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

Fri 22nd May 2009

Family First News

Fairer child deal sought
The Press 21 May 2009

Child-support payments may be changed to reflect the income of a parent’s new partner. The proposal is part of Revenue Minister Peter Dunne’s call for a review of the child-support scheme. Dunne said yesterday that he wanted to make the scheme “as even-handed as possible”. He said current payments did not take into account the financial situation of the new partner of the parent usually the mother with custody of the children. Payments were based on a percentage of the liable parent’s income.

“At the moment we take into account the non-custodial parent’s income but we don’t take into account the changed circumstances of the custodial parent, so if they’ve married a millionaire, for instance, we don’t take that into account,” Dunne said. “If on one side of the ledger everyone’s standard of living has significantly improved, then that clearly impacts what the non-custodial parent should be paying by way of support. You take a poor, struggling guy in the suburbs with three kids whose partner has run off with a millionaire. You can certainly say it’s a bit anomalous in a way for him to be paying a high level of child support to kids where the money is being used to pay for the upkeep of the kids’ ponies.”

While any changes would primarily affect men, there was a growing number of women who were non-custodial parents, he said. The Union of Fathers group said Dunne’s proposals did not go far enough. “Equal shared custody is the answer where everything to do with the child is shared equally time with them, contact with schools, financial support to provide for the child,” spokesman Darrell Carlin said.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/2428220/Fairer-child-deal-sought

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Latta slams families funds waste
The Timaru Herald 21 May 2009

The Families Commission is a colossal waste of time and money, and its $9 million budget could be far better spent elsewhere. That’s according to clinical psychologist Nigel Latta, who spoke on violence at two meetings in Timaru yesterday. Mr Latta waded into the commission during his hour-long talk, mocking the “startling and amazing” revelations from its research, and saying he would have probably “wasted” that $9 million on things like 6000 hours of teacher aid, 9000 laptops in schools, half a million library books or doubling or tripling the size of Women’s Refuge.

“It is a colossal waste of time and money in a country where we can’t afford it.” Mr Latta said there was enough money available to save the children in New Zealand – it just needed to be diverted from all the “stupid stuff”.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/2428458/Latta-slams-families-funds-waste

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‘Ear-flick’ father guilty of assault
NZ Herald May 20, 2009

A Christchurch father has been found guilty of assaulting his 4-year-old son after a two-day trial seen as a test of the anti-smacking laws. After more than nine hours of deliberation, the Christchurch District Court jury last night found James Louis Mason not guilty of assault for lifting the bicycles his two sons were sitting on and slamming them back down. But the third count – which accused him of pulling the 4-year-old’s ear and punching him in the face – brought a guilty verdict. Mason denied all charges, but said he pulled the child’s hair and flicked his ear to stop him going back into a dangerous situation on his bike on the Bridge of Remembrance ramp in central Christchurch where his 2-year-old had fallen and hurt his head. Witnesses at the trial did not see the incident on the ramp. But they told of hearing Mason afterwards, swearing and shouting at the boys.

…Family First director Bob McCoskrie said last night the conviction was appropriate if it was for punching a child. But there was a concern that Mason may have been found guilty for only the ear-pull, as the actions of punching, and pulling the ear, were wrapped up in the same police charge. “If that’s the case, then it’s a decision that does concerns us. We would like that clarified to understand how the law is being interpreted by the police and the courts.” The anti-smacking legislation was passed by Parliament in May 2007, removing from the Crimes Acts the defence of reasonable force for parents who physically punish children. Family First is campaigning for the repeal of the law and in March issued survey findings showing many parents were still confused about the law change. As the law stands a light smack would not always be illegal. But 55 per cent of the 1000 people surveyed thought smacking was always illegal, 31 per cent thought it was not, and 14 per cent did not know.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10573340

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School reports will tell it how it is
NZ Herald May 21, 2009

Parents could be warned their children are performing well below expectations in a proposed move to “plain language” on school reports. This week the Ministry of Education opened its proposed set of national standards for consultation, setting national standards for numeracy and literacy achievement and the way students’ progress should be reported. In the past parents have been confused by the language in school reports but the ministry is advocating “plain language reporting” – telling parents whether a child is achieving at the standard they should be, or whether they are just below, well below, just above or well above the national standard.

President of Auckland Primary Principals’ Association Marilyn Gwilliam said parents needed to be told, in plain and simple language, how their child was doing. When they understood the areas in which their son or daughter struggled, they could work more constructively alongside the school to lift the child’s achievement.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10573581

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Garth George: Rankin’s file is the right CV for families
NZ Herald May 21, 2009
The appointment of Christine Rankin to the Families Commission is inspired. As was the appointment of Paula Bennett as Minister of Social Development, who was instrumental in Ms Rankin’s appointment. We now have a four-times-married serial monogamist sitting on the Families Commission; and a West Auckland solo mum, whose unwed daughter presented her with a grandchild fathered by a gang-banger, running our vast social welfare edifice. And that is as it should be in this modern age of everything-goes and a Parliament and bureaucracy cluttered with politically correct, namby-pamby politicians and civil servants.

It is to be hoped that Ms Rankin’s appointment is only the first of many such to be made to government boards, commissions and so on who will neutralise the stultifying effects of the lefty liberals who so appealed to Labour and the Greens.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10573495

23 Responses to “Family First News”

  1. John says:

    That’s great news. ironically I had emailed my local MP on monday about exactly that. No response yet, but very timely. Perhaps those affected (ie.. most of you out there can make some noise on this.. via media, your local MPS, or any other peaceful minds 🙂

  2. John says:

    sorry.. that was related to the ‘Fairer child deal sought’ article

  3. I visit a lot of sites and blogs and normally they fail to deliver, but this one is different. It’s the real deal! Thank you, I am very grateful to you.

  4. Skeptik says:

    Freakin’ typical in NZ.
    A problem effects men – badly, for many years.
    Those men agitate for a fairer system – vigorously, for many years.
    Nothing changes – for many years.

    Then Dunne the opportunistic politician sees that – QUOTE ->

    “While any changes would primarily affect men, there was a growing number of women who were non-custodial parents”.

    All of a sudden there recognistion for men, because some women are being effected too.

    The misandry is sickening

    tick..tick..tick…

  5. Rosie says:

    I don’t think this has anything to do with the amount of women who are now non-custodial parents.
    Give Peter Dunne a chance to prove that he is working towards making the child support system more fair.
    The only snag that I can see is that the women who use their children as meal tickets will never admit to living with millionaires and how will that ever be proved?

  6. Skeptik says:

    “I don’t think this has anything to do with the amount of women
    who are now non-custodial parents”.

    Yeah right……

    Peter Dunne has had 10 YEARS TO MAKE THE CHILD SUPPORT SYSTEM MORE FAIR!!!

    Duh!

  7. SicKofNZ says:

    I suspect there will be more housekeepers and boarders and fewer
    partners after all has been said and Dunne.

  8. John says:

    oh; I think IRD would know that.
    The simplest solution is to agree that couples living together should be able to share their tax thresholds and liabilites.
    I have exactly the situation described above. I work fulltime to pay for my kids when they are at my house (almost half the time) and to pay her a huge amount because I work .. and she doesn’t need to cause her partner is a millionaire..
    So I’ll be paying child support again when she goes off with him for her 2 week holiday round the world in business class. My holiday will be looking after me kids at home as I dont have the money to take them anywhere.

  9. Mark J says:

    Yep Peter Dunne might just be the right man to do the job if he can stay on track and see the wrongs being done to our children.
    I meet with many men most days of the week, and all of them have a different story to tell but their stories all end up the same way.
    i just wish a MP would pull finger and see the damage being done by the IRD dept and its twisted FORMULA it uses to destroy a father and hes children’s lives.
    If the other partner is working or remarried,the non custodial parent’s payment should be zero and 50/50 share of custody is fair for all,NOT PAYING THE IRD ANOTHER TAX FROM MONEY WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN TAX TO START WITH.

  10. John says:

    How long do MPs take to get back to you ? I’ve had responses within a week normally. I guess my local MP is not interested in mens votes. He’s a bit of A. Peachey really.
    Anyone else I should email in parliament or are they are all too busy checking that their expenses are in order …..

  11. Dean says:

    There was an interesting article on Radio NZ on Thursday 27/5/09 in which Peter Dunn and Jim Bagnall talk about proposed child support legislation changes. The pod cast is available from this link: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20090521.

    If legislation is going to change, how long do we have to wait?

    I am lucky enough to have a 50/50 shared custody arrangement of my 2 teenage children. Even so I still pay a huge amount in child support (over $600/month). I also pay for my daughters orthodontic work and pay into a scholarship fund for them. Their mother won’t contribute to these at all. She refuses to work full time, shares a house with a partner and has enough spare money to go skiing every 2nd weekend, while I struggle to pay my mortgage. I have tried numerous admin reviews over the last 5 years and I’ve even taken this to the family court. Now that both my children are over 14 I’m about to go to battle again in the family court. There has to be an easier way, please does anyone know a way to beat this archaic system?

  12. Scott B says:

    We wouldn’t be on here if we knew, Dean. That’s the sad fact.

  13. Allan Harvey says:

    Flick me an e-mail to allan@uof.org.nz and I will review the strategies I am aware of.

  14. Dave says:

    Given the change of government I don’t understand why there is still not move to replace our current system with a system that is actually a child support system. That is a system built on the real costs of caring for a child. I am not impressed with yet another band aid to a fundamentally flawed system such as proposed by Peter Dunne.

  15. John says:

    Hi Dave;
    So what would your proposal be ? Most of us agree that the current system sucks but unless we have a solution we’re going nowhere fast…

  16. Allan Harvey says:

    The Australian reforms have a lot going for them.
    Shared care in 7% steps (1 night in 14)
    Both households incomes go into the formula
    Local costs for rasing kids based on age and circumstances
    UoF has other suggestions as well that we have been lobbying for.

  17. Philip says:

    Hi Allan,

    I’m in a similar boat to Dean. My ex succeeded with her application despite not bothering to submit a financial statement of position – required according to the process to determine how any decisions would affect both parties but not necessary according to the Review Officer in my case. I’m contemplating an appeal – would have preferred a review of the decision rather than a rehearing. Any advice would be gratefully received.

  18. Jim Bailey says:

    Allan, in due respect, please update yourself on the so called Australian Reforms – You receive the Communique – Read it before offering information that we all hoped for but has proved to be a nightmare – Onward – Jim

  19. Allan Harvey says:

    Not sure what communique you think I have received Jim.
    The Aussie reforms is where Peter Dunne is looking.
    Over thgere many women’s groups are moaning at the impact of the changes.
    I know of several who have found the reforms to their liking.

  20. julie says:

    Jim Bailey says:

    Allan, in due respect,

    I don’t know if you can be a bigger man Jim.

    Bless your cotton socks. (lol)

  21. Brenda says:

    My partner and I were in the same boat. Admin reviews are a damn joke!!! My partner’s ex earns more than him and her partner earns double again. We had a private agreement for child support and when she had another baby to her partner she wanted more money. She went through the system and it ended up being less than what we were paying privately so she took him to admin review. We made a cross application. We paid for all contact costs (kids lived 2 hours away), school fees, those kind of things as well as having them every school holidays. WE got totally ripped off. She lied, didn’t disclose all their assets. My partner wasn’t working at the time and I was paying the child support. The decision of the admin review was that they took my earnings into account and we were absolutely shafted!!!!!! My partner is now assesed as a single man and an Order was made reflecting this until 2010!!!Our family income at the time was $41,000.00, hers was $120,000.00. If my income was taken into account why wasn’t her partners? They aren’t my children yet if I don’t pay it then the penalties will accrue. This has caused a lot of stress on our family. Why doesn’t the government listen to these stories of real people who are being crippled financially and emotionally with the current system. Things have to change………….

  22. SicKofNZ says:

    Why doesn’t the government listen to these stories of real people who are being crippled financially and emotionally with the current system

    Because they want your money. They don’t give a damn about your problems, even if they’ve created them.

  23. neil says:

    What a great site .it’s interesting to read of other people getting shafted by ird’s outdated laws.MY kid’s were dumped on me 10 years ago because they were spoiling my ex’x high life.and thanks to her lawer boyfriend knowing all the tricks ,was paid 40 dallars a month for two kids for years.it was gradually increased over time to something reasonable.recently my son decided to go to live with the ex and new hubby as it’s near the mall and friends.straight away i get hit for 800.00 amonth.cosidering they would be earining 140.000 a year between them i find this hard to accept.so of course i’m scratching to survive with morgage etc.but don’t you love those lovelyy wpmen on the phone at ird.well sir if you choose to have an expensive house thats your problem,…or why can’t you get borders in?makes you feel quite sick doesn’t it.and to top it off she’s away for two weeks in london why the sons home alone to fend for himself and of course have days off school what a gereat country we live in …not

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