About the Author

Dr Muriel Newman

Dr Muriel Newman

Child Poverty: Real or Rhetoric?

Print Friendly and PDF
Posted on

The Prime Minister says that addressing child poverty is a priority for her administration.

In last November’s Speech from the Throne, setting out the new Government’s agenda, the Governor General said, “This government will put child poverty at the heart of government policy development and decision-making. It will establish targets to reduce the impact of child poverty and it will put these into law.  A work programme will be put in place across all relevant areas of government to achieve these targets.  Heads of government departments will be required to work together to deliver real reductions in child poverty.”

Given that commitment that government departments will be required to work together to deliver real results, it is indeed ironic that one of the first decisions made by Jacinda Ardern was to scrap National’s Public Service Targets and Social Investment approach, which required all Government agencies to work together to achieve better social policy outcomes.

For example, the Public Service target to reduce rheumatic fever in children required cross agency collaboration to address the underlying causes of the illness, which includes poor housing conditions.

Reducing long-term welfare dependence and the devastating impact it has on children, was another Public Service target, that officials acknowledged required teamwork across agencies.

Being on a benefit for extended periods of time is known to increase the risk of poverty, social dislocation and deteriorating overall health. With more than 112,000 New Zealanders having spent at least five of the last 10 years on a benefit, their children are likely to experience a range of negative outcomes, including poor educational achievement, and becoming benefit dependent themselves.

Through Public Service targets, the former Government pro-actively promoted participation in paid employment. This required an integrated cross-agency approach that better identified the causes of long-term welfare dependence and the support needed to help those beneficiaries move into employment.

Since the Public Services targets were set in place in 2012 – and refreshed in 2014 – welfare dependency has reduced to the point where the proportion of the working-age population on welfare is the lowest since 2007.

The greatest reduction has been in the number of sole parents receiving Sole Parent Support, an achievement that’s largely the result of more intensive case management, and greater access to employment and training-related supports.

A range of new Public Service targets were established in May last year, including ensuring 90 percent of pregnant women register with a Lead Maternity Carer in their first trimester, reducing the number of hospitalisations for children under 12 with preventable conditions, and improving the literacy and numeracy of children.

Such targets have provided key performance measures for the responsible Ministries and have been important factors in Chief Executives’ performance reviews.

Yet our new Prime Minister says she doesn’t believe that public officials and ministers should be held personally accountable for specific targets! That’s why those extremely important Public Service targets have been scrapped.

When it comes to addressing child poverty, the Prime Minister claims her Government will make an “historic dent” by halving child poverty over the next 10 years, to “establish New Zealand as one of the best performing countries for children”.

But this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Lincoln University Economics Lecturer Dr Greg Clydesdale, takes a more reasoned view. He says by focusing on inequality, instead of poverty, Labour’s promise to solve child poverty will fail – because their attention is on the wrong policy solutions:

“I suggest that the reason the left wing fail to solve poverty is because they never try to solve it. Instead, they focus on inequality. 

“The left-wing use ‘poverty’ and ‘inequality’ as if they are equivalents, but they are very different. Poverty is an absence of necessities, whereas inequality is a comparative statement of income and wealth. 

“To solve inequality, you simply need to take money from those who have it and re-distribute it to those who have less. That is what ‘Working for Families’ did. The result is a more equal distribution of income, however it doesn’t solve the underlying causes of poverty, so it continues into the next generation.” 

Dr Clydesdale is right. Jacinda Ardern’s new bill to reduce child poverty is focussed on generating income measures – information that is already available though the former Government’s comprehensive Household incomes in New Zealand reports by Bryan Perry.

The Child Poverty Reduction Bill outlines ten complex measures of income inequality – four primary measures and six supplementary measures – using equivalised disposable income assessments for a financial year.

Equivalised disposable income is the total income of a household, after tax and other deductions, that is available for spending or saving over a twelve month period, divided by the number of household members converted into equalised adults – whereby each is weighted according to their age: 1.0 for the first adult, 0.5 for the second and subsequent people aged 14 and over, and 0.3 for each child younger than 14.

Of the four primary measures in the Bill, the first focusses on the number of children that live in low income households earning less than 50 percent of median equivalised disposable household income – before deducting housing costs.

The second is on the number of children living in low income families earning less than 50 percent of median equivalised disposable household income – after deducting housing costs.

The third is on the number of children living in material hardship – using a definition to be provided by the Chief Statistician that’s likely to be based on the European Union’s threshold of going without such things as healthy food, warm clothes, or delaying going to the doctor.

And the fourth measure is based on the number of children living in persistent poverty, which again will be determined by the Chief Statistician and is likely to include low income measures and material hardship.

In addition, the Bill outlines six supplementary measures.

The first is the number of children living in low income families earning less than 60 percent of the median equivalised disposable household income – before deducting housing costs.

The second is those living in low income families earning less than 60 percent of median equivalised disposable household income – after deducting housing costs.        

The third is those living in low income families earning less than 50 percent of median equivalised disposable household income – after deducting housing costs (essentially the same as the primary measure).       

The fourth is those living in low income families earning less than 40 percent of median equivalised disposable household income – after deducting housing costs.

The fifth is the number of children living in severe material hardship.    

And the sixth is those living in low income families earning less than 60 percent of median equivalised disposable household income – after deducting housing costs – and experiencing material hardship.

On top of those ten statutory measures, a number of statutory reports must be produced by the Government, including one on Budget day, which reports on the progress that’s been made towards reducing child poverty and how the Budget contributes to that goal.

Section 21 of the Bill also requires the Government to set targets for the primary measures – long-term 10-year targets, and intermediate 3-yearly targets.

Accordingly, Jacinda Ardern has now announced Labour’s 10-year targets.

The first aims to reduce the proportion of children living in households with incomes below 50 percent of median income before housing costs during a financial year, from 15 percent of all children to 5 percent – from 160,000 children to 60,000 children.

The second is to reduce the proportion of children living in households with incomes below 50 percent of median income after housing costs from 20 percent to 10 percent – from 210,000 to 120,000 children.

And the third is to reduce the proportion of children estimated to live in material hardship from up to 15 percent to 7 percent – from up to 150,000 to 80,000 children.

The fourth 10-year target will be announced once the Chief Statistician has provided a definition of ‘persistent poverty’.

The Prime Minister also said that three year targets would be announced before submissions opened on the Bill – but they opened in early February, and those targets are still not available.

For anyone interested in making a submission on the Bill, a further aspect to be aware of is that the focus of the final Part 3 is on changing the name of the 2014 Vulnerable Children Act to the Children’s Act. The closing date for submissions is April 4 – full details can be seen HERE.

The fundamental problem with the newly announced targets is not only their mind-numbing bureaucratic complexity, but by focussing a child poverty bill on income inequality, the new Government appears to be setting the scene for a new round of income redistribution – increasing taxes on those earning more than the median wage to give to those receiving less.

What the Government doesn’t appear keen on doing is addressing one of the main causes of serious social deprivation amongst children – poor parenting. Too many parents spend their benefit money on drugs, alcohol, smoking and gambling, instead of buying food for their children. Too many parents place so little value on education that they don’t even bother sending their children to school. And there are far too many parents who, with no intention of working for a living, willingly condemn their children to the risks of life on a benefit.

Instead of dealing head on with these causes of child deprivation, Labour is taking a lazy and failed socialist approach if it even thinks that taking money from those who are independent and giving it to those who are dependent is the solution to poverty.

We should not stand back and let them get away with promoting sloppy policy that will end up deepening the dependency trap and making the problem a whole lot worse.

To turn this around, it’s not relative income measures that are needed, but policies to end intergenerational welfare dependency.

That means making sure that people cannot abdicate from their responsibility to work for a living and be the breadwinner for their family.

It means requiring beneficiary parents who squander their money – instead of using it to feed and clothe their children – to undergo ‘income management’.

It means ensuring the education system is flexible enough to identify and help children, whose parents do not value learning, early enough to prevent them becoming crippled for life by educational underachievement.

It means ensuring that the labour market can provide opportunities for everyone – including those who are unskilled and inexperienced.

One of Labour’s “achievements” is its programme to lift the minimum wage to $20 by 2021. While that will appease its union affiliates, it will have a devastating impact on low productivity workers, including young people and the long-term unemployed, who will find themselves permanently priced out of the labour market.

An analysis for the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, on the impact of a $20 minimum wage found that over 60,000 jobs could be lost from the economy.

So, in spite of their fine rhetoric, Labour intends deepening the dependency trap and effectively condemning tens of thousands of able-bodied beneficiaries and their children to a dead-end life on welfare – instead of lifting them to a future independent of the State.

And that’s what Jacinda Ardern does not appear to understand – that the very best way to help disadvantaged families with children is to ensure the economy is strong and vibrant, that the welfare system has at its core the expectation that everyone who is able-bodied and of working age should be self-sufficient and independent of the State, and that the education system equips all young people with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace – and in life.

In fact our Prime Minister would do well to heed the wise words of President Abraham Lincoln: “We cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. We cannot help small men by tearing down big men. We cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. We, Governments or people, cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than we have. We cannot build character and courage by taking away initiative and independence. We cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”


Do you believe Labour’s income redistribution approach to lowering poverty will have lasting results?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


If our PM looked at parents & welfare could ONLY be spent on FOOD she,d see a reduction BUT she,s a BLIND COMMIE Cindy
Income redistribution will not help in lowering poverty. There are problems to fix like drug and alcohol abuse etc. Frank
Families would do better to be given vouchers not cash Beatrice
It makes everybody so much poorer Ian
We’ve been down this road before. Ann
The problem lies largely with the parents. They need training, supervision, and good role models. This isn’t happening. Ross
When politicians acknowledge that poor parenting is the main factor in child poverty we might then get some policies that address this. But as for this leftest bunch in power at the moment solving the problem – I’d have more chance of seeing a squadron of flying pigs! Rex
if you cannot feed do not breed. Child poverty is most usually a consequence of children BORN INTO POVERTY. Contraception and removal of all child welfare is the pragmatic remedy. My tax system would be zero tax, zero gst for childless people and only tax people when they spawn children. More children more tax. Let parents fund their own children; and have fewer. World is already adequately overpopulated; we don’t need more malnourished unloved battered abused poor genetic background wasters to perpetuate the misery. Population produces poverty. Zoran
Probably add to the poverty Sam
Falacy of the complex question. It will have lasting results….all of them negitive. Craig
Lets first try and educate the parents in their responsibility in having children. The first 5 years of a child’s life has the greatest influence on its future attitude to every possible situation. As the saying goes ,” If you cant feed them ,Don’t breed them!!!” John
Certainly Labour’s income redistribution approach will have lasting results and they ill be harmful for however long they last. Robin
Giving money to peolpe with their hand out will only make the problem worse Simon
A crock … Maddi
Of course not. Your article could have skipped the economics lecture and simply cut to the chase that Labour – and National – continue to studiously ignore – poor and negligent parenting. colin
Long lasting repercussions, agreed, just NOT positive ones. Richard
I agree with your article & that NZ will only extend the poverty trap by not solving the real problem of personal responsibility of people for their own actions, This is the key to the matter. Brian
Absolutely not. More money will not fix anything. Thrift and a good sense of budgeting first requisite  Jeff
Don’t think so. June
Most likely will just increase the dependency level Graham
If you cant afford children dont have them and dont expect the state or anyone else to pay for them Claire
This is just more of the usual socialist bull-dust that we are so used to hearing from Labour ! James
More money will lead to greater deprivation. Money has never solved this problem. It is getting people to ‘help themselves’ out of poverty. ‘Don’t give them a fish, teach them how to fish’. Maureen J
education of parents is a must before anything else gerard
Get rid of the Waitangi Tribunal and stop handing out so many benefits. All the Govt is doing is handing out more money to people who won’t take responsibility for themselves. And there should be a limit on child support Kay
Agree with Ab Lincoln entirely Peg
Yes and No! Labour’s income redistribution WILL have a lasting affect and effect – no-one will want to work! The majority of beneficiaries are good people but they are let down by the rip-off merchants. Bring back food vouchers. Insist all attend Budgetary assistance classes – failure to do so – no extra money. The tax-payer is fed-up being ripped off. Fiona
If we want NZ to end up like so many other socialistic countries then it should work fine. I cannot believe the outright stupidity of this government that believes the policies they are introducing will bring about different results than they have in every other country where they have been tried. Isn’t this the definition of insanity? Ronmac
These Chardonnay Socialists are very good at spending other people’s money and think this- according to their ideology– solve all the problems. Since they are ideologists we never will see that lot approaching problems ( whatever these might be) with a sober and analytical mind set. I short– like their planting one Billion trees– it will end up at the most with a bit more admin here and there– maybe we even get a tree minister!! Michael
You cant help those who will not help themselves  Arthur
Maybe Will
There is no such thing as Child Poverty – there is only PARENTAL NEGLECT. Bob
It makes it worse as they do not address the problem of giving without accountability. First issue to stop breeding when the have no money, get them off the drugs, alcohol and playstations & try to get them into a routine of having to do, to receive  Anne
As long as Maoris, i.e. those have the greatest chance of racial employment, remain at the top end of the unemployed: handing out more money will never stop their poverty. Europeans are the most racially discriminated against with regards to employment yet rank lowest in the unemployed sector. There must be a lesson here for Governments. George
Ardern is out of her depth. Lorraine
Lasting results yes, but not the ones we need as a country. Willy
Socialist income redistribution is a massive complete waste of time, money and life incentives except for those who want more for nothing – as one cannot buy health, wealth and attitude when up against ‘our right’ attitude and handouts often in a cloud of fanciful smoke!  Stuart
The National lead government were on the right track and showing results. Labour is just throwing good money after bad. Darryl
We have a p.m that is an extreme Socialist as she was head of the world Socialists this is now borne out in all her policies.The press are on her side as are the majority of journalists the general public are indoctrinated by the left.You are dead right they never find out the causes just punish the taxpayer. Norman
Those wise words of Abraham Lincoln should be shouted from rooftops. People of this fine country need to realize that one cannot take from the hard working and give to the lazy , in hope of equality. Neville
I thought the previous government had it sorted. As I was reading your comments I found myself anticipating what should be done. Throwing money at these sorts of problems has never solved anything. It’s the underlying causes which need to be fixed. The current proposals clearly display the shallow thinking of which we can expect more as the next three years elapse. I have Abraham Lincolns message framed on my wall.. Have had for years.  Mike
Provide more taxpayer welfare and the queue wanting it will only get longer! Nev
In a logical system people would be means tested before they were allowed to have children.Mental profiling would also be useful. Coming from a dysfunctional family myself, I know only too well the harm caused by irresponsible idiots breeding without considering the consequences. charles
Muriel says it all. The sooner people are taught personal responsibility the quicker the problem will be solved.If you cant feed them .then dont breed them. Ralph
Disappointing that this is the best they can come up with after 9 years to reflect. John
Just another band aid George
untill parents take responsibilty for there children nothing will change Govt can trough all the money they like but it is just going into an empty hole  Russell
First of all, National made the wrong choice today and Simon the maori Bridges will never be PM – and the now PM will continue to be the Gramsci Communist she always was, with policies that will never work.. Democracy like journalism is dead in this country. There is no decent party to vote for, I give up!!!  Monica
Government hand outs won’t reduce child poverty it will only increase dependency. We need a strong economy which will create jobs therefore increasing household incomes which will reduce dependency on the state. We have seen all this before and it has never worked. We have families who have been on benefits generation after generation. These benefits should only be as an emergency measure not a way of life but I do think the labour party does seem to like having people dependant on the state. Don’t pay them in cash give them non transferable food vouchers and pay their rent direct to the landlord. No money for smokes, booze, drugs, gambling etc. as these are luxuries. Perhaps the responsible government departments should also have a look at where these people are spending their money and give them some sound advice. We as taxpayers should be demanding as it is our money they are wasting. John
The USA president is right – encourage men to care for themselves and their families – and better them than any government to include their neighbour in that responsibility.  Maurice
It is shutting the door after the horse has bolted. Many don’t want to work it is easier to put out the hand each week than get up to get children to school and go to work. But those who can’t work because of health issues need a fairer deal. Laurel
The only results will be an encouragement for the drones to stay on benefits forever. From what I see in NZ, the poor are poor because they choose to be in the way they live their lives. Get off your bums & find a job & solo mums stop pumping out kids for your fellow man to fund their care. Eric
No of course not It will mean more people trapped in poverty an more money for the tax planners tax lawyers tax accountants and other parasites in New Zealand who also save their clients copious amount of tax while the hard working kiwi ends up paying more tax to support some people who will never try and get them and their families a better life by working for it. Colin
It will just lead to a more divided society. Laura
It is NOT the child, it are the parents causing it by selling their food voucher to others so they can buy cigarettes and booze. Peter
The parents are fully to blame for any so called poverty. Give this type of parent more money and children will not get it. steven
Ardern and co haven’t a clue how to run NZ . They will destroy the social fabric of this country with their socialist ideas  Mike 
It will drive more families and their children into real poverty, not the political variety that the Socialists and media are so keen to promote.. A very sad outcome for NZ, when the Bill English designed Social Investment approach was beginning to show dividends. Bob
It is short sighted and will lead to more dependence on the state Andrew
An ambiguous question. One could have answered yes, it will go some way towards the ruin of NZ, under Labour and the traitor, Peters. John
I would consider a means-tested voucher system for basics such as good nutrition. What’s the bet they’d be exchanged for booze and drugs, though. Barend
Educating parents and managing their household incomes would provide a sustainable outcome John
Not until the major NZ problem of poor parenting is addressed.  Sarah
I pray that it won’t even make it to the starters gate. Roger
Not a chance it will work – typical socialist approach alan
But negative ones, creating greater disparity between classes and races. Those who cannot afford to raise children, need to be discouraged from doing so. This is more likely to encourage some. Hugh
We have no meaningful definition of poverty so there will be no measurable, meaningful results to examine! Cyril
You have said it all for me thanks Muriel. Erin
Feel-good, easy-to-do, vote-catching.alternative to thet really effective steps. Bill
Yes but in a negative sense.  Frank
Education is the key, not money. ` Dennis
But improved use of contraception would. Fiona
Never Donald
No . the govt is taking the wrong approach It will take anew generation of teaching children basic education and installing ambition to get them off dependancy. I cant see that happening Ian
These ‘Pie in the Sky’ policies will never work, but that doesn’t matter one little bit. They have captured votes and that was their sole intention. Please wake up NZ. TOBY
They need to focus firstly on the parents. It’s not child poverty, it is parental neglect. They need to stop allowing children to have children. All children need to be properly educated, encouraged to work hard and have aspiration. Financing children because they have had a baby is not teaching them anything other than how to be paid for doing nothing but reproducing. To all too many having a child means getting more money from the government. This needs to change. Helen
It can only become worse. Alan
A whole new approach is needed. Oliver Twist the more you drain the bowl the more you need to top it up Frank
No, because “poverty” is measured relative to the median. increase the median, and you increase those in poverty Geoffrey
If the school children can’t be expected to do it for themselves, and the parents can’t either, the education system can. Design one school uniform for public schools at each level. Uniforms will then be much cheaper . Then adjust the education budget to provide all school children with breakfast and lunch. Then it won’t matter how much Welfare the parents spend on drugs or squander Some other way, The children will have two decent meals a day and it will probably be worth coming to school to get fed. Child poverty will be an end very quickly and the children may well be in a position to help the hopeless parents sort themselves out Ian
A socialist/Communist approach has never solved poverty and never will Greg
One of the main causes of serious social deprivation amongst children – poor parenting. Too many parents spend their benefit money on drugs, alcohol, smoking and gambling, instead of buying food for their children. Too many parents place so little value on education that they don%u2019t even bother sending their children to school. And there are far too many parents who, with no intention of working for a living, willingly condemn their children to the risks of life on a benefit. Now ask where most of the Treaty money is going – or rather where it is NOT going. Maurice
It is time for Jacinda Ardern to be rermoved before she causes more harm to what is currently still a fine country Tom
You just have to look at Detroit to see how this policy is doomed to failure – the loony left never learn. Chris
Agree with Nationals approach. The huge cost to society and the tax payer to have successive Governments changing laws that have had little chance to be proven successful or not shows how little politicians care for the country and the people they are voted in to support. Labour is just flexing it’s control, nothing to do with wanting to make a difference.  Sam
Just more money for doing nothing to most of the unemployed  Richard
Giving more money to poor people will make the breweries and the tobacco companies and the people who produce marijuana and methamphetamine very, very happy. Ron
Absolutely not Dianne
Tricky question: Yes, it will have lasting negative results, but no, it will not have positive results. Janet
Yes, but bad ones. This is social engineering at it’s worst. Beneficiaries should & must be regularly checked to establish their REAL lifestyles and work capabilities. Then assessed for eligibility to receive any benefit. Denis
The correct answer should be yes because the long lasting effect will be to ensure that NO progress ill be made by the Present Government Bill. Jim
No point in doing it unless they believe it will benefit those who need it… Andy
More socialist feeding of the addition. Geoff
Negative lasting results! Alan
Helping all New Zealanders regardless of their original ethnicity become self confident, self sufficient and contributing members of society will help reduce poverty and ensure everyone takes responsibility for their own lives and welfare to make NZ a better place to live. Simply handing out money never solves any problem. Margaret
Typical socialist approach. Martin
Labour’s policy denies people of the pride they can feel when they provide for their own. When we rob the hardworking to prop up those who lack initiative we are telling them they don’t need to seek training/education in order to get a job/better job to provide for their own. We do them and ourselves a great disservice! Walnetta
It shows that they do not know how to fix it all they do is throw more money at the problem without sorting out what the problem is bad parenting Mary
How about a voucher system for food and clothing. Clark
No because it comes from within the home where children are supposed to matter and be cared for and loved. Going without by caregivers appears not to be an option and children come second and third place. Time and energy is also required, commitment to give them the best start in life just doesn’t seem to be there in some families. Some cultures think they know best to the detriment of other ways and opinions of others, and that I do not believe will ever change. It would wonderful if that were the case but just look at the list of the children who have perished at the hands of their trusted carers. Audrey
Of course not, she’s supposed to be educated but she shows she knows NOTHING Cindy
Only by teaching through guidance & education that there is a better way of life, will the poverty trap be broken. Giving more money to those who are doing nothing to help themselves, only encourages the attitude that life should be a free ride. Single mothers who are paid for every child they have is not teaching personal responsibility, but then of course, Socialism demands that we all rely on the state to survive.. Genuine two parent families who are struggling because of low wages & high rent etc. should have their income subsidised by making the first $20.000 earned tax free. All others should go to personal responsibility & job training classes or receive nothing..  A.G.R.
Unless ALL child benefits are paid in a secure way that the child only benefits such a scheme as proposed, of reducing child poverty can never succeed. Graeme
Waste of time, this is just setting up a new lot of welfare beneficiaries. This policy does NOT help my children or my grandchildren. They have taken more away from them and they are now less well off than before the coalition of the lost started fiddling. Carl
I am willing to be the PM that her government will fail to reduce poverty. No doubt she won;t back her policies with her own money! Peter
Unfortunately yes, but in the wrong direction! The policies of this unelected Labour government will take us a huge step backwards from the progress painstakingly taken over recent years. This is thanks to the betrayal by Winston Peters of his constituency and the Left-wing media that got right behind the ‘Jacinda Effect’ Paul
The problem is with giving birth to too many children , when one cannot afford to look after them properly , when is some one going to have the strength to say and act upon it ; there are many free contraceptives available and have been for many / many years , so don’t make your problem , one of that for the tax payer to sort out , along side a silly left wing / commo government . !!  Roy
Dr Newmans Quote at the end says it all. Well done pity more don’t read this. Murray
The key to this is lack of adequate parenting. Parents who do not know how to look after, feed properly, or I still a good work ethic in their children. Throwing money at the current perceived problem WIlL NOT help. Parental re-education in basic home life is badly needed. Robyn
Political rubbish. More productivity in this sector would surely bring much greater benefits. People MUST try to work harder & longer to earn the income needed by their families. Andrew
Socialism always harms the most those it purports to help. The root cause of the majority of the societal problems pointed out adnauseum by the left can be traced back to the implementation of their ill conceived socialist policies. The politics of envy. Richard
Jacinda and her cronies are a bunch of day dreamers without a rational brain between them. During the next three years we WILL definitely need God to defend us. Frank
With 90% of women registering with a lead maternity carer – each one of those having a child should have to have parenting skills courses and budgeting advice. That would go a long way towards lowering poverty – providing of course that the women (and why not men too?) take heed of the advice they are given. Gill 
Once the parents of the needy get hold of any extra cash !! It all will be spent on the Pokies, Booze, Smokes and Drugs and the kids will still starve. Wayne
Yes, it will have lasting results. It will condemn yet another generation of low income children to a continuation of the hopelessness that afflicts these children. Hopeless parents being allowed to continue to be hopeless and drug affected social dross. Stupid socialist policy that aims to capture the lowest achievers in a situation of Government dependence and hence in the thrall of the power and control by a socialist/communist, Union Dominated Government. Dianna
If done properly by improving the low wage economy and not necessarily just hand outs John
Typical Marxist manipulation, steal money from working people to build another government empire to spend on a perceived poverty, no matter that the parents have probably have Sky TV, a smoking habit and an account at the TAB.  Rex
Addressing what money is spent on and education re money essential. Food coupons needed. Linda
Here we go again, more handouts and so a stalling economy. You cannot drive a car without lessons and a licence but you can have children-no lessons for that natural instinct and you do not need a licence. This is where it is wrong. Until something positive is directly done to prevent poor parenting this whole scenario will continue and on-going handouts will not fix it. Peter
It will have lasting results but the result will be more lazy bums not working & spitting out more of the same. Glenn
Typical left wing economics . Spending is all they know how to do. John
The way that they are spending our hard earned money, there will be none left to action this. Graham
Yes, it will have lasting results. Just not good ones. Not the right ones, unfortunately! Brenda
Not really but give then time to try. Easy to talk but hard to accomplish. Peter
Negative for tax payers and the economy in general with no reduction in so called child poverty levels, just more money for drugs and gambling, let the wild parties increase. John
There is nothing apparent to tackle the lack of family monetary and education responsibility taken by some of the parents of children “living in poverty”. Focus on inequality is fine but needs a companion to combat poor spending of family income. Stan
For all the reasons in the newsletter, the lasting results will be increased child poverty, increased welfare dependency and increased willingness to let the state babysit for them. Perhaps the solution would be to increase numbers of orphanages and take the children off those failing parents, so that the Labour government can claim the moral high ground in reducing ‘child’ poverty. Vic
I don’t believe poverty is as bad as we are told. Richard
No way. There will be a lasting result and that is dependency on state provided assistance. This will in turn take another generation or more to negate. David
Stop having so many children if you can not afford to feed them and get off your backsides and work/////// John
They always fail to understand the laws of unintended consequences with their blinkered ideas.  Charles
Yes lasting to the detriment of all. Graham
Didn’t think it would work anyway. The term should be children Living in Poverty ,which should change the focus. After reading Greg Clydesdale’s article, I,am even more convinced lefties just don’t have the guts to confront the real issues.  Bondy
It will condemn more people to intergenerational dependance on the state.  Gary
Hit the root cause of poverty in most cases. That is irresponsible parenting. From an ex SW Brian
Greg Clydesdale is quite right. Sir Apirana Ngata’s best legacy was not the preservation of Kapa Haka, but the promotion of education. We must remind Maori of this fact. Huria
Giving money does not work because there is an additional problem of where the money they do have is used i.e. cigarettes drink etc. even work & Income dont do that they give shopping vouchers & will pay outstanding bills for you and make and adjustment so that you become responsible Pat 
Dreamers asa usual! Alan
we know where the extra money ends up david 
What a load of old rubbish. there will be a certain group of people rubbing their hands together with more to spend on drugs.Not on the children. Ross 
I agree with the article that we need to retrain peoples thinking more than give them free this and that. Graeme
Central Government Takes money, and a little ALWAYS sticks, called Administration. It does not encourage work, personal endeavour, It encourages more poverty. Lionel
Labours approach disincentivises hard work and effort by the majority Stan
Labour’s answer to all challenges is to throw taxpayer’s . They have tried that approach numerous times and are yet to back a winner Ian
the labaour party should have a look at the real world, they are ready and willing to undo all the good work that has been done over the last few years. Bill
You cannot cure poverty by making the rich poor! Bruce
Many of those on a low income bring up their children in a very satisfactory way. June
Just Useless Socialist rubbish once again . Greg
The workers and savers will get poorer to the point that the now poor wiil be worst off as the workers and savers will be left with less and the government will go broke by borrowing more to fund the poor.Socialist mentallity. ken
There is no such thing as Child Poverty,,There is however Parental Neglect. Bill
dependency on benefits is the root cause.  mike
The focus is on the wrong track – inequality instead of poverty. if the emphasis is on the latter we should be giving people life skills about, e.g., healthy living, budgeting, and providing incentives to do productive work. Raising the minimum wage will increase benefit dependency as employers, especially those in small businesses, will not be able to afford to employ people. Again, nice words from the PM, but no effective solutions. Laurence
You have to educate the parents money will not fix the problem Mike
This is another example of flawed thinking from the political left. In my view, our Prime Minister is totally unsuited for the role and seems not to want to understand what drives national economies forward. The worst reason to be in politics is have a ideological belief that one wishes to convert people to and worse still, to make people dependent on and subservient to. The role of a politician is to listen to what people want and deliver what is good for them. Ardern, you fail on all counts. Peter
This shows the inexperience, naivety and Trumpist populism being pursued by this Government. Already they have made the rental housing market worse by activism. Mike
Certainly no positive results. However they will fudge figures to confuse people as to what is really hapening. Roger
Yes, it will a lasting result, but in the wrong direction. You question should be will it have a lasting positive effect. Kenneth
History shows that throwing money at people will not solve the problem you perceive, but will enhance that problem. ,  John
Every person in NZ has access to financial help (WINZ). Child poverty comes from poor parenting, not poor parents. Bruce
Well, yes I do think it will have lasting results, but not the type Labour would have us believe. Restocking our supply of bluggers isn’t in the countries best interest. Brent
The attitude of disfunctional parents must be changed. David
Throwing money at an assumed problem never works. A Socialist solution. Andrew
In the history of the world, this has never worked. No amount of Ardern Fairy dust will achieve it.  Marnie
Like all politicians playing with the end result of a problem TIME TO ADDRESS THE CAUSE Kelvin
Never has and never will! Colin
Socialism/Communism’s policy of tax and spend is a failed philosophy, In particular their attempts to redistribute wealth in an attempt to “equalise” income will fail because it ultimately destroys the economy they so readily depend upon to fund the wealth they wish to redistribute! Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it! Michael
Redistribution goes into upgrading existing or buying new smart phones, tablets etc that take precedence over clothing and food. Not to mention Meth and alcohol. Every family living in poverty needs budget education and a boost in welfare payment when it is certain that $$ go towards life necessities not electronic necessities. David
It is not only differences in income that result in family poverty, it is also differences in priorities. When smokes, alcohol and junk food take precedence over healthy food, when partying all night takes priority over children having a full night’s sleep, then additional income is useless.  Alan
Not a hope, spreading wealth far too thinly, not that anymore money should be thrown at poverty as socialism does not work. Graeme
Absolutely brain dead as usual! Andy
Wrong focus. Right up there with President Bush saying education in the USA is poor because half the kids were below average. Ratios to median income to define poverty will automatically create a large group by definition Henry 
warm fuzzies are non lasting clear self help targets are essential Doug
National would have pretty much sorted “child poverty” had they had two more terms. They were on the right track, such a shame and a waste of brilliant work. Chris
each case needs to be investigated as to why, where is their money going to, Churches, back to the islands or? David
Proven to be ineffective Pete
If Children are poor, it means their Parents do not work and look after them as it is their duty !  Pierre
normal B/S of socialist agender barry
Socialism works really well,untill you run out of other peoples money to give away Peter
It simply can’t. Abe Lincoln’s comments are spot on, and should be required reading probably daily, until they are understood. Dick
Another non event of political ploy Ian
Muriel, Your question is couched wrongly. There will certainly be lasting results but they will be negative to reducing poverty. Your question should have included ‘in reducing child poverty’ The answer is then ‘NO” as required but for you question the aswer is ‘YES’ be cause there will be lasting (negative) results. I do hope all your respondents will understand this. Ian
Just another neoliberal government stj
Anything given for free is not appreciated and will just be frittered away and won’t reach the children just as the Treaty settlements won’t reach the lower echelon of the tribes.  Jock
It will impact on the taxpayers of this country. You said it, we don’t have child poverty in New Zealand, we have irresponsible, lazy, smoking , drinking, drug-taking benefit paid parents Terry
…another ‘pathetic political’ load of dust……what about Pensioner POVERTY..???? ChrisH
No ! Redistribution of unequally created private wealth is not only more socialist but also makes us all equally miserable. Cut taxation and leave people free to function. Don
If there is a job out there for the unemployed they should apply for it. The benefit should never be considered a lifestyle – it is just the bridge over the river of life and nobody camps on a bridge for a lifetime they use it to get them to the other side. Diana
No, because they are not working on fixing the core problem. Just band aiding, which never works long term Sue
Those not learning from History will be…. Collin
Labour needs dependecy in order to ensure they create future VOTES. Jo
The problem is with the parents not the children, perhaps this can be overcome by not allowing beneficiaries to puchase crappy food, or insisting on education in the form of cookery classes. Beryl
Again, it is a no brainer Lloyd
As long as we have a portion of the population reliant and expectant of welfare then we will have a degree of penury. The key is to start teaching people that their destiny is in their hands and providing an environment for them to achieve their goals. Steve
Absolutely not – income redistribution is just greed by another name. Usually those who are in the worst state financially are hopeless with money, spending it on drugs and booze. It would soon all be used up.  Jenny
Socialism doesn’t work – end of story!  Keith
Any money is likely to be squandered. The only real answer, is to support beneficiaries into jobs.  Jeff
Labour will never want to make it tough for beneficiaries – even those who are ripping off the system. David
Dr Clydesdale’s article is very perceptive – and I agree that parental behaviour is crucial. Boosting beneficiary incomes is the wrong way to go.  Laurie