There are just over 1.1 million children under the age of 18 in New Zealand – that’s about a quarter of the country’s population.
The majority of these children are doing well and achieving positive outcomes – they live in supportive homes and receive the care they need and deserve; they benefit from the protections provided in legislation to prevent them from harm, abuse and neglect; and they are able to access universal education and health care services that support them to develop to their full potential and live happy and healthy lives.
But, Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says that unfortunately, a significant proportion of Kiwi children need extra support and services to enable them to thrive.
“We see the evidence of this in New Zealand’s poor rating in international comparisons of child health and well-being, and in our low level of investment in young children,” he says.
Statistics show that children in the bottom one-fifth of family incomes, compared with the top one-fifth, have three times more infant mortality and three times more hospitalisations. A total of 41,000 children are hospitalised for conditions associated with deprivation. Maori hospitalisation is 17 percent higher than European and Pacific hospitalisation is 40 percent higher.
Source, Office of the Children’s Commissioner