Child Poverty Reduction Bill Needs Māori Targets

Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Submission on Governments Child Poverty Reduction Bill 2018.

Te Puna Ora o Mataatua welcomes the Governments Child Poverty Reduction Bill and the setting of definitions and measures relating to Child Poverty. 

For too long, previous Governments avoided doing this to sidestep taking political responsibility for the state of hardship and deprivation our whānau and communities experience each day.

We have made a number of recommendations for the Government to consider in strengthening the Bill.

Our fundamental recommendation is that the Bill should be amended to including specific Māori targets. As Māori whānau experience distinctive forms of hardship and poverty, the Bill should correspondingly legislate for distinctive Māori targets.

We look forward to presenting our submission to the Select Committee in May 2018.

Major Recommendations

1. note we support this Bill with
amendment;  

2. note we welcome the long overdue setting of measures, reporting, targets
to address child poverty;

3. note the policy constraints in
focusing on the ‘child’ instead of the family; interrelationships and
structural dynamics and between the family and local community/clustering and
wider society are at risk of being overlooked;

4. note we acknowledge the three
new targets set by Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern on 27 March 2018.

5. note the Bill is silent on how
targets will be achieved;

6. note the Bill does not make
targets legally binding nor prevents them from ongoing (political) amendment;

7. note the Bill does not create
any rules, legally enforceable rights, nor will they affect or limit the way a
Minister or Chief Executive is required to exercise a statutory power of
decision.

8. note the United Kingdom has
embraced legally-binding targets;

9. note the Bill does not set
specific targets for Māori children in poverty, nor does it attempt to address
Māori child poverty issues directly;

10. note the Children’s
Commissioner Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty (2012) found
that Māori child poverty pose distinctive policy challenges and require
distinctive responses;

11. agree the Bill be amended to include
specific and pre-emptive Māori child poverty targets;

12. note the Whānau Ora framework
can provide a parallel targeted and multiple intervention approach to operate
in parallel to abstract measures in the Bill;

13. note Te Puna Ora o Mataatua
wishes to be heard in support of this submission at the Select Committee
hearing.

Documents / Links

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