Kia ora guys, welcome to the last issue of Pinch of Politics for 2018. This year I have explored scandals, government happenings, and exactly how much of a mess David Seymour looked in sequins.
Often, us millennials feel left out of political discussions as we aren’t kids anymore. A lot of us don’t own our own homes and we are no-where near retirement, so we grow disgruntled and eventually disengage. Pinch of Politics is my small attempt at trying to reverse these feelings and make political discussion on Massey campuses worthwhile again, so thank you for reading.
Someone who is an advocate for the student voice is our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and she has recently been in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly. Ardern has stated multiple times in her speeches that young adults’ voices need to be heard and acted upon as we are the leaders of tomorrow.
While Ardern stays true to these sentiments, she is also is developing a new fan base within the political field due to her advocacy for gender equality and ending child poverty in New Zealand. She is also making headlines as her daughter Neve was present during the Assembly as Ardern is still breast-feeding.
Child poverty in New Zealand is deeply relevant to this year’s UN General Assembly because “to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal target, New Zealand must achieve at least a 50 per cent reduction from 2015 levels in all indicators of income poverty by 2030”. In 2016, 27 per cent of children aged from infancy to 17 years old were living in homes that, after housing costs, were below 60 per cent of the contemporary median income. This is around 290,000 children and young people. We are getting closer and closer to 2030 and we are yet to see the 50 per cent decrease in all indicators of poverty, which includes child poverty.
Although we are yet to see significantly decreasing numbers, we still are in the first year of this Labour-led coalition government, meaning that there is still two years left in Ardern’s term as well as the chance of her or Labour being re-elected for the next three-year term.
Having Neve, Ardern’s daughter, at the UN General Assembly serves as a visual reminder that Ardern has a vested interest in the New Zealand in which her child, and other children of the same generation, will grow up in.
Hopefully the levels of poverty in New Zealand, especially levels of child poverty, start to decrease over the coming years for the future of our country. But, also for the fact that decreasing poverty was one of Labour’s big policies and they will face major backlash if they do not deliver on their promise.
Again, thank you taking the time out of your day to read Pinch of Politics. It means far more to me than you ever could know.