence, but it seems that they are directly related to each other. “Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett said she was ‘acutely aware’ of the problem of vulnerable New Zealand children growing in deprived areas. ‘Children who live in poverty are likely to come from benefit dependent homes” (Beddoe, 2014). The structural inequality that is bringing the comfortable lives of beneficiaries down, is making an impact on child poverty statistics because parents are left with no support from the government, and their children are suffering for …show more content…
National party’s policy focused a lot on what they were already doing to improve the situation, and how they can make it better, whereas the Green party’s policy shines light on the problems that need to be fixed in order to prevent child poverty rates from rising. This shows how each party have their different world-views depending on their experiences with structural inequality. Because of this, the policies that are made reflect the parties’ ideologies, and benefit only those of the same class.
In 2012, the Office of Children’s Commissioner published a document titled “Solutions to Child Poverty in New Zealand, Evidence for Action” which contained a lot of information about the correlation between beneficiary hardships and the rise in child poverty. This document has a section dedicated to the trends in child poverty. An excerpt will clearly show what their explanation is for believing the correlation between child poverty and beneficiary

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