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Te Puke Times - 2021-11-25

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Group calls for people to help fight child poverty

FRONT PAGE

A new Child Poverty Action Group is looking for people interested in taking action to help lift Western Bay of Plenty children out of poverty. The new Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG WBOP) is part of the national group whose vision is an Aotearoa where all children flourish free from poverty. CPAG is a charity founded in 1994 which works to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand through research, education and advocacy. CPAG spokesman David Riley says wha¯nau in the Western Bay of Plenty are paying huge amounts of rent, and this, along with low incomes, inadequate benefit levels and the rising costs of living means that children are missing on out on some of the basic necessities that most New Zealanders would take for granted. “There are hundreds of children in emergency accommodation who are trying their best, however, they come home from school to crowded motel rooms and not enough food,” he said. “All the Government’s move from transformational change to foundational change is doing is short-changing children.” He says CPAG WBOP urges the Government to raise income support significantly for children in families receiving benefits, and to use a multi-pronged approach to tackle the housing crisis. Socialink, which supports the Western Bay of Plenty social sector, is supporting the local CPAG to act and be a voice for children whose health, education and wellbeing is compromised by poverty, general manager Liz Davies says. “WBOP CPAG plans to also take action locally to support national campaigns.” ■ Anyone interested can contact CPAG WBOP directly on wbop@cpag.org.nz and they meet the first Thursday afternoon of the month.

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