TODAY |

'Come and talk to the whanau themselves' - call for government to change their approach to child poverty

Social Worker Paora Crawford Moyle says that if Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is going to end child poverty then she needs to listen to those who are actually affected.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised to personally end child poverty but she is being asked to listen to those on the front line. Source: Marae

For two North Island social workers it's the voice of Maori whanau and the children who make up the 62 per cent of child poverty cases in New Zealand that are getting missed by the government.

"Those people with voices that need to be heard are on the front line, listening to the children.

"Take the ministry of vulnerable children, where are the voices? They need some Maori input as to how they are working with whanau".

Annie Joass who is a social worker in Whangarei says "it's poverty on steroids in this area, north of Whangarei the impact that it has on whanau is profound".

They also believe that work and income needs to change their approach as well.

"No phone, no internet, no transport at all, those are the basic things you need to move forwards in life and a lot of work and income requirements now are online or you're meant to communicate online.

"If they don't do that they get penalised so theres a real punitive culture at Work and Income at the moment where women with children are getting their benefits cut for not turning up to an appointment."

At present, one in three children in New Zealand live below the poverty line.