"... poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings." Nelson Mandela
NZCCSS advocates on behalf of those most in need in our communities. Poverty, sub-standard housing and a lack of social inclusion are obstacles to living a fulfilled life. The policy work of the secretariat is informed by the feedback given by Christian social services associated with the NZCCSS. 'On the ground' data is used to advocate for a more inclusive and sustainable New Zealand society.
High house prices, high interest rates, high debt levels and an uncertain economic outlook mean that home owernship is becoming difficult even for relatively affluent middle class households.
A strong and healthy society is one where the most vulnerable are treated with the repsect and dignity they deserve. The fate of one of us affects us all.
Many people on low incomes end up being forced to borrow to meet daily living costs. They are also subject to exploitative lending practices from the so-called "loan sharks".
Poverty hurts us all. There is a large body of evidence that points to the economic and social costs of ignoring issues of poverty. The community-based non-government sector plays an important role in providing first hand information on the results of policies and thus critique policies. We believe that due to their complex nature social issues should not be dealt with in isolation from each other. We believe that making different decisions about the level of an adequate income, and adjusting the tax system to be fairer for the low paid and those with children can make a difference. Otherwise poverty remians a signal of injustice. We should not settle for that when our society still aspires to the ideals of generosity, social inclusion, the right to human dignity and building a cycle of hope for a better future.
Facts about Poverty - the facts and evidence about poverty in NZ are brought together in these fact sheets about poverty. Download the 2009 Facts About Poverty here.
Justice and Compassion for People in Poverty - in 2007 NZCCSS summarised some of the key issues on justice and compassion for people in poverty in a background presentation which you can download here.
Poverty Indicators Project - this was a project focused on foodbanks as one key indicator of poverty and hardship. In August 2008 we released a report that updated the previous Poverty Indicators Project (PIP) work analysing foodbank usage and the situation of people using foodbanks. Download the full report here or go to the PIP Project page and read more...
Find more publications on Poverty issues go to our Research Reports webpage.
People who are renting need to experience the security of having a "home". It is the quality and stability of a housing arrangement that is most important, rather than whether a house is owned or not. Almost all of the private sector rentals are with the so-called "Mum & Dad" landlords, some of whom struggle with all the challenges of of selecting and managing tenants and property maintenance. It is people on low incomes who suffer most from poor quality housing. There is conclusive evidence about the damage cold, damp and mouldy houses do to the health of particularly our children and older people. NZCCSS believes that landlords need more help to do the job well and tentants need better legal protection.
Read more about the issues on our REAL Housing Afforbability Problem page.
House to Home is a study booklet produced by the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand in to encourage congregations to reflect about contemporary issues that are impacting our communities. “House to Home” aims to explore some of the questions surrounding housing for all New Zealanders. Download it here.
Rebuilding the Kiwi Dream is a Salvation Army report on social housing in New Zealand looking at issues of afforbable housing, state housing history, and the role of community housing. Download the report here and a background paper to the report here.
To find more publications on Housing issue go to our Research Reports webpage.
The strength evident in so many of our communities gives us real hope. Problems like child safety, domestic violence, poor housing, unhealthy lifestyles, mental health issues and even the worst effects of poverty can be overcome by people working together in communities. But communities need support to achieve these changes. Community organisations play a vital role in making community aspirations a reality. These organisations include iwi/Maori providers, Pasifika groups, community based trusts, and Christian and other providers of social services.
In 2008 NZCCSS issued a Call for More Action under the theme Aroha tētahi ki tētahi - Let Us Look After Each Other. Today, more than ever, this should be the guiding priniciple for our commuities and the individuals in these communities. NZCCSS calls for more action, for more community engagement through knowing your community, learning about community organisations, supporting these organisations, and encouraging local and central government politicians to listen to and support these organisations.
Downlaod a copy of the We, Together growing communities flier here.
Many households with low incomes find themselves forced to borrow money to meet their daily living costs. Unable to gain access to mainline sources of credit through banks and finance companies, people turn to the "fringe lenders" or "loan sharks". Exploitative rates of interest and dubious debt collection methods by such lenders send many people into a disastrous downward spiral of debt. There has been much work done over the years on this issue including the 2003 NZCCSS report Dynamics of Debt for Low Income Families. To read more about this report and more recent work go to our Debt & Loans Sharks webpage.
Please find further links regarding Poverty and Exclusion on the Links page.