22 Aug 2012

Minister's view on poverty decried

12:45 pm on 22 August 2012

A Northland Maori GP has criticised comments from Social Development Minister Paula Bennett on child poverty as absurd.

Lance O'Sullivan is working to establish his own practice in Kaitaia, after resigning from the Maori health clinic Te Hauora o Te Hiku o Te Ika.

Last week, Ms Bennett told Parliament children moved in and out of poverty on a daily or weekly basis.

Dr O'Sullivan has previously spoken about the causes of ill-health in his community, like poverty and poor housing conditions, and says it is not as simple as Ms Bennett makes out.

He says people cannot change their situations like they change socks.

He says many children live in families where people are employed, but the wages are not enough to lift them out of hardship.