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15,000 Children in New Zealand Working to Support Families, According to CPAG Research

Saturday 17 February 2024, 3:11AM

By Expert Briefing

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As many as 15,000 children in New Zealand are estimated to be working paid jobs to support their families, according to research by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), which called for more support for these students.

The research also found that there was no data on the impact this has on their education and future employment prospects.

Using information from the Education Review Office, CPAG calculated that 15,000 school students were working 20–50 hours per week while studying.

The contributions of these children were "masking a problem", said CPAG convenor Alan Johnson, who urged the government to find out how many were dropping out of school to work.

He added that the solution was not truancy officers but raising household incomes.

The group called for a cross-Ministry approach led by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Development to ensure poverty was not forcing young people out of education or into unsustainable employment-education workloads.