The NZCCSS has been on the news recently with their timely report that “apart from a short period in the 3 years immediately post the Global Financial Crisis, funding for social services has remained static yet demand has soared to higher levels than ever previously experienced“.
Refer to www.nzccss.org.nz/vulnerability-report for more details.
Simon Lowe reports that this group is working hard on blogs following the recently CYPF review. One of the most comprehensive is by Dr Ian Hyslop, who says: There is no reference to social inequality – inadequate incomes, housing and health services – or to the economic reproduction of these social deficits.
To read this critique in full and others on the same topic, refer www.reimaginingsocialwork.nz
“ Despite being supposedly targeted to alleviate against child poverty, in its current state, the Working for Families (WFF) scheme discriminates against those children most in need..”
Refer to www.cpag.org.nz for details of how to support the campaign
CPAG is holding a series of post-Budget breakfasts. These are to be held in Whangarei, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on Friday the 27th May and in Nelson on Wednesday the 1st June. They are also holding a fundraiser in Auckland on the 11 June.
More details of these events at www.cpag.org.nz
Poverty Action Waikato is undertaking research to develop a 2015/16 “Window on Waikato Poverty” report. The focus of this report is to develop understandings of the experiences of neglect and nurture in our communities.
Neglect and nurture are experienced in different ways across our society. When society, communities and individuals neglect to care for one another this has devastating consequences. Babies, children and young people often suffer the most from neglect. This suffering can impact their whole life journey. Without opportunities for healing and restoration, experiences of neglect can result in further suffering. When the nurture of our most vulnerable populations and the care of one another is prioritised by individuals, communities and society, flourishing and wellbeing are enabled.
Our research will provide social services and community with the information that will support advocacy for a future where poverty and neglect are not tolerated and all people are supported to live flourishing lives. We are talking with people in Social Service agencies about the ways they observe and experience both neglect and nurture operating in their communities and gathering some up-to-date regional statistics.
This research is supported by the Social Development Division of the Hamilton City Council. A summary of findings will be presented to Hamilton City Council in February 2016 followed by the final report which will be a public document.
The latest Child Poverty Monitor has provoked widespread coverage with its figures showing 305,000 or 29% of New Zealand children live in income poverty, two-thirds of them for long periods of time.
The report has also prompted debate about the nature and causes of poverty, and has launched the ‘It’s Not Choice’ campaign.
The Child Poverty Action Group welcomed the release of the report, a collaboration between the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Otago University’s New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service and the JR McKenzie Trust.
The Child Poverty Monitor shows child poverty is now significantly worse
than the 1980s. In 1985 the percentage of children in families experiencing relative after housing costs income poverty was 15%. Now it is 29%.
CPAG spokesperson Assoc Prof Michael O’Brien said, “New Zealand has the power to change the dreadful statistics revealed by this report right now, with committed leadership. Children are far more likely to experience poverty than retired people. We have excellent policies in place to support older people and could do the same for children.”
However, Auckland Action Against Poverty’s Sue Bradford warned that: “Nothing will change until those in power take poverty seriously.”
Wellington City councillors have voted to pay their low-paid security guards employed via contractors the Living Wage. The step towards becoming a Living Wage council was voted for 9-6 by councillors last month and was overwhelmingly supported when it went out for consultation in the 2014 Annual Plan process.
Sadly the Wellington Chamber of Commerce has announced it will take legal action to try and stop the council paying.
“The Chamber seems determined to do everything they can to keep these workers on poverty rates, ignore the overwhelming support of Wellingtonians for the Living Wage and to spend a lot of money on pointless litigation,” said Living Wage Wellington spokesperson Reverend Brian Dawson.
“Councillors should be applauded for wanting to provide the best services to the people of Wellington, and not just because it’s the right thing to do. There is plenty of international evidence showing that paying the Living Wage leads to more productive workers, higher morale and lower turnover.”
Tues 10 Nov is equal pay day – 14% from the end of the year, which is how much less the average woman earns compared to the average man. It’s the day New Zealand women start working for free for the rest of the year. More info from [email protected]
Join us on the lawn at 360 Queen St, 12.15pm to 12.45pm, Tues Nov 10, for spirited speeches, funny woman Michele A’Court and a message to the Mayor.
Join the Pay Equity Coalition Auckland in marking this day and starting to balance up pay rates in our city. 122 years since NZ women got the vote and our journey to equal pay has slowed down. For the 2nd year running we are still 14% behind on average hourly income.
The time has come – for our Mayor and his Council to lead Auckland employers in paying 100% for the work Auckland women do – pay the job not the gender.
The government has said it will negotiate with unions and others about how to lift pay in female-dominated industries – a move welcomed by the CTU and others who have been campaigning for pay equity.
The move is the government’s response to the Kristine Bartlett case, which ended up with the Employment Court preparing itself to find a male-dominated comparator industry that aged care workers – Bartlett’s industry – should be paid the same as.
The negotiations are designed to create an out of court settlement. However, unions have said they will continue to consider pay claims for female-dominated occupations and will remain prepared in case progress is not made through this process.
The Auckland Anglican Diocesan Synod met in September and “expressed its concern about the growing income gap in our society and the increasing prevalence of insecure employment which jeopardises a cohesive social framework”. It also passed a motion calling on the government to ban zero-hours contracts that exclude alternate employment options and require people to work any hours offered. The synod also chose to reaffirm its commitment to the Living Wage as a necessary step in reducing inequality and poverty in our society.
The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)’s 2015 campaign, Healthy and Affordable Homes – calling on the government urgently to improve quality of and access to rental accommodation for families – has already received a groundswell of public support and strong media coverage. Alongside the harrowing story of Te Ao Marama Wensor and her son’s serious chronic lung issues as a result of living in a mouldy home, it was the lead story on many news bulletins, including print, radio and TV, and even prompted discussion in parliament.
The key now is to keep the momentum up, giving voice to children in need, and to their families – and the main upcoming event for that is the Hikoi for Homes.