One in five Kiwi children are now being raised in households reliant on benefits, sparking fears that children are "starving in the age of the recession".Click through for the rest.
The number of children living with beneficiaries is up 15,000 in the past year to 226,000 in April 2009.
The rise has concerned doctors, child welfare groups and academics, who say living with beneficiaries increases the risk of leaving school early and health effects including hospital admissions and deaths.
They have set up an annual checklist to monitor the situation. The Social Health Monitor, to be launched at the Paediatric Society annual conference in Hamilton today, will track the effects of the economic downturn on child health and poverty.
It shows the number of children reliant on a benefit recipient has fallen since 2000 but is likely to rise in the near future and says the benefit set-up will be unable to protect many children from severe or significant hardship – including more hospital admissions and deaths.
It also points to long-term effects such as leaving school without qualifications.
Looks like the recession may be over at the top, but it's a long way from finished for everyone else :-(