New Zealand Law Society - Child Poverty Reduction Bill passage recommended

Child Poverty Reduction Bill passage recommended

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The Social Services and Community select committee has released a final report on the Child Poverty Reduction Bill, with a recommendation that it be passed with amendment.

The omnibus bill would create the Child Poverty Reduction Act and also amend the Public Finance Act 1989 and the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

The bill has the objective of helping achieve a significant and sustained reduction in child poverty by introducing a legislative framework that would encourage governments and society to focus on reducing child poverty, hold governments accountable against published targets, and require transparent reporting about levels of child poverty,.

Among its proposed amendments, the committee recommends replacing all references to "Government strategy" with "strategy". It says this would reflect that collective action is needed from the Government and others to improve the well-being of children.

Another recommendation is to insert a new section 4A to require the Minister to consult with Māori representatives on the strategy and to report on outcomes for Māori children. It says these are included to recognise and show practical commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

The bill was referred to the committee on 13 February 2018, with submissions closing on 4 April 2018. The committee received 632 submissions.