Topic: Elections/Kōwhiri

Child Poverty an important issue for all voters

By Aroha Treacher

About 1000 people marched in Auckland yesterday, calling for the Government to act more urgently to eliminate child poverty. Protest organisers are saying it's a sign that people want political action.

A recent Māori Television political poll also highlights that addressing child poverty in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate is one of the top three most important issues to its voters. With political promises abound of abolishing poverty, our reporter, Aroha Treacher spoke to those on the  ground who are living it.

At almost 8 o'clock in the morning there were many hungry mouths to feed at a community initiative set up to help anyone wanting a meal who are more than welcome.

According to young student Chantenay Iraia, “Feed the young ones, coz at home they may not have bread and all that but hey they can come to the community and this community will help them.”

Every Monday and Friday morning, around 30 children come to this place hungry and leave full. The most children they've had in one morning is 70.

Organiser, Chantelle Brown says, “It's really heart wrenching coz you know they need a kai they need to be at kura but our whānau can't afford to buy things.”

The idea was born out of seeing a need in the Maraenui community that they say isn't being addressed by the current Goverment.

Chantelle Brown says, “The gap between the rich and poor is getting bigger and it's all due to these Government policies that are helping the rich and forgetting about us at the bottom.”

The bread they receive is donated, everything else is paid for out of their own pockets, a cost these volunteers are willing to pay to fill the empty tummies.  

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