Salvation Army State of the Nation report 2018

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

An estimated 70,000 children aged under 17 are living in severe material deprivation according to a new Salvation Army State of the Nation report released today.

The Salvation Army report provides a ten-year analysis of how New Zealand has progressed in bringing social and economic equity to citizens. This latest report also says New Zealand continues to break all-time records, topping 10,000 prisoners in March last year.

Social Policy Analyst for the Salvation Army, Alan Johnson says, “One of the things that's driving that is the change in offending that's happened, A lot of offending around violence particularly family violence and also methamphetamine-related offending so some of it's really serious offending but it's not the answer to the long-term problems that many people are facing.”

Housing affordability stabilised but it still took around 13 years of the average wage of salary to purchase the median priced house. During 2017, 100,000 additional jobs were added to the NZ economy, however, the numbers of people unemployed fell by just 8,000.

 “What it means is there's a lot of people, particularly our rangatahi (youth) 15-24 year olds that are stuck out of work there's 80,000 of them not in education or employment and we think the government, this government, and the previous government should have put a great effort into making certain that those young people leave school into a job and that should be their priority going forward,” says Johnson.

This is the Salvation Army’s 10th report. They're offered as a critique of public policy and not as a political criticism of the Government of the day. The Salvation Army is re-evaluating this report and is asking for feedback about whether the information can be presented in a different and more effective way.