Policy Watch June 2016


We like to believe that New Zealand is a great place for children. For the majority of our children this is true. But it is not true for children living in poverty.”

Dr Russell Wills, Children’s Commissioner

Welcome to the latest Policy Watch e-newsletter and for this edition we reflect on outgoing Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills tireless effort to reduce child poverty.

There is no doubt his legacy is the Expert Advisory Group’s Report on Solutions to Child Poverty in New Zealand (2012), which drew on extensive international and national evidence on best strategies to support children out of poverty.

Although leaving big boots to fill, there has been overwhelming support of Principal Youth Court Judge, Andrew Beacroft’s appointment to the role, which he takes up on 1 July.

In his role as a Judge, Andrew Beacroft has decades of experience dealing with vulnerable and at-risk young people, and seeing the all too real impact of poverty and neglect on their lives.

There is a lot happening in the soon to be former CYF space, and Judge Beacroft is likely to make a valuable contribution to this work.

This edition of Policy Watch focuses primarily on upcoming legislation. A fuller Policy Watch will be prepared next time.

Welfare law: Comments by 22 June – Submissions on the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill are due Wednesday 22 June 2016. This new Bill will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders and NZCCSS urges all those who can to make a submission.  The Secretariat has prepared some analysis of the Bill  which is available on the website.

Take Action on Healthy Housing by 23rd June – Take action to support better quality rental housing by submitting on the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill. A short submission in support of this Bill is an easy way to take action to help improve the standard of rental housing and help tens of thousands of children and their families living in poor quality rental housing.

The CYF Amendment Bill. The Child, Young Person, and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce, and Age Settings) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament and has been referred to the Social Services Select Committee.  Public submissions are now open and close on Thursday, 28 July 2016.

Social Workers Registration Act. The Minister for Social Development, Anne Tolley, has presented the Social Services Committee with an issues paper, which identifies and discusses key issues with the current operation of the Act, including its relationship with other legislation ie the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.The Select Committee has been asked to consider these issues, and the options to address them, with a view to making recommendations to Government for legislative reform.