12 Dec 2012

Call for Govt to act promptly on child poverty report

10:39 am on 12 December 2012

Children's Commissioner Russell Wills hopes the Government will act on recommendations to deal with child poverty within the next six months.

The commissioner's expert advisory group released its final report on Solutions to Child Poverty on Tuesday

Dr Wills says while seven recommendations are specific to Maori children all 78 are relevant to Maori families as they are much more likely to be poor.

He says one very practical recommendation to helping alleviate poverty is the suggestion to increase the number of apprenticeships available for Maori leaving school.

Dr Wills says with a record number of 15- to 19-year-old Maori unemployed, there's a huge waste of potential which could be harnessed.

He says there are issues of cultural and whanau support which need to be addressed urgently so young Maori can take on an apprenticeship.

Dr Wills says a good relationship between whanau and the employer can be used to make sure an apprenticeship is completed, and help the apprentice get a higher paying job.