"It's not our responsibility, their parents should stop spending money on smokes and alcohol."
Earlier this week, the Child Poverty Monitor Report was released which highlighted the number of tamariki in New Zealand living without secure housing, nutritional kai and the basics required to provide them with what they need to thrive. 150,000 children. 150,000 too many.
While I reflect on what I, as a mother, member of our community and capable citizen of Aotearoa can do, I immediately think to increasing my advocacy for the living wage and lifting benefit levels.
Increasing incomes was one of the top recommendations of our Children's Commissioner (alongside increasing state housing) to ensure basic human rights are extended to all tamariki.
Unfortunately, advocacy to increase incomes is not what everyone immediately thinks about when they hear children are going without.
New Zealanders are generous, fair-minded and have a strong sense of doing what's right. At least that's what I thought.
After the report's release I was saddened to read comments like "it's not our responsibility, their parents should stop spending money on smokes and alcohol".
What the heck? Expressing your frustration, distain and uninformed judgement at the choices others may or may not make, does absolutely nothing to improve the lives of children in this country.
Please find compassion and less judgement for those doing it tough; dig deep and donate money, food or service to charities who are working to put food on tables this Christmas, and then join me to advocate for lifting incomes in 2020.
Kelli Pike, known as Kelli from the Tron, is a blogger and Free FM podcaster on political, environmental and social issues for the city.