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

New Zealand’s current high rate of child poverty is one of our biggest barriers to full implementation of the Children's Convention. 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).

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
  • The Child Poverty Monitor informs public and political interest on rates of child poverty.

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:

At the end of his term (30 June 2016), Dr Wills gave a presentation 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.

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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.


The final report contains 78 recommendations for government, business, philanthropy and the community sector.

Also see the two page summary

For more information

Questions? Comments?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions

Email childpoverty@occ.org.nz

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See this year's monitor