Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the OECD report comparing the well-being of children across thirty countries should serve as a serious wake up call to New Zealanders.

"It gives me no comfort at all to see that the report confirms all of the things the Maori Party has been saying about the plight of our children and shows that we must lift our game considerably by investing more in our children.

"The report, called Doing Better for Children, makes grim reading with this country ranking poorly in child poverty statistics, youth suicides, child pregnancy, health and other indices", she said.

"A society is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens and this report has found us wanting. The Maori Party campaigned to get rid of child poverty, and our whanau ora policy - an holistic approach to dealing with the multiple problems of whanau in need - is the best chance we have of dealing with these issues.

"The piece meal approach we have taken to date has failed", she said. "Without an approach like whanau ora we will continue to fail. Investing in our whanau is an investment in our future. If we don't do that then we not only doom them to a miserable future but we create a greater problem for us all in the future."

Turia went on to say the Maori Party had a number of policies which would help. These include GST removed from healthy foods, the in-work tax credit extended to families of the unemployed, the first $25000 of income being tax free and the minimum wage lifted to $15 an hour.

"Overall we believe we must work to eliminate child poverty by 2020", she said.

And Labour's Annette King has echoed Ms Turia's call for Social Development minister Paula Bennett to do more.

"The OECD report into child poverty is a sobering reminder that we still have some way to go to alleviate poverty and inequity in New Zealand", said Labour's Social Development spokesperson.

"Labour instigated a number of measures while in government to reduce child poverty. The Working for Families programme involved the biggest single redistribution of income to low and middle income families and is credited with lifting some 130,000 children out of poverty since 2004.

"A recent Household Income Survey published by the Ministry of Social Development shows the programme helped avert a sharp rise in child poverty", she said.

"Under Labour there was also significant investment in primary healthcare, including cheaper doctors' visits and prescriptions, and in early childhood education with programmes like 20 Hours Free", Annette King said.

"We are not going to create a more productive economy while significant groups of children are experiencing the disadvantages highlighted by the report.

"My message to Paula Bennett is this: Please don't use the recession as an excuse not to make these children a top priority."