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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                     

New Zealand

Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income has risen for nine consecutive years and reached $27,900 in 2008 in purchasing power parity terms.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in New Zealand.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Safe house urged for streetkids

The Timaru Herald, 24/10/2007

[accessed 26 June 2011]

Some had been kicked out by their parents, others had no support, some had moved into the area from the North Island, and others did not have a close-knit family to fall back on.  Teenagers were wandering the streets at night, sleeping in church doorways or garages, and one girl had been sleeping under the piazza steps. Some had not eaten or showered for days.  Youth workers would try to find accommodation, usually boarding, but that was often easier to do for young men. There was sometimes a reluctance to take on a young woman, in order to avoid the risk of false sex allegations.

Timaru police youth aid officer Paul Davis said the flip side of the situation was young people choosing not to live at home, because they didn't like the rules of the household.  "I've been dealing with some mothers lately who are saying they are unhappy with the way their sons are behaving. The sons are telling mum to get stuffed, and leaving. So it's sometimes not a matter of having nowhere to live, it's not being prepared to live according to the rules of the house.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Runaways - Where To Turn For Help Before You Are Homeless0800 376-633

Rebeccas Community -- This is for anyone aged up to 13 years old who is thinking about running away

[accessed 26 June 2011]

Here are the best phone numbers to call …They are Confidential - which means they won't tell anyone about your call unless you want them to talk to somebody for you, or you are in danger.  They are open 24 Hours - it doesn't matter what time you call  In New Zealand, call 0800 376-633

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The law provides specific safeguards for children's rights and protection. The government demonstrated its commitment to children's rights and welfare through its well-funded systems of public education and medical care. The government provides 14 weeks of government-funded, paid parental leave to care for children born after December 1. The office of the commissioner for children played a key role in monitoring violence and abuse against children.

The law provides for compulsory, free, and universal education through age 16, and the government effectively enforced the law. As of July 2004 on average 99 percent of children age 6 to 16 were enrolled in formal education.

Letters To The Editor [PDF]

Dr Gay Keating, NZ Herald, 23 July 2004

[accessed 26 June 2011]

[accessed 26 December 2016]

SAMPLE LETTERS – HOUSING - Increasingly we hear reports of families living in tents and garages. These homeless children face disrupted education and an uncertain future? We also know these children are at greater risk of a range of serious infectious diseases.

Judge takes streetkid off the street

Christchurch Court News, January 29, 2008

[accessed 26 June 2011]

Defence counsel David Bunce said Taylor had an appalling background “with the not unpredictable results of drifting into a culture of streetkids, petty crime, drug use, and alcohol addiction”.  The probation report recommended imprisonment. “He is seen as a high risk of reoffending with little ability to complete a community-based sentence,” said Mr Bunce.  The remand for sentence had been Taylor’s first time in custody and he had not liked it.  “He’s rather young to be giving up on him,” he said.

Suspicious fire razes old house

The Dominion Post, 29/07/2007

[accessed 26 June 2011]

Mr Sherman said the building had been vacant for some time and had recently been taken over by squatters.  “There were lots of streetkids living in there and trashing the place.  “The police came and evicted them last week … now it’s burnt down.”

Save The Children Supports International Youth

Save the Children New Zealand, 12 August 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 June 2011]

RMS Refugee Resettlement in Hamilton will engage two tutors with the money they have received from Save the Children New Zealand’s Small Grants Fund to help 20 Somali refugee children with basic language skills, social etiquette and classroom orientation.

Child Youth & Family (CYF) Project Halves Child Suicide Rate

Leah Haines, The New Zealand Herald, October 10, 2004

[accessed 26 June 2011]

[accessed 26 December 2016]

A three-year project by welfare and health agencies has halved the rate of suicide among some of the country's most at-risk children.  Researchers say the project has the potential to put a massive dent in New Zealand's youth suicide rate - currently the highest in the developed world.

Combined Housing Action and Research Group Inc.

Combined Housing Action and Research Group CHARG Inc.

[accessed 26 June 2011]

CHARG is a Hamilton-based group of non-profit agencies and organizations that wishes to address the problem of homelessness in our community. The primary objectives are: to research the extent, causes, and effects of homelessness; to establish a knowledge-base to be shared with interested parties; to investigate and implement the most effective remedial measures; and to engage in public awareness initiatives.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children – New Zealand",, [accessed <date>]