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MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Wed 28th September 2005

Protester climbs on UK Parliament roof

Filed under: Law & Courts — tonyf @ 1:43 pm

28.09.05 10.20am

LONDON – A lone protester from a group campaigning for the rights of divorced fathers climbed onto the roof of Britain’s Houses of Parliament on Tuesday and unfurled a flag while police officers watched.

The protest group, Fathers 4 Justice, has staged several stunts in the past including scaling the walls of Queen Elizabeth’s London residence and pelting Prime Minister Tony Blair with coloured flour while he was addressing parliament.

“They left the door open here (parliament). Security is very tight in Brighton and there would have been a risk of someone getting hurt. We wouldn’t want one of our people to get injured or to put the police in that position,” he said by telephone.


Mon 26th September 2005

Who Killed My Girl.

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 12:04 am

Cindy Kiro
Children’s Commissioner
New Zealand.

25 September 2005.

Open Letter.

Quoting Herald on Sunday:Who Killed My Girl.

Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro conceded yesterday she had few clues about why the problem (child murder) was so bad. One of the issues was that people did not realise how serious the problem was.

Dear Ms Kiro,

The only thing you have going for you at this point is that you didn’t mention section 59 of the Crimes Act, beyond that your duplicity is a betrayal, not only of the integrity of your office but of every child that dies during your tenure.

If we had tolerated the arrogance and stupidity of your predecessor, Fathers day would by now be national abuse day. I would happily defend the intelligence of the NZ public, and our well informed position any time you can rise above your position of ignorance to accept the challenge.

When you can put the lives of children above the subjective truths of your ideology, you might do justice to your position. You know what the issues are as well as the any of us, and so you should. The tax payer does not take kindly to funding the lazy and the incompetent, and I am not prepared to let you hide behind any form of pretence.

If you are not up to the challenge of the position your immediate resignation would be an acceptable alternative.

Bevan Berg.

Sat 24th September 2005

The system working as it should!

Filed under: Law & Courts,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 4:04 pm

A new wave of JUSTICE.

After 2.5 yrs of litigation concerning a prenup contract and 3 court hearings with my ex wife, I won my case and was left with a bill of $160K. To my dismay my child’s mother then sold her home and moved to another town against my wishes and without court approval. I was forced to apply to the court to have my daughter returned.

In order to have this process halted my ex wife laid a complaint to Child Youth & Family Services (CYFS) that I had been performing sexual acts in front of my daughter and inappropriately touching her. This devastated me. The court was forced to halt my application and suspend contact with my daughter except under supervision until an investigation was undertaken.

These investigations can sometimes take more than six months to be completed….. However this wise Judge smelt a rat and she demanded the investigation to be completed in just 3 weeks!!!!.

The case was heard last Friday and to my surprise and delight I was not only cleared of all suspicion but was granted the return of my daughter to Auckland. With it was the order to now have equal time with her. The cherry on the top was the bollocking the Judge gave my ex wife for lying on the stand, attempting to manipulate the court via devious means and alienating a child from its father.

It is my hope that this will now end what has been 3 years of hell for me. The worst part has been the feeling that the system had no concern for fathers & therefore no genuine concern for the child.

The sun is shinning again!!!!


Wed 21st September 2005

The Developing Gynecocracy.

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 11:29 pm

Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI)
4095 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, # 12
Montreal QC
H3H 1W9
Year of establishment: 1984
Phone number: (1-514) 846-9366
Fax number: (1-514) 846-9066
Number of staff: 1
Introduction: Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI), founded in 1984, is dedicated to the support and promotion of women’s rights at the local, national, regional, and global levels. With members in 70 countries, SIGI works toward empowering women and developing leadership through human rights education of basic rights guaranteed to women under international human rights conventions and to increase public awareness and concern about human rights abuses committed against women. It also facilitates the direct participation of women from the Global South in international debates concerning their rights. SIGI also facilitates research and provides training models for women from the developing world in the areas of human rights education, communication and leadership.

Fight for your Family.

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — Downunder @ 8:56 pm

The care of Children Bill is not clear on one very important point, providing in section 4(5) that the Welfare of a child may rest with “a court or a person”. We must also realise that the best interest principle has been moved from within proceedings to the administration of the act. What we now consider to be in the Judges realm will be able to be transferred to an organisation. While in the not to distant future we may see the family court written off as a bad experiment or have its structure and use reviewed, much of its current workload is likely to be transferred to new organizations — see (Revenge is just an Allegation Away.), and such that replace our failed CYPS. See – ( Social service agencies wary of sharing CYFS workload) One issue that hasn’t been resolved yet is section 59 of the Crimes Act, which legally still leaves parents holding the power. In terms of creating the state parent during the term of this next socialist government, it is imperative that those free thinking parents that value the family make the loudest possible protest against alterations to Section 59. It is has nothing to do with smacking your children and everything to do with ownership of your offspring and the manner and values you impart to them. If you want family you will have to fight for it, because the power is with the legal few that think otherwise.

Social service agencies wary of sharing CYFS workload

Filed under: General,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 4:49 pm

By Simon Collins NZ Herald

Some social service agencies say they will refuse to “prostitute” themselves by taking part in a plan to farm out possibly around half the children notified to Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS).

The controversial plan, due to go before the new Parliament, is designed to help CYFS cope with an increase in notifications of suspected child abuse and neglect in the wake of recent high-profile tragedies.

Some agencies welcomed the plan at a conference in Auckland of the Association of Child and Family Support and Community Services.

But the director of Catholic Family Support Services in Hamilton, Carole Fleming, said she was “frightened” to see agencies accepting CYFS cases just because they needed the money.

“At a hui of the providers in Wellington in July, the overriding agenda people had was solely money,” she said. “Our organisation made a conscious decision not to pick it up. We declined to contract. The term ‘prostituting ourselves’ was applied.

“We were being asked to undertake assessments, but our strengths are in support, and it seemed strange to us that money was being made available to provide assessments and investigations.”

Quentin Jukes of the Warkworth agency Homebuilders said his group would also refuse to do CYFS assessments because it believed in working alongside families as equals, not threatening to take children away from them as CYFS did.

He noted that a CYFS speaker at the conference had confirmed that private sector companies, as well as non-profit agencies, would be eligible to take on CYFS investigations.

“We are seeing the opening of the door to privatisation,” he said.

“My prediction is that in two years’ time, as demand management gets going and there is a real shortage of workers in our sector, people are going to be leaving CYFS and setting up private companies and coming back in and doing that work.”

CYFS chief executive Paula Tyler denied reports that 60 per cent of notifications would be farmed out to community agencies under the new plan.

Evidence Bill hits spouse-beaters

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 4:43 pm

By Simon Collins NZ Herald

Men or women who beat their partners will find it much harder to escape prosecution under a proposed law that would accept victims’ statements to police as evidence, even if they later changed their minds.

Chief District Court Judge Russell Johnson told a conference in Auckland yesterday that the Evidence Bill, expected to be passed next year, would reinforce court reforms aimed at resolving domestic violence cases quickly rather than trapping victims in a “deadly dance” of legal delays.

If a woman is forced to give evidence, and tells the court a different story from what she told police originally, the bill would also allow the judge to accept her original statement to police as contrary evidence.

Judge Johnson said the courts had struggled to cope with domestic violence cases “ever since the police began to intervene in family disputes, which dates back now to about 1992”.

“You don’t have to be in the game long to know that unless a family violence case is heard within about six weeks, you haven’t got a case, because for one reason or another you haven’t got evidence.

Judge Johnson said a new “fast-track” process was now being followed in special family violence courts in Waitakere and Manukau.

The Manukau experiment had led to more guilty pleas and fewer “no-shows” in court.

“Far more often than ever before, the victims are turning up also, [enabling] a consultative process to go on.”

RNZ must say sorry to Ellis

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 4:36 pm

NZ Herald

Radio New Zealand has lost an appeal against a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it apologise to convicted child molester Peter Ellis.

Radio NZ had argued that an apology was a voluntary expression of contrition and to be ordered to say sorry, when it was not, amounted to dishonesty.

The order for an apology and publication of a summary of the authority’s decision in four major daily newspapers was the result of finding that National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme in August 2003 was not fair and balanced. A man interviewed on the programme had made new allegations against Mr Ellis.

Radio NZ also had to pay Mr Ellis $5300 costs and $5000 to the Crown. It accepted the finding that the story lacked fairness and balance but objected to apologising.

Fathers should get paid parental leave, say couple

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 4:25 pm

By ANNA SAUNDERS The Dominion Post

Legislation on paid parental leave discriminates against fathers, an Upper Hutt couple say.
Melissa Tiraha, 21, and Aaron Mahony, 28, are expecting their first baby this month.
Mr Mahony restores houses and Miss Tiraha works part-time and is also studying for a pre-police course at the New Zealand Institute of Sport, with plans to enrol at the police college next year.

If she misses her police college entry exams this year, which she has paid for, rules do not allow her to re-enrol for two years, she said.

So the couple decided Mr Mahony would stay at home and care for the baby, while Miss Tiraha finished her course.

But under paid parental legislation, fathers cannot directly receive payments.

Working mothers can transfer all or some their payments to the father and continue working, but fathers themselves are not entitled to paid leave.

They could separate and Mr Mahony could go on the domestic purposes benefit while Miss Tiraha finished her course.

Labour Department workplace policy acting manager Heather McDonald said the main reason for getting paid parental leave was that mothers needed “time off after the birth to physically recover and rest, and this entitlement allows them to do this without threatening their job security.”

Revenge is just an Allegation Away.

The boys may now need more than a condom and a pre-nuptial in their tool kit, for protection!

Previously domestic violence and sex offences were excluded, (by virtue of their penalty) from the formal framework of restorative justice, however following the launch of project restore last month, by its initiator, Dr Shirley Julich, we can expect this to be the primary point of referral. The gate keepers in this case The Police and Lawyers.
A question critical to any anticipated outcomes from project restore is – who is driving the machine? Restorative Justice Protagonists or groups representing survivors of domestic violence and sex offences. Names such as Auckland Sexual Abuse Help, The Safe Network, and Rape Crisis, feature strongly here. We can expect this to be a victim centered process. In the development of the restorative Justice conference, we will see an amalgamation of domestic violence allegations from the family court and sexual allegations from the criminal justice system. What we are seeing here is the development of “gendered violence legislation” within our legal framework. There is no indication as to the form of the compliance and enforcement regime that might operate, to ensure the success and development of this project, nor what protection might exist for the innocent people who will be subjected to false allegation, or any level of review of outcome or development, let alone funding criteria. In the male perspective — It is teenage boys who will be most vulnerable here.

Just as a post script. I am not going to try to establish the casual link between restorative justice and child support and I won’t post it in that category

Thu 15th September 2005

The Male Deficit.

Filed under: Child Support,General,Men's Health — Downunder @ 11:08 am

Looking at the 2005 population statistics, from Stats NZ website, we have some interesting information.

We are showing a population increase for the year of 36,800 people, 19,100 males and 17,700 females. Nothing too unhealthy about that except that it is only marginally above our death rate — but wait there’s more.

If you draw a line at 50 and do a bit of addition it tells a different story. Under 50 population increased by a dismal 7,900 and the over 50 increased by a staggering 28,900.

But wait, there’s more. If you look at the Gender Balance that also tells a story. The age group between 25 — 49 has a male deficit of 41 280 of which 33 410 are between 30 — 44. The same age group 10 years ago had a male deficit of 12,770 and the same population group 10 years earlier had a male deficit of 13 450.

We have suffered an extra-ordinary male loss of approximately 20,000 in the last 10 years, and an extra-ordinary loss of 40,000 men over a longer period of time.

The Gender Balance in the under 25’s, shows slightly more males and in the over 50’s slightly more females, and would be consistent with a normal population.

So who has been hunting male lately? I would really like to know, how many of those missing men are in another country? and how many are in a coffin?

Bevan Berg
NZ Republicans.

Wed 14th September 2005

No Female Police Commissioners

As the push continues to fill the top jobs with women – (and we would be blind if we couldn’t see that, and dumb if we were convinced otherwise), then we must be prepared to accept the consequences. Of the big mistakes we could make in the next three years, one would be to appoint a female Police Commissioner.

Feminism is a strong ideology that did not factor in the possibility that if you change the rules people may not want to, or even feel able to play the game any longer. Dealing as I have done over the last 6 years with the sharp end of the wedge and what are often referred to as “just disaffected men” there is a clear sense of disillusionment that is quite disabling. I do not see men making a bitter and deliberate decision not to participate, but rather that the average kiwi male does not recover from the shock of having his life tipped upside down overnight. Men as we know are not always good at sharing their feelings; however I have extracted part of a recent email that I received which I think is indicative of what I sense in many men.

As a kiwi, I feel let down by legislation that robs me of my rights, hurts me, isn’t fair, and penalises my children.

If I could bear to leave my children, I’d be on the first plane out of here. I used to have a strong work ethic – now work is somewhere. I’m going no where and I despair. I have become bitter, I do not feel any sense of national pride…actually I’ve grown to hate this country and the politicians that have stitched me up. I know what its like to feel trapped and powerless and it drives me to consider things that I normally wouldn’t think of.

None of the major political parties are interested.

In terms on managing a society, we must appreciate that a very strong part of the individual male role is collectively contained in our Police Force. 20 years ago there was huge resistance amongst the conservative male leadership of the Police to the increasing role of women in the Police. While there may have been room for increased participation in retrospect I believe their fears have been realized.

At a time when we have to look to recruiting overseas and to increasing female participation in the police force to maintain currently inadequate number, then it is time for us to have a more critical evaluation of our community which cannot willingly provide the best candidates for one of our most important roles in society.

Public and Political attacks on the police force often undermine individual officers who give more than 100% to their position, however no matter how many good officers make a genuine contribution, there are three other factors besides recruitment that will continue to undermine our Police Force. The first is Government Policy, the second is Training, but the most essential element is Leadership.

You can call me sexist, bigoted, biased, or anything else that takes your fancy, but I doubt you find a convincing argument supporting the appointment of a female Police Commissioner to resurrect the Police Force from its current regrettable position

Bevan Berg
NZ Republicans

Tue 13th September 2005

Knee-bouncing dad sparks CYFS Investigation

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 2:07 pm

On Close-Up (TV ONE) last night Susan Wood introduced a story “that would scare any parent”, about a North Shore father accused of sexually abusing his daughter.

An anonymous caller to the CYFS 0800 number claimed that he had been seen bouncing his three-year-old daughter up and down on his knee while reading her a bedtime story.

Despite the fact the couple’s son is also not school age yet, letters naming the children were imediately sent to Albany schools alerting them to the fact that the family was under investigation.

When a psychologist finally got around to interviewing the children, it took her only 15 minutes to decide the children were not at risk.

Chief Social Worker Marie Connolly defended the fact that the letters were sent even before the family was spoken to. When asked if CYFS would appologise to the family she replied:

“We take all investigations seriously. It’s inevitably difficult for families when a social worker investigates a sexual abuse allegation, but nethertheless our concern is primarily with the safety of the child, and it would be irresponsible for us to not investigate these matters.”

Watch the video here

CYFS to contract out support services

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 2:00 pm

Controversial government agency Child Youth and Family Service is to begin farming out much of its work to charities like Barnardos and Plunket.

Shannon Pakura, CYFS general manager service development, said the new model was the most
significant change for the service in a decade.

The department had been struggling to deal with the volume of notifications – 53,000 in the last year. Some might be better dealt with by other departments, or by non-government agencies involved in family support, she said.

Draft legislation enacting the changes is before parliament.

Every Child Counts lobbyist, Ian Hassall, and the charities themselves have welcomed the new model.

It would remove a conflict in CYFS’ role between policing families and providing support for them,
Hassall said.

The Hard Road to Reform.

Filed under: Child Support,General,Law & Courts — Downunder @ 12:41 pm

No progress without struggle as they say, however we are yet to achieve any reform in child support legislation – (and given the latest legislation tabled in the house just before the election recess, it is fair to say we are still in retreat.)

I have to look back at the Family Court Campaign. That’s what it was – a hard fought campaign over several years. There is enough dirt in family court cases to sink the ship; however the tactics of Patrick Mahoney always managed to keep it afloat. He wasn’t one for just sweeping the dirt under the carpet, and hoping it never surfaced. He was a little more subtle than that. When a dangerous case arose — like the Rolly Young case for example – he would send in an investigator, one of his trusted allies to clean up. His team was quaintly referred to as “Mahoney’s vacuum cleaners”, because they went in to suck up the dirt rather than bury it. Of course, there are some cases like the Rolly Young case that you can never clean your finger prints off, because this is a case that required more than the work of an investigator – the collusion of a Judge.

You could always tell when there was a bad egg about. With monotonous regularity you would hear the same name popping up. It was like phone calls from the Hawkes Bay. They always had the name Von Dadelzen attached. As I never had a great number of calls from the region, there was never a move amongst the locals to form a lobby group and they remained somewhat isolated cases. When the Rolly Young case was suddenly moved to Napier, I became a little more suspicious.

Earlier this year I attended a public meeting in Napier, and to my surprise found the biggest anti family court meeting I had ever come across. The name in the centre of it all of course was Von Dadelzen. Somehow he had managed to keep the lid on the pressure cooking, but not now, it had just blown off. This certainly attracted the attention of the current principal family court Judge Boshier, who I have no doubt would be well aware of can of worms that could be opened up in the Hawkes Bay. Judge Boshier took the proactive step of bursting into print in the local Napier Paper to defend his court, and was quick to sideline Von Dadelzen by sending in several other Judges to preside over cases in Napier.

Since the inception of the Care of Children Bill, the court has come clean over some cases, with the odd letter of apology, and even the reversal of custody in some long running cases.

Of course there are some cases like the Rolly Young case that go well beyond the ambit of apology. You can tell there is a bit of clean up going on when you get phone calls from lawyers asking for dirt on other lawyers and psychologists, and I am sure one or two will get hung out to dry, just for good looks. Napier may however be a different story — One thing the family court cannot afford is for the name Von Dadelzen to become a household name, outside of Napier, as it may well bring some light to the goings on in the Rolly Young case, and how it ever ended up in the Napier Family court in first place.

This is not so much about child support, but about the co operation and effort required to achieve reform. It doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen.

Bevan Berg
NZ Republicans.

Consultation on Domestic Violence Legislation

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 9:40 am

To: Union of Fathers


As part of its responsibility for administering the domestic violence legislation, the Ministry of Justice is working on identifying possible amendments to the legislation which would make its operation more efficient and effective. This project is not a review of the basic framework of the legislation (as that is considered to be generally sound) but is aimed at identifying particular areas that could be improved.

Since the implementation of the legislation the Ministry has collated a number of proposals for amendments, mainly from the Family Court Judiciary and members of the legal profession. The Ministry is now analysing these proposals and seeking input from other stakeholders about particular provisions in the legislation that could be improved.

We are therefore writing to invite you to submit to us in writing any proposed amendments that you believe could improve the operation of the legislation. Please forward your submission to:

Lois Holmes
Principal Adviser
Crime and Justice Policy Team
Ministry of Justice
e mail to lois.holmes@justice.govt.nz

We would be grateful if you could forward to us any submission you may wish to make by 7 October 2005. If that is not possible please let us know. You can contact Lois Holmes on DDI 4949 734.

If the incoming Government agrees that this project remain on the Ministry work programme we aim to circulate a discussion document to the relevant stakeholders early next year to seek comment on the range of proposals raised, before proceeding to seek policy approval for amendments.

Yours sincerely
Victoria Crawford
Manager Crime and Justice Policy Team

Sun 11th September 2005

Prostate testing advice to change

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 4:37 pm

By DONNA CHISHOLM – Sunday Star-Times

Advocates of prostate cancer testing believe the Health Ministry is about to change its controversial advice which discourages men from being screened unless they have symptoms.

Wellington pathologist Professor Brett Delahunt, president-elect of the International Society of Urologic Pathologists, says he is optimistic the recommendations will change after lobbying from the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The foundation wants men to be told that if they want a test, they should ask their GP to explain the procedure a blood test to check levels of the prostate specific antigen and the implication of a positive result.

It wants to encourage men aged 50 or more to be tested every two years, although there were indications annual tests were appropriate.

The Health Ministry believes population-based screening such as the free mammograms offered women to check for breast cancers is not cost-effective. But the prostate lobby groups say their stance may make men believe individual PSA tests are not useful, when they they can save lives.

The Sunday Star-Times understands Health Minister Annette King has been receptive to a change in the recommendations, but until now the ministry has been “dragging the chain”.

Fri 9th September 2005

Am I Helping.

Filed under: Child Support,General,Men's Health — Downunder @ 9:11 am

Answering my Critics.

And all this is nothing new. This news item would carry a lot more weight if its author actually did something positive about changing the Child Support situation in New Zealand instead of just talking about it.

The above comment was placed on Menz in response to the article I wrote “Why Child Support is failing”.

I would like to tell you why I wrote this article. This week a man contacted me about child support. He has a child support debt which he cannot pay, and is being pursued by the IRD. He is also facing bankruptcy action for costs incurred in the family court. He has been depressed and was placed on a medical benefit. He is living in his car with his dog in the electorate for which I am a candidate. I have spent time with this man during the week. I was able to attract the interest of a reporter and during the week facilitated a two and half hour interview. It was during this interview I was again reminded as I have been many times before that so many people who are busy getting on with their lives just simply don’t have an appreciation of the situation we are dealing with.

Having written the article and posting it on Menz I also sent the same contribution to the Herald along with the recently obtained IRD statistics, showing the increased death rate on men dying without an estate. I certainly hope that my contribution for this week will meet anyone else’s expectations should they be determining whether or not I :

“actually did something positive about changing the Child Support situation in New Zealand instead of just talking about it.”

Your sincerely
Bevan Berg.
NZ Republicans Candidate

Thu 8th September 2005

Why child support is failing.

Filed under: Child Support,General,Men's Health — Downunder @ 3:02 pm

Why Child Support isn’t working.

Child Support might better be referred to as issue tax. It is nothing more than a crippling poll tax most often levied on the biological father, accompanied by a sinister mythology in the way it is portrayed.

Firstly – By the name itself. It literally has nothing to do with supporting a child, and any society that allows a child’s requirements to be reduced to a financial formula can expect the relevant consequences. Of all the requirements in a child’s upbringing money is the least important. Money is nothing more than a means of representing stored effort and a means of facilitating exchange. Used in any other way it becomes a weapon.

Secondly – In the case of the father, maintaining a simplistic explanation of his existence with the protect and provide scenario. In a “secure society” or perceived secure society, the protection issue is dismissed, as a male responsibility, and institutionalized into police and defense. The provide issue is limited to a cash earnings provision regardless of the level of the fathers presence. (I deliberately avoided the word absent)

The use of the word absence — is very significant.

It carries with it justification for the way in which we classify a father and pursue him according to a financial formula. If his only use was to provide, whether it is from within a relationship with the mother or outside of a relationship with the mother, then we can say – well he was going to pay anyway, so let’s just take the money.

Mon 5th September 2005

For the Sake of Our Children Trust

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 3:21 pm

Rankin to run big families campaign

By Simon Collins

An Auckland property developer has thrown a wildcard into the election with a multimillion-dollar campaign to turn social policy around to stop families breaking up.

John Sax, chief executive of Southpark Corporation, has hired former Work and Income head Christine Rankin to set up For the Sake of Our Children Trust, which will run the campaign.

Other celebrities supporting it include former All Black Stu Wilson, athlete Steve Gurney, TV3 newsreader Howard Dobson, author Alan Duff, parent educator Ian Grant, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, National candidate Tau Henare and MPs Peter Dunne and Muriel Newman.

Mr Sax told 300 people at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre last night that 30 years of misconceived social policy had produced babies born out of wedlock, parents walking out of marriage, payments for sickness instead of wellness and for unemployment, not employment.

He cited “un-politically-correct facts” that children were three times as likely to die from child abuse if they were living in de facto families, four times more likely if they were in sole-parent homes, seven times more likely if they lived with step-dads or in blended families, and 73 times more likely if they lived with mum and her boyfriend.

JohnP: There is a forum where you can discuss these issues at the For Our Children website

Statistics on NZ Fathers

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 3:11 pm

Father Figures

To acknowledge the positive role of fathers, Statistics New Zealand offers the following facts about fathers for Father’s Day on Sunday:

  • A baby will be a Father’s Day present for an estimated 140 men this year.
  • The average age of fathers of new babies is 33 years, but one in 100 babies has a father aged 50 years or over.
  • Today’s newborn babies have fathers who are, on average, five years older than their own fathers were when they were born.
  • Fathers with children aged under a year old manage 42 minutes less sleep than the average of 8.5 hours.
  • Over a lifetime, fathers have seven fewer Father’s Days, on average, than mothers have Mother’s Days. This is because men generally start parenting later in life and women have a longer life span.
  • More than a quarter (27 percent) of babies born in New Zealand last year were to fathers who were not themselves born in New Zealand. This compares with 21 percent a decade ago.
  • Father’s Day coincides with the start of a build-up in hardware sales leading up to Christmas.

Dads get positive messages on their chests

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 3:04 pm

Dads are good – and it’s good to be a dad.
That’s the message Nelson’s Philip Chapman is trying to get across, especially for Father’s Day.
And what better way, he thought, than have T-shirts praising dads?
So with the help of Mark Raffills, of Dry Crust Communications, Mr Chapman – a male health advocate and president of the Father and Child Society – produced five sets of five different T-shirts celebrating dads.

Mr Chapman approached three major chain stores and pitched his T-shirt idea. After some consideration, they all eventually rejected his proposal, he said.

“It was seen as political and getting involved in the men’s rights movement, even though there weren’t similar concerns when it came to products involving women’s rights,” Mr Chapman said.

He also believes that men in general don’t see themselves as a group needing such support or promotion.

“I think men have become so marginalised in fatherhood that they believe the stereotypes that are constantly pushed at them.”

However, the Richmond Mall has come to Mr Chapman’s rescue, offering him a free stall this week where he can offer his T-shirts for sale (at $25 each) and take orders for them.

Dad about the house

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 2:59 pm

JohnP: here’s a great male role model with some advice that I wholeheartedly endorse.

Hamilton man Cameron Rowe writes about trading roles and becoming an at-home dad.

Melanie had taken care of the kids for four years, but then a job came up she was interested in. We made a major change by deciding to swap roles. I would come home and father the kids, take care of the house and do everything she had done, and Melanie would work full time.

Back when I was working I thought I knew exactly what it would be like at home full time. But my after-work experience of the kids in the evenings and weekends was not the same as being alone with them for nine hours a day, five days a week, stretching into months. That’s a totally different story. Isolation is especially daunting when facing the new situations that occur as children grow up. I used to think I was pretty autonomous, but after a few weeks of dealing constantly with little kids I found cravings to talk to anyone who was not a child. Just like full-time mums, dads can struggle with depression and suburban neurosis.

To deal with these issues I have a weekly “Daddy Day Out” with another stay-at-home father. We tried to give them some experiences that have lots of physical activity and are more back to nature. We took the opportunity to go to Pirongia for bush walks and explained the basics of the bush and safety in the forest. On another walk near Huntly, the boys were stunned by the massive kauri trees towering above the forest floor.

As dads we talk about how things are going, what’s working and what challenges there have been. We have developed a level of honesty and sharing so we listen, give feedback, and give the encouragement needed for this marathon solo run. I’ve been told a lot of men talk only about surface issues and struggle to get deeper. This has been a great opportunity to get beyond the staple male diet of rugby and the weather. The combined meetings have been the best time in the week for both the kids and the dads.

Older parents have told me their kids grew up quick. I feel a closer, stronger bond with my kids than I did before. That has been the major payoff. I’ve experienced their lives growing up.

The biggest opportunity to change them and instil good beliefs and values into them is now. It’s harder to change the clay when it has already started to set.

Over the door of my son’s kindy reads the words, “Only you can choose the type of parent your child has”. For this period of my life I have chosen to be a parent that makes memories instead of money. I have invested in the hearts and minds of my children.

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