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Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

Educators back call for urgent action
on child poverty

2 December 2020

Educators at the frontlines back the Children’s Commissioner’s call for bold action on child poverty, following the release of distressing figures in the latest Child Poverty Monitor.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford said that every day educators in schools and early childhood centres saw the impact of poverty on children’s learning and overall wellbeing.

“The impact of poverty can follow children throughout their lives, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With one in five children already living in income poverty, the economic fallout of COVID-19 is likely to make the situation worse without bold interventions,” he says.

“This is not a problem that just impacts individual families, but our entire society. Unlike many countries, Aotearoa New Zealand has the financial ability to change the future for a generation of children. We simply need to make that choice,” he says.

“Children in poverty need wrap-around support, from housing to education. As educators, we’re calling on the government to fund more resourcing support to meet the educational needs of every child. Let’s give every child the best possible start in life, rather than wait to pick up the pieces further down the track,” he says.