The Western Bay of Plenty Child Poverty Action group is urging the Government to lift the level of income support for families with children as the degree of child poverty in the region rises.
The group is part of the national charity that was founded in 1994, working to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand through research, education and advocacy.
The local branch is seeking new members interested in helping to combat child poverty.
Spokesman David Riley said whānau in the Western Bay of Plenty were paying huge amounts of rent, with low incomes and inadequate benefit levels.
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This, along with the rising cost of living, meant children were missing out on some basic necessities most New Zealanders would take for granted, he said.
"There are hundreds of children in emergency accommodation who are trying their best, however, they come home from school to crowded motel rooms and not enough food."
Riley said the group was urging the Government to raise income support significantly for children in families receiving benefits, and to use a multi-pronged approach to tackle the housing crisis.
SociaLink general manager Liz Davies said she supported the group's moves to act and be a voice for children whose health, education and wellbeing is compromised by poverty.
SociaLink is the umbrella group for the Western Bay of Plenty social sector.
The child poverty action group meets on the first Thursday of the month.
Anyone interested in joining can contact the group by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.