Friday, November 26, 2010

A snapshot of children born in NZ today

Some useful information will come out of this long-term study launched yesterday. 7,000 children in and around Auckland will be followed from birth. This will probably be a similar exercise to the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study into children born in the 1970s. Some key facts were released yesterday. TV3 highlighted that 45 percent of the mothers in "high deprivation areas" were not aware of Working For Families. That is probably because they have no connection with the tax system through work. They will be well aware of the benefit system and using it.

KEY ANTENATAL FINDINGS

* 40 percent of children were unplanned
* 90 percent of mothers made changes to their diet during pregnancy.
* 16 percent of all mothers did not take folate at any time before or during their pregnancy.
* More than one in 10 mothers continued to smoke through their pregnancies (with an over-representation of those identifying as Maori and living in the most deprived areas.)
* Many mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy.

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

* Forty nine percent of mothers identify as NZ European, 18 percent as Maori, 15 percent as Pacific and 15 percent as Asian.
* One in three of the Growing Up children have at least one parent born overseas.
* There are a multiple number of languages spoken by parents with one in three children being born into families where parents speak more than one language competently. One in five children will grow up in homes where English is not the main language (although 97 percent of mothers and partners are able to converse in everyday English). The most common languages spoken in the home after English are Samoan, Hindi, Tongan and Mandarin. Maori as the main language is spoken in less than one percent of homes.
* Twenty-eight percent of mothers live either on their own or with extended family (sometimes including their partner).
* Five percent of mothers are teenagers.
* Ten percent of mothers needed fertility assistance to get pregnant.
* Half of the children are born into families living in rental accommodation (public and private).
* Forty percent of children are born into families living in the most deprived areas of New Zealand (according to NZDep 2006 indices).
* Nearly half (45 percent) of mothers in high deprivation areas were unaware of Working for Families.
* Children are born into families which are highly mobile with more than half having moved more than twice in the last five years. This is often within a neighbourhood.

KEY STUDY INFORMATION

* The mothers of the Growing Up children were recruited during their pregnancies during 2008, 2009 and 2010.
* The mothers lived in the Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waikato District Health Boards at that time.
* Many have left these areas but remain in the study.

3 comments:

big news said...

I’m a little surprised by the amount that dont know about WFF. That’s because when you are on a benefit you get the choice of whether to have WFF ( i.e. the family tax credit) paid for by the IRD, or through the benefit system. That is, your benefit increases when you have kids up to a point..

If beneficiaries don’t know about WFF, it is because WINZ case managers are not doing their job in giving them the option of how they wish to have WFF paid.

Dave Christian said...

Of course, knowledge is power and all the more useful if it is selectively generated to provide results which assist powerful interest groups.

In a free country, nobody would have a good reason to fund a study like this. Likewise, nobody would be prepared to be a subject of it. Of course, people can partially protect their privacy by telling lies. So if a parent doesn't want their partner/parent to know they planned to get pregnant they can say otherwise. If a mother thinks that they should have changed their diet, they can claim that they did to avoid feeling embarrassed, etc.

Anonymous said...

I can't recall from seeing TV3news item, how much $ this study had cost already - seemed huge ~ like $5million?
Indian couple were asked if their marriage had been arranged; then asked if their childrens' marriage would be arranged. Seemed most surprised by question ~ of course arranged marriage. Is this going to be a good outcome in 30 years for NZ?
The [Chinese] asians did not know about tax relief because in their country there is very little welfare.
The pacific island lady knew all about her entitlements.
I wonder if she knows about productivity; contributing; freedom. And know this country is in hock $250,000,000 per week.
Peter