One in six New Zealand kids are going without items such as fruit and vegetables, shoes and access to doctors, a new report has found.
The study, released by the NZ Children's Commissioner on Monday, found parents of about 17 per cent of Kiwi kids have postponed visits to doctors, cut back on fresh foods or put off replacing old shoes because of cost.
It found an average of 25 per cent of children live in poverty but that number is not split evenly across ethnicities.
About 30 per cent of Maori and 30 per cent of Pacific children live in poverty - compared with 15 per cent of European children.
The 2013 Child Poverty Monitor, a joint project between the Children's Commissioner, JR McKenzie Trust and Otago University's NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES), also found poverty was more common among younger children, in larger households and in sole parent households.
There are about 40,000 hospital admissions each year for children with illnesses that are impacted by socioeconomic conditions - including pneumonia, rheumatic fever and skin conditions, the report found.
"The negative health outcomes associated with child poverty are clearly highlighted in this year's technical report in the form of hospital admission for infectious and respiratory diseases," NZCYES epidemiologist Dr Liz Craig said.
Labour says the findings in the report are shameful.
"Indifference isn't an option any more. National has to make some real commitments to tackling a problem, a country as wealthy as New Zealand shouldn't have," Labour children's spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern said.
The report supports one by UNICEF, released last week, which found around 270,000 New Zealand children - a quarter of Kiwi kids - are living in poverty.
It found New Zealand's actions to protect children have not matched its commitment to human rights.
UNICEF NZ executive director Dennis McKinlay said the country's progress on children's rights was "patchy and slow".