Topic: Elections/Kōwhiri

Masses unite to call for more focus on reducing Child Poverty

By Heeni Brown

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) marched in Auckland to highlight their message - they want politicians and political parties to come together immediately after the election to form a cross party agreement on an action plan to reduce child poverty.

It's a march determined to get the whole country behind CPAG's main goal.

Henare O'Keefe says, “There's no need for this if the good will and passion was given freely and unconditionally this would disappear overnight.”

CPAG's action plan consists of five recommendations, which they hope the Goverment will pick up.

One part is about ensuring an accelerated rate of poverty reduction for Māori and Pasifika, so they achieve equity with other children.

Efeso Collins says, ''the point of today is to put pressure on all of them to look at it but what we do know is that parties to the left are showing an openness to talk with us that's Labour, the Greens, Internet MANA even the Māori party to a degree are prepared to listen to us'”

One in four children experience what it is like to live in poverty, that's 260,000 children who have fallen into the poverty trap.

MANA Movement leader, Hone Harawira says, “The Goverment can end this disgrace tomorrow!”

Jacinta Ardern of Labour says, “We've always said we are always committed to working across parties to find solutions to child poverty the only unfortunate thing is we made that offer to the National Government, they turned it down.”

It's clear even politicians are working well together here, but it takes more than that to achieve the goals set by this march. 

Metiria Turei of the Greens says,”It's up to the voter voters decide if we have a government that puts child poverty as our number one priority.”

Once the new Goverment is formed, we'll see whether or not they'll take CPAG's action plan to reduce child poverty into consideration.

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