The Government wants New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in her role as the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, and the Minister for Children, Tracey Martin are the joint lead Ministers of this work. The work is being led by the Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group, which sits within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The group was established in February 2018 and consists of two units:
Child Wellbeing Unit
The Child Wellbeing Unit has been established to support the development of New Zealand’s first Wellbeing Strategy for children and young people. The Strategy will set out the actions the Government intends to take to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealand children – now and in the future. The Unit’s role is to:
- seek input and advice from a range of individuals, groups and agencies to gather a wide range of ideas, perspectives and insights
- consider the needs of all children and young people, with a particular focus on child poverty and those with greater needs
- set out the outcomes sought for all children and young people, and the intended actions to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealand children
Child Poverty Unit
The Child Poverty Unit has been established to support the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction. The Unit’s role includes:
- supporting the implementation requirements of the recently passed Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018
- supporting agencies to implement the legislation
- working with others to identify actions and policies for reducing child poverty
- providing advice to Ministers on child related matters
- working closely with the Child Wellbeing Unit on poverty-related aspects of the Wellbeing Strategy.
Chief Science Advisor – Child Poverty Reduction
In addition to the Unit, Professor Richie Poulton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Science Advisor to the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction. The role provides a direct line of independent advice to the Minister, with a focus on child wellbeing and poverty reduction.