July 28, 2021
Spike in need confirms child poverty modelling
The chief executive of South Island Whānau Ora commissioning agency Te Pūtahitanga says the Government should act on a report showing more child poverty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Child Poverty Action Group estimates there was a 10 percent increase in child poverty in the year since the first lockdown in March 2020, with tamariki Māori and Pacific children around 2.5 to 3 times more likely than Pākehā children to have been pushed into poverty.
Helen Leahy says that fits with Te Pūtahitanga’s experience of exponential growth in requests for assistance, with 7000 applications over the past three months for basics like help with power, firewood and getting kai on the table.
"If you look at Maslow's basic hierarchy of needs, that's just existing, let alone pivoting and moving into new employment opportunities. The Government would be wise to refer to this report, to the plethora of reports that are saying there is increased anxiety, increased mental distress, and the long term impacts on education and employment," she says.
Helen Leahy says because many low income Māori and Pasifika had multiple jobs, they did not get the full benefits of government wage support.
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