Child Poverty Monitor: 2015 Technical Report

Child Poverty Monitor: 2015 Technical Report

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Annual Child Poverty Monitor is a partnership project between the Children’s Commissioner, the JR McKenzie Trust and Otago University measuring and reporting on child poverty rates in New Zealand annually. 

The report measures income poverty, material hardship, severity of poverty and persistent poverty as well as child poverty-related indicators from health, housing, education and disability.

Key points

Poverty and living conditions

• In 2014 305,000 (29%) of 0–17 year olds were living in income poverty, defined by families living off less than 60% of the median income. In 2013, the percentage was 24%.
• 148,000 (14%) of 0–17 year olds were living in material hardship, regularly go without things they need like fresh fruit, vegetables, warm housing and adequate clothing. 
• Three out of five children living in current poverty will live this way for many years.


• From 2009-2014 the proportion of students leaving secondary school with no qualification decreased from 19.2% to 13.0%. Māori and Pacific New Zealanders are less likely than European New Zealanders to achieve qualifications.


• About 16% of children live in a crowded house (defined as households requiring one or more additional bedrooms). 
• More than a third of NZ children are living in households that spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.