Skip to main content


Children's Commissioner's Child Poverty Report Welcomed by Child Health Professionals

Media Releases

The Report on Child Poverty released today by the Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro is welcomed by those working to improve the health of New Zealand children.

The report, commissioned by the Children's Commissioner and Barnardos, highlights the currently high rates of poverty faced by New Zealand children, and urges the Government to implement a comprehensive suite of policies to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life.

These policies include:

  • Reviewing the adequacy of core benefits, to ensure that the assistance provided is sufficient the meet the needs of families with children 
  • Increasing paid parental leave to 2/3 of average full time earnings and extending it to 12 months
  • Expanding public, local authority and non-profit rental housing to ensure that the housing needs of families with children can be met
  • Setting on overall goal for the elimination of child poverty and some clear targets in the areas of education, housing and health 

For those working in health, such policies can not come soon enough, with hospital admissions for many conditions (e.g. pneumonia, skin infections, asthma) being 3-4 times higher for children living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas. Many children also live in houses which place them at risk of ill health (e.g. 43% of children in New Zealand's poorest areas lived in overcrowded households in 2006). Household crowding in turn predisposes children to a range of infectious diseases including meningococcal disease, respiratory infections and skin infections.

The Paediatric Society of New Zealand thus urges the New Zealand Government to take seriously the policies proposed in the Children's Commissioner's latest report, so that every child in New Zealand is able to grow up to reach their full potential. 

For further information please contact:

Dr Rosemary Marks

President, Paediatric Society of New Zealand

[email protected]   Cell Phone 021 492 218 

Dr Nikki Turner

Director Immunisation Advisory Centre

[email protected] Cell Phone 021790693

Dr Liz Craig,

Director, New Zealand Child & Youth Epidemiology Service

<link [email protected]>[email protected]</link>  Cell Phone 0272719047

21 Sep 2021
Media release 21 September 2021 New programme aims to improve respiratory outcomes for tamariki A new programme called ‘Koira 4 Rukahukahu’ or ‘Lungs 4 Life’ has recently been launched by the Northern Regional Alliance encompassing the three Auckland Metro DHBs…
07 Sep 2021
Kia ora koutou katoa Please find attached our current media release titled ‘Doctors Stand Up for Vaccination’. We welcome enquiries from all media outlets for our Aotearoa NZ President Dr George Laking. Ngā mihi nui Paula Birnie Senior Executive Officer | Member…
23 Aug 2021
Tēnā koe, Please find attached a RACP Media Release. Reset for equity: First dose of COVID-19 vaccines for Māori and Pasifika The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) tautoko the call of Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā for Māori and Pasifika to be…