Too many kiwi children live in poverty.
In 2017, research by the Child Poverty Monitor found that 290,000 NZ children - around 27% of kids - were living in income poverty.
UNICEF defines child poverty as children being deprived of the material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive.
This leaves them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full and equal members of society.
Here in New Zealand, children living in the most disadvantaged communities are more than twice as likely to end up in hospital as those from the most advantaged communities, and one in five children live in households without access to enough food or healthy food.
* According to the 2018 Technical Report from the Child Poverty Monitor
Living in income poverty can mean homelessness, not having access to healthy food like fruits and vegetables, going to school hungry, or coming home to a cold damp house to sleep in a shared bed. It can mean missing out on activities like learning a musical instrument or playing sport, or even having a birthday party.
If a child's living below the poverty line, it means they are living in households where income is less than 60% of the median household income, after housing costs are taken into consideration.
Children in poor communities are three times more likely than the average child to be sick, twice as likely to end up in hospital, and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy rates are more than 6 times higher for infants in the most disadvantaged areas of New Zealand.
These harmful effects run into adulthood. Growing up with income poverty means having a higher risk of heart disease, alcohol and drug addiction, obesity and poor dental health.
Child poverty is a reality that is costing us dearly.
New Zealand has committed to implementing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. One of the first goals is to halve the number of kids living in poverty by 2030.
As much as $10 billion of public money is required every year to deal with the negative consequences of child poverty. Independent research has shown that three-quarters of that cost is avoidable.
UNICEF NZ helps save and protect the world's most vulnerable children