The Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy sets out a shared understanding of what’s important for child and youth wellbeing, what government is doing, and how others can help.
Child Poverty Reduction and the Minister responsible for the Strategy, Hon Jan Tinetti, shares the vision to make Aotearoa New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child or young person.
- We want to make Aotearoa New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child or a young person.
- That means making New Zealand a place where all children and young people are loved, confident, happy and healthy – and are empowered to reach their full potential.
- The vision to achieve this is set out in the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, which we launched in 2019.
- The Strategy was created with the help of 10,000 New Zealanders – including over 6000 children and young people, who told us what makes for a good life and what gets in the way. It also drew on the best evidence from social science and cultural wellbeing frameworks.
- The Strategy provides a unifying framework to align the work of government and others, so that we’re all working together to create positive and transformative change.
- We’re focusing on the areas that children, young people and their whānua have told us can make the most positive difference for them.
- When we came into Government, we also set up the Child Poverty Reduction Act to hold successive governments accountable for reducing child poverty.
- We set ourselves ambitious targets – our goal is to halve the number of New Zealand children living in poverty by 2028, compared to 2018 levels.
- We know how important it is for families to have a good standard of material wellbeing so they can do their best for the children.
- Prior to entering Parliament, I spent over 27 years as a primary school teacher and principal. My last position was as a principal at Merivale School, one of Tauranga’s most financially disadvantaged schools.
- I have seen first-hand the impacts of poverty of children’s lives. But when we quote the statistics, we become desensitised to the realities of what poverty means.
- So, when I think of children living in poverty, I think of the people in communities who – while never making excuses – constantly work to minimise the effects of poverty on children.
- As a former Principal, I think of the talented but undervalued support staff who would quietly take a late child to feed them breakfast before entering the classroom.
- I think of the incredible teachers who, without judgment, would recognise that children need to feel safe and secure with basic needs catered for before optimal learning can occur.
- All children deserve to live in secure, fit-for-purpose housing. All children deserve the right to enjoy their childhood without worry and concern and all children deserve the right to live their life with hope for the future.
- We’ve worked consistently to lift children out of poverty, tackle cost of living pressures, and lift the incomes of families with the greatest need.
- The most recent data from 2021/22 shows that 77,000 fewer children are in poverty than in 2017/18 (using the after housing costs measure) – and that all nine child poverty measures have been trending downwards.
- Meanwhile, data from the New Zealand Health Survey shows that we’ve seen 72,000 fewer children food experiencing insecurity over the past two years.
- We know there is more work to do, and we are committed to doing it. But the Government can’t do it alone. These are big complex issues that we’re trying to tackle, and it will take an approach that involves all of government but also iwi, community, whānau and local government as well.
- We need to work in partnership. So, I encourage you, take a look at this Strategy. See what you could do in your local community to try and lift the wellbeing of children and young people. How can we work together?
- I want to acknowledge the parents, the carers, the whānau, the teachers, the social workers, the volunteers – and all of the people in our communities – who are working to support and nurture our children and young people.
- I absolutely believe New Zealand can be the best place in the world for children and young people as long as we all keep working together.
Find out more – childyouthwellbeing.govt.nz