The report below was published today the figures it contains were before the huge increase in unemployment took place under the present government. At the last election John Key stated that fixing child poverty would be a prime objective...while the figures are shocking they are even more-so today after three years of cutting taxes for the 1% and ignoring the 99%. It is not hard to see why the Occupy groups are starting up.
Palmerston North's kids are not OKAbout one-quarter of them live in poverty, and in 2010, there was the equivalent of almost one child abuse alert for every four children.
Poverty, ill-health and abuse are three big dangers that emerge from a children's profile compiled by Palmerston North City Council policy analyst Julie Macdonald for the council's community wellbeing committee meeting today.Children aged up to 14 make up one-fifth of the city's population, and although they are affected in some way by all council decisions, there is no special provision that ensures their views always influence decision-making.Protection from neglect and abuse, family income and employment, and housing affordability and security are identified in the report as crucial for the city's children's future wellbeing.There were 15,700 children aged up to 14 living in Palmerston North in 2006, a figure projected to be growing towards 16,400 by 2021.And last year, there were 4270 notifications of possible abuse to Child, Youth and Family in the Manawatu region for children and young people aged up to 17.While the figures are not out of kilter with national reporting, the profile finds it is "a significant level of abuse and neglect".On the poverty front, 22.5 per cent of the city's children were living in low-income households in 2006.The figures pre-date the international recession and rise in unemployment.At the same time 19.1 per cent of the city's total population was on low incomes, showing that children are more likely than adults to be poor."The number of children living in low-income households is important because low incomes are associated with lower educational attainment and poorer health," said Ms Macdonald.More Palmerston North children identify as Maori (27 per cent) compared to the population overall, with 16 per cent Maori.While as a group, the city's children are no more likely than the national average to be admitted to hospital, that rate is higher among 10 to 14-year-olds.Ashhurst, Kelvin Grove and Cloverlea have the highest proportion of children living in their communities. [From the Manawatu Standard by Janie Rankin Monday 7th Nov 2011]