The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
Child poverty progress reverses to 2019 levels

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Child poverty progress reverses to 2019 levels

An extra 23,400 children fell into material levels of hardship last year; 21.5% of tamariki are living in poverty; NZ invested less in repairing its infrastructure than it depreciated away since 1990
It was touted as a focus by the previous government, but what progress was made on reducing child poverty has now been eroded away back to 2019-levels. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

TL;DR: Six ‘newsy’ things that stood out for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy and beyond from my reading over the past day to 6.30 am included:

  • 12.5% of children overall and 21.5% of tamariki lived in material hardship last year after a year of intense inflation blew away progress made in the three previous years. Three of the nine measures of child poverty in Aotearoa-NZ increased for the year ended June 2023, vs the previous year, Stats NZ reported yesterday.

  • Aotearoa-NZ invested less on most types of infrastructure renewals than was accounted for with depreciation over the last 30 years, Te Waihanga (The Infrastructure Commission) estimated in a paper published this morning.

  • School principals are increasingly frustrated about the new Government’s extended freeze on decisions about building new classrooms as ministers scramble to save cash to deliver tax cuts for landlords and those on higher incomes in the May 30 Budget.

  • Japan’s stock market finally got back above its 1989 record-high because of enthusiasm about Nvidia’s 285% surge in sales of AI chips, which was better than expected and lifted US stocks to near fresh highs.

  • The US economy is doing amazingly well under Joe Biden, but the old James Carville adage of ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ doesn’t seem to be working anymore, either because most Americans aren’t feeling it or don’t see it, or they’re more focused on ‘culture war’ issues than they used to be.

  • Foreign direct investment in China slumped last year to its lowest level since 1993 as US, European and Japanese firms and investors shy away from putting their money into a country that the United States now sees itself in an existential strategic competition with.

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An extra 23,400 children living in material hardship

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