Ask what is being done to lift out of poverty the hundreds of thousands of people our country who are living lives affected by poverty?
There is no official ‘poverty line’ in New Zealand as there is in other countries (e.g.
Facts About Poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand seeks to explode the ‘urban myths’ that are constantly recycled about people who are poor.
It is our job to follow the research, evidence and policy about poverty and we want more people to understand what the realities of poverty are.
This is truly The Anthropocene, the geological epoch in which humankind is the greatest driver of planetary change, as geologists concluded in their international congress in 2016.
Natural phenomena dramatically shaped all earlier geological times in the planet’s 4.5-billion-year history to date.Ask yourself – how would I get by if I had to provide for myself and family out of an income less than this?This is the daily reality for hundreds of thousands of people in New Zealand.That’s only a scintilla of time in the life of the planet.Yet, astonishingly, it is only in the past 50 or 60 years that our human activity has increased so enormously that it has become planet changing.“In a shrinking world, seemingly unrelated events can be links in the same chain of cause and effect.Nature, politics, and the economy are now interconnected,” Johan Rockström, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, writes in his book Big World, Small Planet.On our current trajectory, all those will get worse. Those are the characteristics of the global economy, albeit we give our own expression to them such as the rapid expansion of dairy farming and international tourism.In the future, should we choose, we can have an economy that provides a high standard of living in financial and physical terms, in deeply sustainable ways; and we can do so in ways that make sense for who we are as a diverse nation founded on Treaty of Waitangi principles, for the nature of our land and oceans, and for our destiny as a distinctive, tiny country in a teeming world hungry for inspiration and innovation.There is also some consensus that an income level set at 60% of median household disposable income after housing costs is a reasonable level of income to protect people from the worst effects of poverty (e.g.this is one of the measures used by the government’s Social Report).