Is there really poverty in New Zealand?

The government we have now liked to bang on about eliminating poverty while in opposition. Though, I see now Jacinda Ardern has changed that from eliminating child poverty to merely reducing it with her ministerial title.

If we really did have poverty you’d think that it would show up in some recognised world wide indices wouldn’t you?

Like from the World Bank which has just released new poverty lines:

Living on $US1.90 a day might seem impossible in a developed country, but the World Bank estimates that 10.7% of the world’s population, or about 760 million people, face this reality.

These people live in what the World Bank calls “extreme poverty.”

In an attempt to be more precise with its classifications, the organisation recently added new standards of poverty for people living in middle- and high-income countries, NPR reports. They are the first additions since the poverty line was initially set in 1990, then at $US1 a day.

The new standards are set at $US3.20 a day for people in “lower-middle-income” countries, such as Egypt or India, and $US5.50 a day for “upper-middle-income” countries, such as Jamaica or South Africa. The World Bank also released a third standard for high-income countries, like the US, at $US21.70 a day.

The following chart breaks down the percentage of people living at each level of poverty in countries of varying wealth.

Extreme poverty might seem like an unsolvable problem if 760 million people still face it on a daily basis, but humanity has made huge progress toward uplifting people who have the least. In 1990, some 1.85 billion people qualified as extremely poor. At the time, they represented about 35% of the world’s 5.3 billion people.

The United Nations hopes to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 as part of its Sustainable Development Goals.

Much of the success is owed to organisations like the World Bank, UNICEF, and the Gates Foundation, which has spent billions over the past decade to alleviate poverty around the world.

One of the hallmarks of this success has been the reduction in a slew of side effects related to poverty, such as hunger, child mortality, maternal mortality, and widespread declines in the world’s deadliest diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Here is a partial list of the countries that qualify as lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income:


Argentina, Cambodia, Guatemala, Mongolia, Tonga, Tunisia, Zambia


Albania, Brazil, Grenada, Iraq, Malaysia, Turkey


Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Sweden, United States, Uruguay

Where is New Zealand placed?

Well, unfortunately for the narrative of people like Jacinda Ardern, we are in the High Income Economies grouping.

So, poverty isn’t really that much of an issue. I fully expect our media will all of a sudden find no reason whatsoever to publish pimping the poor stories or other such stories of people in hardship. Nor will we see stories for quite some time on a housing crisis.

I do predict however that we will start seeing loads of mortgagee sales stories…in about 18 months to two years…just in time for the election.


-Business Insider

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.