A new report suggests a quarter of New Zealand's children are living in poverty and 10 percent are in severe poverty.
The first Child Poverty Monitor, released on Monday, aims to measure the progress of poverty indicators annually to reduce hardship and raise awareness.
According to the report, the percentage of children in poverty has nearly doubled in the past three decades, from 14 percent in 1982 to 25 percent today.
It found 265,000 children are now in poverty, meaning their families live off less than 60 percent of the median household income.
Of those, 180,000 are missing out on basic necessities like a good bed, doctors visits, heating, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.
The report said 10 percent of children are in severe poverty, which means they are going without the things they need and their low family income means they don't have any opportunity of changing this.
The Child Poverty Monitor is a joint project by the JR McKenzie Trust, Otago University and the New Zealand Children's Commissioner.
Children's Commissioner Russell Wills told Radio New Zealand the most effective way to reduce child poverty in this country is to have a plan enshrined in legislation.
"It needs to hold future ministers and chief executives accountable and we need to set targets. Then, what we'll see, like the road toll and drink driving, is that child poverty will decrease slowly over time," said Wills.