Mr Key, here’s one way to cut child poverty - make Equal Pay a reality


The National government could make a huge step towards cutting child poverty by 10 per cent, as called for by the Children’s Commissioner - with a single stroke of the pen, the PSA says.

Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft estimates there are 149,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand, and wants that figure 10 per cent lower by the end of next year.

The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi says the government could make a big move towards that goal by adopting the Joint Working Group’s recommendations on equal pay.

"Across New Zealand, tens of thousands of women are trapped in poverty wages - because the jobs they do are undervalued," Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

"Many of them work in the care and support sector, providing vital services to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to stay in their own homes.

"It’s hard work, both emotionally and physically, but someone has to do it - and most do it for the minimum wage.

"If their work were properly valued, their wages would increase dramatically, and this would allow them to give their children everything they need to grow, learn and thrive."

Ms Davies agrees with the Children’s Commissioner that the government is able to set targets for Smokefree and Predator-free initiatives - but this issue lacks a similar level of commitment.

"Unions, the business community and the Crown came together to establish the Joint Working Group and agree the principles - yet the government is dragging its feet on approving them.

"The women of New Zealand are Worth 100% - and so are their children.

"We call on the government to adopt the Joint Working Group’s principles in full, and take concrete steps towards fully funding them."