The Child Poverty Reduction and Eradication Bill: An Attempt to Define What It Means to Be Poor in New Zealand

38 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016

See all articles by Hester Steevens

Hester Steevens

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Child poverty is a significant yet contentious issue in New Zealand. The Child Poverty Reduction and Eradication Bill (the Bill) is a legislative attempt to address child poverty in New Zealand. This essay compares the Bill to the Child Poverty Act in the United Kingdom (UKCPA). Specific child poverty legislation is rare so the UKCPA provides a useful point of reference for New Zealand policymakers. This essay argues that, in order to reduce child poverty in New Zealand, there needs to be an agreement on what constitutes child poverty. The problems of defining poverty are explained and the definition in the Bill is evaluated. It is suggested that the Bill’s definition is not an effective statutory definition. Therefore, other international definitions are analysed and critical thinking theory is applied. These assist the author in proposing a new definition of child poverty.

Keywords: Child poverty, definition, New Zealand, United Kingdom

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Steevens, Hester, The Child Poverty Reduction and Eradication Bill: An Attempt to Define What It Means to Be Poor in New Zealand (2015). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 33/2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2806710

Hester Steevens (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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