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Thread: NZ great for kids - if you're rich

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    Default NZ great for kids - if you're rich

    NZ great for kids - if you're rich
    The Dominion Post
    Last updated 05:00 04/06/2010

    New Zealand is a great place for children if their parents have a good income, live in a warm dry house and are well educated.

    But among the rest, child wellbeing is rated among the worst in the developed world, a new report suggests.

    Prepared for the Health Ministry by the Public Health Advisory Committee, the report says the difference in health status between Kiwi children with the best and worst health outcomes is similar to the huge disparity between rich and poor nations.

    It urges the establishment of a minister for children and free 24-hour primary healthcare for children under six among other changes to help address the differences.

    "The New Zealand infant mortality rate for those in the least deprived neighbourhoods is the same as the rates in Norway and Japan, two of the best performing countries. However, for those in the most deprived neighbourhoods, the infant mortality rate is worse than that of all but two [developed] countries, Mexico and Turkey."

    But the Health Ministry says many of the issues raised by the report have already been addressed and it is due to release figures soon showing a dramatic improvement in one of the areas criticised by the report, child immunisation rates.

    The new figures will show a huge turnaround in Maori immunisation rates, which used to lag behind immunisation rates for Asian children where uptake has traditionally been highest by 20 percentage points. That gap had now closed to 10 percentage points, chief adviser for child health Pat Tuohy said.

    The report had been in preparation for some time and a number of initiatives, such as the child health and maternity programme, to improve the quality of maternity care, had evolved alongside it, Dr Tuohy said.

    The report relies on a 2009 OECD survey which showed some of New Zealand's child disease patterns were close to those of Third World countries. It showed that child health in New Zealand has improved but not as fast as other countries, the committee said.

    "In the 1970s, New Zealand featured in the top third for most child wellbeing indicators. In the early 21st century, New Zealand has slipped to the bottom third for most indicators, many of which are preventable conditions."

    Out of 30 OECD countries, New Zealand was ranked 21st for infant mortality, 29th for measles immunisation rates, 20th for the percentage of children living in poor households and 17th for the percentage of children in overcrowded houses.

    New Zealand was also fourth to bottom among all OECD countries for injury deaths among one to four-year-olds, had 14 times the average OECD rate of rheumatic fever, five to 10 times the rate of whooping cough and pneumonia compared with the United Kingdom and United States and four to six times the rate of child maltreatment compared with the best countries.

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    Default ...so true

    Hi,

    I really have to agree to this article. I just recently have come from Europe and married a New Zealander. I am working here as a Plunket Nurse now and I would have never thought that so many children in NZ are so poor. And I am talking here about basic things in life, not flash stuff.
    Housing, nutrition, heating, shoes, cloths. Just to mention the real basics. It is really sad but you only really realize it when you live here.
    Something has to happen that s for sure. I am happy that I can at least to something for these families like get them linked to better support and agencies. But this does not always work out.

    Anyways, I like life in NZ but there is a lot do be done...and we are all part of it!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anyta@gmx.at View Post
    Hi,

    I really have to agree to this article. I just recently have come from Europe and married a New Zealander. I am working here as a Plunket Nurse now and I would have never thought that so many children in NZ are so poor. And I am talking here about basic things in life, not flash stuff.
    Housing, nutrition, heating, shoes, cloths. Just to mention the real basics. It is really sad but you only really realize it when you live here.
    Something has to happen that s for sure. I am happy that I can at least to something for these families like get them linked to better support and agencies. But this does not always work out.

    Anyways, I like life in NZ but there is a lot do be done...and we are all part of it!

    anyta could you expand a bit on this please?

    We hear that there are deprived children in most developed countries but unless you live in areas where this is concentrated, or unless you are personally affected this isn't usually very visible.

    In NZ do you think it is because there is no support system, because the support system is not good enough, or that people don't use it because they don't want to or don't know how to?

    Jof

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    Default complex

    I think it is not easy to explain and to come to the roots of the this complex issue.
    I am still thinking a lot and one of the main things where I live is the difference in culture.
    I live in Auckland and here are living lots of people from the pacific islands, they are often living in overcrowded houses with more generations and there are lots of complex issues going on regarding unemployment, lots of children per household, low education because of early drop out of school and on and on and on...
    Also my husband is part pacific island and I am around this culture all the time, I think the adaption to the life here in NZ over generations since the 70s still has lots of issues which have to be solved somehow...
    There are already some really good programmes for example getting more pacific youth to start uni but there is so much more to do.

    Also like you mentioned some do simply not know where to go and where to get support for Housing and child support and on the other hand some know to good.

    Also a major problem here are alcohol and drugs, the money which is spent on these instead of the basic things in life these people would need more importantly. And the poor ones in this situation will always be the children.

    I am still trying to get a picture about the WHY, this is just part of my impressions at the moment.

    Anita
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  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks, it's always good to hear opinions from people with direct experience.

    Jof

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