Salvation Army seeks help as poverty rates rise

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Poverty levels in New Zealand are on the rise with the Salvation Army seeing 336 new families every week.  

The organisation says the cost of living in New Zealand is the cause of a new wave of poverty. 

Head of the Salvation Army's welfare service says rents, petrol prices, and basic food costs continue to rise.

120,000 people seek help from the Salvation Army New Zealand every year. 40 percent of them are Māori.

Major Waugh says poverty in New Zealand is often hidden behind closed doors and goes unseen. 

One in five New Zealand children lives in poverty with around 100,000 children living in severe poverty, meaning they lack the basics required to grow up safe and healthy.

Major Waugh says families may not look hungry, but 40% of Kiwi families skip meals or cut back on food.

The Salvation Army is urging people to donate to their annual appeal.