Child poverty declines, but inequality still high

Stuff 2 December 2014
Child poverty rates overall have declined slightly, but Maori and Pacific children are suffering disproportionately, according to the Child Poverty Monitor released today.

The second annual Child Poverty Monitor showed a slight decrease in the number of Kiwi children living in income poverty, from 27 per cent to 24 per cent. However, there was still much to address in terms of health impacts, the researchers said.

Rates for deaths from medical conditions relating to socioeconomic status were more than three times higher for Maori and more than four times higher for Pacific compared to European children.

“The proportion of New Zealand children who are sick with preventable diseases related to poverty remains very high, and should be a concern for all New Zealanders,” Paediatrician Professor Innes Asher, of the Steering Group of the NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service said.

Despite the overall decline, one in four New Zealand children aged up to 17 were still living in poverty, director of the University of Otago-based NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service Dr Jean Simpson said.

Asian kids’ health rates slip
NZ Herald 2 December 2014
Asian youngsters are now more likely to suffer overcrowding and poverty-related illnesses than European children, a report has found.

The second annual Child Poverty Monitor, published by Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills today, shows the rate of poverty-related illnesses for Asian children has kept rising through and beyond the recent recession – in contrast to all other ethnic groups, which saw increased poverty-related illness rise in the recession but fall back since 2012.

Pacific and Maori young still have by far the highest rates of poverty-related illness, but the Maori rate dropped steeply from 58 hospital admissions for poverty-linked conditions for every 1000 kids in 2012 to 52 for every 1000 people last year.

The Asian rate has almost doubled from 21 hospital admissions for every 1000 Asian children in 2000, and 29 in 2007 before the recession started, to 40 admissions for every 1000 children last year.