Media statement

Cross-agency Data Informing Investment in Young Lives

The Treasury has today released Characteristics of Children at Risk, a paper with information about children aged 14 and under who are at risk of poor future outcomes. Deputy Secretary Fiona Ross says the analysis is based on data provided through Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure which collects and anonymises information from across the public sector.

“We want to understand more about who is most at risk of poor outcomes. This sort of cross-agency data helps us identify groups of people who need support and invest government funds in services that work,” says Ms Ross.

The paper identifies four key indicators closely linked to poor outcomes in later life. Indicators include: a CYF finding of abuse or neglect; being supported by benefits for most of their life; having a parent with a Corrections sentence; and having a mother with no formal qualifications.

Children with these characteristics are more likely to have poorer educational attainment, be on a benefit long-term, and to serve a prison or community sentence.

Ms Ross says while the numbers of adults experiencing poor outcomes is concerning, the purpose of this paper is to better understand the people who need public services and to adjust services accordingly.

“By gaining a clearer understanding of indicators associated with poor outcomes, social sector and community organisations can identify where best to invest early rather than deal with problems after they have emerged,” says Ms Ross.

The paper has been published with a supporting infographic and an interactive tool which displays the data by geographic location.


Interactive tool:


Analytical paper:

Contact for enquiries

Emily Marden | Principal Communications Advisor


Tel: +64 4 917 6302

Email: [email protected]


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