Child poverty not a quick fix says Tolley

By Heta Gardiner

Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley has denied that things are all bad, but acknowledged there is plenty of work to be done regarding child poverty.

It's a report that is critical of the government.

But the Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley says help is on the way, “We're going to make major change. We want to get substantial change with how youth and family works with children, we want to get better outcomes for them.”

Government ministers have been defending themselves from the Salvation Army report.

At the heart of some of the concerns was the lack of progress in child poverty as well as a lack of statistics and indicators in that field. 

“It's very hard, and countries internationally have struggled to get one single indicator,” says Tolley.

The Green Party feels this is a major concern.

“I’m very concerned that the better government service targets, are being used as a white wash, to avoid doing anything real about child poverty. They raise serious concerns that information isn't being provided properly; data isn't being properly collected,” says Green party co-leader, Metiria Tūrei.

But the minister cautions patience, saying the world wasn't built in a day.

“There are no short term solutions. It's not a quick fix,” says Tolley.

A major CYF review is still in progress.