International Mother’s Day, New Zealand plunges in ‘Best Place to be a Mum’ rankings

mothers day

New Zealand, not such a great place to be a mum


Finland has taken top place in rankings of the best countries in which  to be a mother, with New Zealand toppling to 18th place.

Nine European countries and Australia take up the top 10 places, in what is going to be a blow to New Zealand’s fixation with its place in  international ‘Best of’ tables.

In 2009 (OECD Report Citical of NZ Child Welfare Spending) we wrote about how New Zealand was sixth in that year’s best mum table, despite other data showing that children in this country were more disadvantaged than many other key countries in the developed world. New Zealand’s under investment in its young is now beginning to be reflected in the very surveys it used to be so proud of.

Doing Better for Children, was the first time the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had reported on child well-being within its 30 member countries.

It identified New Zealand’s biggest shortfall as its limited spending on young children (aged five and under), which was less than half the OECD average.

New Zealand was also struggling in terms of health, with the highest youth suicide rate in the OECD and an above-average child mortality rate. (see our ‘Stats’ page )”  …

…“Children lived in poor material conditions, average family incomes were low by OECD standards and child poverty rates were high.

While children had high rates of educational achievement, there were large gaps between top and bottom performers.

Immunisation rates for measles were the second-worst in the OECD, and for whooping cough, the fifth-worst.

The report said the government should spend considerably more on younger, disadvantaged children and make sure high rates of spending on older children met the needs of the disadvantaged.”  read the full article here OECD Report Citical of NZ Child Welfare Spending.

Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of Save the Children International, said of this year’s best country to be a mum rankings:

“By investing in mothers and children, nations are investing in their future prosperity.

“If women are educated, are represented politically, and have access to good quality maternal and child care, then they and their children are much more likely to survive and thrive – and so are the societies they live in…”

You can download the full report here Surviving the first day, State of the World’s Mothers 2013.  It shows New Zealand has a mortality rate in its under fives of 6 in 1,000 live births, or 390 deaths a year.

Read our Education and Children’s Issues wiki for more information.