October 11, 2022
Too many Māori working poor
Child Poverty Action Group says the latest government data provides a strong case for a special focus on Māori poverty.
Spokesperson Mike O’Brien says the Ministry of Social Development’s latest annual report shows one in 10 people in New Zealand is facing considerable hardship, but for Māori, the figure is one in five.
He says prioritising that group along with low-income Pasifika children could make a big impact on child poverty numbers.
It’s not just a problem of benefit rates that keep families below the poverty line.
“Over half of the children who are below the poverty line using the material hardship factor, over half of those children are from families whose income comes from paid work. So it’s not just an issue with beneficiaries. There at some real issues around incomes in households at the lower end of the wage scale as well,” Professor O’Brien says.
The report is based on 18-month-old data, so it doesn’t take into account the increases in families living in motels or needing food banks.