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First Foundation Child Poverty Policy Requests

Written by First Foundation as part of the Spend My Super series that takes a look at how each political party will address child poverty in New Zealand.

This is First Foundation's request:

First Foundation addresses long term, systemic challenges that impact on society.

We strongly believe that education is a key enabler for shifting the socio-economic dial for communities. However socioeconomic family background is known to be the biggest predictor of school success, and this is strongly influenced by systemic bias within the education sector that perpetuate those outcomes.

We believe that everyone has the right to a good education, meaningful employment and a decent income in order to succeed, thrive and lead.

Top policy – Shift from short term to long term funding models that utilise big data and economic levers to reduce systemic bias within our education system.

According to a new report conducted by Business and Economic Research Limited economists in collaboration with Waikato Tainui, Auckland Council's Southern Initiative and Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Collective of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. (He Awa Ara Rau), Māori don't improve their job prospects by gaining level 1 - 3 qualifications. Those courses do not lead to higher incomes and better job prospects.

  • The government should stop funding low-level tertiary courses that put young people into debt with no benefit to their future earnings.

  • Incentivise the secondary and tertiary education sector that provide qualifications that result in better employment outcomes or higher incomes for all New Zealanders, measured at some point down the track. With the data available now, we should be holding the system to account and start pumping money into programmes that demonstrably lead to better outcomes for all New Zealanders.

  • Extend TEC’s focus of attention to include course completion rates, progression to higher courses, actual earning potential measured downstream against benchmark data.

  • Provide more information to young people, linking qualifications to employment and earning potential.


First Foundation offers a four-year scholarship programme made up of financial assistance, work experience and mentoring, to young Kiwis with leadership potential but limited resources. The outcome for these future leaders, their whānau and kaianga is not just their tertiary education, it’s their self-determination, financial capability and resilience that comes with it. Their skills as role models and community leaders are needed more than ever as our economy and society recovers from COVID-19.

This article has been republished with approval from Spend My Super,an organisation that is committed to finding new ways to help children in poverty. By uniting Kiwi over 65’s, Spend My Super is helping solve child poverty by enabling them to easily share their surplus superannuation with trusted charities, each chosen for their real impact.



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