Five measures were proposed in order to capture different aspects of child poverty and to facilitate monitoring how well efforts to reduce child poverty in New Zealand are working.
They are based on a family’s disposable income (market income, less tax, plus social assistance) that has been equivalised (that is, adjusted for family size and composition).
An income poverty threshold commonly used is a household equivalent disposable income of less than 60% of the median income, after adjusting for housing costs.
The income resources of a household are a major factor likely to influence a child’s wellbeing, positively or negatively.
Household income measures are available from data gathered in the Statistics New Zealand Household Economic Survey (NZHES).
New Zealand signed the United Nations Agenda 2030 for sustainable development that came into effect in January 2016.
The Agenda’s preamble states that “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development” and a key target is to reduce, by at least half, the proportion of children living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions by 2030.
The Child Poverty Monitor partners choose indicators taking into consideration the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group on solutions to child poverty and the indicators previously included in the Children’s Social Health Monitor.
Child poverty is measured in this report using the indicators recommended by the Expert Advisory Group on solutions to child poverty in New Zealand.
The fixed-line measure compares income in a given year to the median income in a reference year.