We advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children and young people

The previous Children's Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills, made reducing child poverty a top priority for his term. We believe everyone from Government, to business, to our local communities has a role to play in reducing the number of children missing out.

We have a number of different projects related to child poverty:

  • With the business and philanthropy sector in mind, we developed 'Giving2Kids' - our guide for investing in children
  • With 'Listening2Kids' we show how children can be involved in decisions that affect them - from their local school to government policy
  • In the Child Poverty Monitor we are successfully keeping up public and political interest on child poverty rates.

The Expert Advisory Group

In early 2012 we convened the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to come up with practical solutions to child poverty. The EAG produced "Solutions to Child Poverty in New Zealand: Evidence for Action" in December 2012. The report continues to underpin many of our projects today.

Key EAG documents for more information:

  • Twenty four working papers on a range of child poverty issues, and three external papers developed at the EAG’s request
  • A summary of the feedback we received from our public consultation - "what you told us"
  • Our report on the government's progress in addressing EAG recommendations after one year

At the end of his term (30 June 2016), Dr Wills gave a presentation Are We There Yet? that outlined progress of the office on the issue of child poverty.

The Child Poverty Monitor

The annual Child Poverty Monitor (CPM) is a partnership project between our Office, the JR McKenzie Trust and the New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES).

Each year we monitor how many children live in income poverty, material deprivation, severe poverty and persistent poverty. These measures are derived from data produced in the Household Incomes Report.

For more in depth information about our health and housing statistics, check out the Technical Report produced by the NZCYES.

On the CPM website you can download all the infographics as well as a PowerPoint template for your projects and presentations.

This year's monitor shows child poverty remains double the levels of the 80s:

CPM trends 2016

The final eag report: Evidence for Action

In 2012 we convened the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to come up with practical solutions to child poverty.


  • Check out a two page summary of our 78 recommendations for government, business, philanthropy and the community sector
Read the full EAG report here

Poverty and children's rights

New Zealand’s current high rate of child poverty is one of our biggest barriers to full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC). This is one reason it is such a strong focus of the OCC’s work.

The UNCROC identifies the right to life, survival and development (article 6) as one of four general principles that underpin all children’s rights. Other rights that are impacted by poverty include:

  • the right to the highest attainable standard of health (article 24),
  • the right to benefit from social security (article 26),
  • the right to an adequate standard of living (article 27), and
  • the right to recreation and participation in cultural life and the arts (article 31).
Read the full UNCROC text

The 2015 Child Poverty Monitor

2015 core infographic2

Questions? Comments?

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Read this year's monitor here