This is the sixth in a series of annual reports by Superu about family and whānau wellbeing in New Zealand. The report on multiple disadvantage among sole parents in New Zealand has also been produced as part of the 2018 programme.
Due to Superu’s disestablishment on 30 June 2018, the Families and Whānau research programme is now managed by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). This report was prepared by MSD under delegation from Superu.
- Health is a key focus for improving the wellbeing of sole parent families.
- Having children at a younger age is associated with experiencing multiple disadvantage for sole parents.
- Sole parent families do not have adequate access to income and housing.
- Prevalence of multiple disadvantage across regions differs but the types of disadvantage are broadly the same.
- Adults in Maori and Pacific families have higher rates of multiple disadvantage than those in European and Asian families.
- A tailored approach to supporting families is needed.
- Average government expenditure increases with the number of disadvantages faced, however a small but significant minority of adults facing multiple disadvantage receive relatively low levels of government spending.
- The ‘kainga home space’ is a key enabler of whānau wellbeing and is not an ‘add on’ to mainstream housing policies. Maori housing is a complex interplay of historic and existing factors.
- Data development is a key priority so we can better understand families and whānau.