Welcome!

This blog accompanies the book Child Poverty in New Zealand by Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple, with posts made by the book's authors.

Views expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or funders of the book.


About the book

Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple have written the definitive book on child poverty in New Zealand. Dr Russell Wills, Children’s Commissioner

Child Poverty in New Zealand by Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple is a must read. Campbell Roberts, Founder and Director of the Salvation Army's Social Policy Research and Parliamentary Affairs Unit

Boston and Chapple have provided a remarkably thorough and fair-minded portrait of child poverty in New Zealand, as well as an evaluation of policy options for its alleviation. This is social policy analysis at its best. Greg Duncan, Distinguished Professor, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine

This well argued and accessible book ... makes a compelling case that child poverty matters – wherever it occurs – and that policies can and should be pursued to reduce it. Helen F. Ladd, Edgar Thompson Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, Duke University

Between 130,000 and 285,000 New Zealand children live in poverty, depending on the measure used. These disturbing figures are widely discussed, yet often poorly understood. If New Zealand does not have ‘third world poverty’, what are these children actually experiencing? Is the real problem not poverty but simply poor parenting? How does New Zealand compare globally and what measures of poverty and hardship are most relevant here? What are the consequences of this poverty for children, their families and society? Can we afford to reduce child poverty and, if we can, how?

Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple look hard at these questions, drawing on available national and international evidence and speaking to an audience across the political spectrum. Their analysis highlights the strong and urgent case for addressing child poverty in New Zealand. Crucially, the book goes beyond illustrating the scale of this challenge, and why it must be addressed, to identifying real options for reducing child poverty. A range of practical and achievable policies is presented, alongside candid discussion of their strengths and limitations. These proposals for improving the lives of disadvantaged children deserve wide public debate and make this a vitally important book for all New Zealanders.