Jacinda Ardern campaigned on child poverty reduction. She said it was the reason she was in politics. She appointed herself Minister for Child Poverty Reduction. So how has she gone?
Well there are many ways you can measure child poverty, but most of the measures are about income distribution or inequality. They are not that useful. For example if every family in NZ had a 25% increase in their income, those measures would not show fewer people in poverty. Also if every family in NZ had a 50% drop in income, they would not show more people in poverty.
The most useful measure in my opinion is material deprivation because it measures actual need, such as can a family afford a second pair of shoes for a kid. So how many fewer children are in poverty or material deprivation today than in 2017?
Well there was a big reduction in child poverty, but it was under National. The number of children in material deprivation dropped from 195,800 in 2013 to 139,600 in 2017. That’s 56,200 fewer kids in poverty.
Under Labour, the number has grown to 151,700 or 12,100 more kids in poverty.