265,000 NZ children live in poverty.
The Children's Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills, says the public is ignorant in its understanding of the depth of the problem.
Today the commission released its first report monitoring child poverty in NZ. It's a figure which has risen since the 80s by more than 10%.
Furthermore, Māori and Pacific Island children are suffering the most, compared to European children.
The report also shows 180,000 children go without some of the basic needs, such as their own bed, heating, meat, shoes, fruit and vegetables, and rain coats.
Māori Affairs Minister, Pita Sharples, says it's a challenge they're battling with.
The Children's Commissioner says vocal public support is crucial, and that it must be a top priority.
This report will be published annually for the next five years, so the focus, or lack thereof, will be visible.