The more I hear about poverty in NZ the less I believe it

Malnutrition is putting twice as many kids in hospital compared with 10 years ago, as food prices continue to bite into household incomes.

Child hospitalisation data shows around 120 children a year now have overnight stays due to nutritional deficiencies and anaemia, compared to an average 60 a decade ago.

Doctors say poor nutrition is also a factor in a significant proportion of the rest of the 40,000 annual child hospitalisations linked to poverty – and that vitamin deficiencies are more common in New Zealand compared to similar countries […]

Well, this sounds terrible. These children must be very sick. I have suffered from anaemia but never needed to be hospitalised. Instead, the GP wrote a prescription for iron tablets. Dig a little deeper past the headlines and these children are being admitted to hospital for other illnesses, not nutritional ones.  Blood tests showing deficiencies are in addition to, not the cause.

[…] “Housing, stress and nutrition – it’s all tied together,” said pediatrician Dr Nikki Turner, from the Child Poverty Action Group. “If you want to eat nutritiously on a low-income it’s difficult, and that means you’re more likely to get sick and stay sick for longer.”

It is interesting that poverty seems to get worse when it’s election time.  Of course, it must be the government’s fault that parents can’t afford to feed their children nutritious foods. Also, those children getting sick and anaemic must be coming from areas where the children are not getting meals in school.

[…] An Australian paper has suggested that “food stress” is believed to be experienced when more than 30 per cent of income is spent on groceries.

In practice, “food stress” means increasing reliance on food banks, charities, cheap “fillers” like white bread and noodles, or simply going without

This article was about children in New Zealand, so I question whether the Australian ‘paper’ is relevant, although convenient to pull out to support the child poverty argument.

[…] “I try to fill up the pantry but it only lasts one or two days and then it’s empty again,” said solo dad of three kids, Daniel*, from Otara. “I have to skip my own lunches because the kids are always hungry and I try to prioritise school lunches for them. I know that’s important.”

-NZ Herald

Good Dad.  My question is what are you filling the pantry with?  I don’t know about anyone else but I am povertied out.  The more I hear about poverty in NZ the less I believe it. There is a name for it and that’s compassion fatigue.  

This post was written by Intern Staff

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