Friday December 15, 2017   Last updated 11:30AM
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Charity helps child poverty drop

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Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft is welcoming new data showing key child poverty indicators are dropping but a long term improvement will involve both government and private sector action.

The data, which covers up to June 2016, reflects the increase in benefit levels in 2015 and other adjustments by the previous Government.

But there are still 290,000 children in households on low incomes and up to 135,000 children lacking basic items.

Judge Becroft says the indicators are affected by the strong economy and the activities of non-government organisations and charities which supply basics like clothes and shoes for kids and school breakfasts and lunches, but the country can do better.

"It's good that there are organisations around. We can all help. Government has to erect the safety net and we have the goal with the sustainable development target of halving poverty including child poverty by 2030 but the government's going to be assisted by all of us. That's the New Zealand I want to be part of where we are all involved collectively doing what we can to assist," he says.

Judge Becroft says he's encouraged by some of the initiatives in the new Government's 'first 100 days' work programme, including the proposed Families Package, Best Start and increases to Paid Parental Leave.

ANDREW BECROFT FULL INTERVIEW

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