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DPB Recovery is not Child Support

Filed under: Child Support,General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 2:30 pm Fri 10th September 2004

Maharey defends penalty on solo mums

Media Release

10 September 2004

Jim Nicolle
NZ Child Support Reform Network

DPB recovery is not Child Support

“Given the fundamental flaws of the Child Support Act 1991, it is not surprising that mothers refuse to lodge a so call Child Support application,” commented Jim Nicolle, spokesperson for the New Zealand Child Support Reform Network.

“Let’s call a spade a spade. The Child Support Act 1991 is focused on collecting money, not on supporting our children, and is nothing more than a tax applied to ‘liable’ parents. The bulk of this child tax is extracted to the consolidated fund to ‘recover’ the DPB.

“A parent can be paying thousands of dollars a year in compulsory assessment, via this unfair and unreasonable regime, knowing that it never reaches their children.

“Labour should be honest and admit that this legislation is failing our children, depriving them of a financial future, and placing them at risk that can be avoided, ” Nicolle stated.

“Parents do not object to supporting their children, they do object to being viewed as working chequebooks by the Labour Government. Its time this dated and fundamentally flawed Child Support Regime was replaced by a fair and reasonable child support system that focused on supporting our children, not benefit recovery, ” concluded Nicolle.

Jim Nicolle Co-ordinator
NZ Child Support Reform Network
Wellington regional contact.
[email protected]
(04) 586-0880
(021) 452-628

NZCSReform is a network of groups and individuals working in their area
of interest, to bring about a fair and reasonable child support system
replacing the current unfair and unreasonable Child Support Regime.


  1. First Cunliffe, now Maharey. Wake up boys! Smell the coffee!

    Child tax at 18/21/27% of gross is nothing short of extortion. Financially, I would be better off on the dole, but then the only people hurting are my three wonderful children.

    See how good your arithmetic is lads. If I earn less than $38,000 (give or take) I will pay 51% tax; if I earn less than $60,000 I pay 60% tax; after that I will pay 66% tax.

    Why would I bother?

    The day of reckoning is coming.

    The election will be a telling one for you two, “Aunty” Helen and any other person who chooses to support the current anachronism that is our unfair, unreasonable and unjust “Child SupportTax Act (1991)”.

    Enjoy it while it lasts.

    Equal Shared Parenting:
    it takes a Man and a Woman to make a child, so it takes a Mother and a Father to raise their child.

    Comment by Mark Shipman — Mon 13th September 2004 @ 10:35 am

  2. Talk about the blind leading the blind…
    Mark Shipman is right, Cunliffe and Maharey are both away with the fairies.. If I don’t have my two children at all, I have to pay $920 per month, a quarter of my earnings after tax! If I have them 45% (as I do) I still pay $477 per month, and yet the cost to clothe, feed and entertain my kids per month is more than $500, so it’s as if the government prefer they don’t have a father, just a LIABLE parent.

    Let’s vote these guys out…not long to go.

    Comment by David Perry — Mon 13th September 2004 @ 12:34 pm

  3. I am currently paying child support I have no partner no other children living with me. My ex only gets 30.00 extra yet im paying close to 500.00 a month I want to help her only cause i want to see my girl have more in life yet I can,t afford to even do that.
    I have no possesions I left everything with the mother for my daughter yet. I still want to creat a home that when she comes over feels like a home.
    Why cant I help the mother she has 3 other children to look after. She finds it hard to survive finacialy and I still find it hard emotionaly to see my ex but for my daughters sake I don,t show that. I am lucky in the fact my ex wants me involved in my daughters life but 1 weekend every 2 weeks does not always seem enough.

    Comment by jason — Thu 30th September 2004 @ 2:21 pm

  4. Jason, if you wish to speak to someone or look at improving your situation, drop me an email with some details and I will call you to see how we may assist. That your ex wants you involved is a great start; we can work from there.

    Comment by Mark Shipman — Wed 6th October 2004 @ 9:43 am

  5. Jason
    I maybe wrong, but I think she can approach the IRD and go for some sort of upward payment from them, to more closely align your payments to what she receives. Otherwise, why should you be paying this additional tax, if your children/ex don’t benefit.They don’t offer this “service” voluntarily (surprise surprise).
    Hope I am right, and this helps.


    Comment by Alan — Mon 11th October 2004 @ 5:25 pm

  6. I was paying Child Support for years and my daughter was missing out on so much. My son is living with me and he was also missing out on things because of the money I was paying.
    My daughter came to live with me two years ago, with only a case of cloths and very depressed. I had to buy everything for her bed room, cloths reading glasses and send her to Kip McGrath (special education). I was going to get her orthodontist treatment next March.
    Well she left last Saturday (back to her mum) while I was in Tauranga visiting my grandmother in hospital. I came home to find she had removed everything from her room, except for the carpet and curtains. She even took her pocket money from me that morning. She never said she was leaving — nothing.
    I filed charges against her and her mother for stealing but have dropped them. Insurance company will not cover because she was living with me and the law say these things could be classed as hers. These good are valued at $4000, the stereo was only 27 days old.
    I am broke, I have a big mortgage, credit card debt, two overdrafts.
    Now I find out I could have to pay $1254 a month in Child Support until she is 19.
    The Child Support payment has to be lowered or the living expenses of the paying parent be raised. At present it is $12500 a year, this would not even cover a three bed room house in Auckland. The system does not encourage paying parents to earn more or get on with their lifes.
    Paying parents want to be part of their childrens lifes but are pushed away because they are forced into smaller places, so there is no room for visits and have to work harder to pay the taxes.
    I want to see this change but don’t know how to make it happen.
    I tried to talk to the MP of Browns Bay three years ago and was told he would look at it when there are enough people complaining. Guess what, nothing happened.
    As a father I have found I have no rights and the IRD would happily take everything.

    Comment by Ritchie J. Smith — Thu 4th November 2004 @ 11:34 am

  7. I pay $947 a month for child support, and can say that not all of that goes to my ex. It is used in a slush fund to pay for the ones who skip child support.
    Anyway I am now living with a new partner in a wonderful relationship, she is expecting a baby and wahoo, my child support goes down – by $15 a week when she is pregnant and finished work, and by a further $25 a week when she is not working and is looking after the baby while I work. That means I will be paying $780 amonth for my child who I see heaps and buy clothes etc for, and my partner and baby are worth $160 a month. Can someone explain the arithmetic!! The whole thing is to sting the middle income earner and give it to the beneficiary.

    Comment by Murray Smith — Thu 4th November 2004 @ 1:35 pm

  8. I seperated from my ex in dec 2002 and when we seperated she asked that I made her car loan repayments as my contribution to child support, these payments started in jan 2003 and then in May 2004 she decided that it was not enough and went to IRD, I am now paying $748.85 a month for 2 children, I met a lady in 2003 and she moved in with me so my child support drop from around $1050.00 to it’s present rate. My ex has not once brought my kids over to see me as her excuse is that she can’t afford it, so i ask where is the money going, she works part time and still lives at home so her parents look after the kids while she is working,. I am currently going through the court system to get access sorted out.

    Comment by Neil Williams — Tue 18th January 2005 @ 9:00 am

  9. Child Support is crap, am paying $256 per fortnight for my 10 year old who is in shared care, and receive $56 per month from my ex for my 13 year old son who lives 100% with me. I have had all the battles with my ex wife through the courts and so far it is 9-0 to me.
    Kids are not stupid, ex states i pay nothing for their upkeep but they dont know the truth!!! now my daughter has refused to return to her mother!!! here we go again

    Comment by Dave Sawyer — Tue 1st February 2005 @ 9:01 am

  10. Hi all
    Just another story to add
    I recently separated from my partner and received my child support letter from I.R.D which was total stuff up, but that’s to be expected from a government department.
    My gripe is not having to pay child support but the way I.R.D works the whole thing out. Here are the figures they worked out without consultation and probably without looking at their own records.
    My living allowance is $12700.00 before tax.
    I have to pay $12000.00 after tax for a five year old child. (My youngest)
    This was the first contact received from I.R.D. Just let you know how stupid this department is I left my ex partner about eight years ago for awhile and paid child support for my oldest two children then. So no wonder our payments are so high because they have to do thing tens times before they get it right.
    By the way I have four children to the same lady which of two live with me and two with her which when I went to school works out to be half each. Why do I have to pay more than ten times as much as her for child support just because I work hard and get paid and she chooses to go on the D.P.B.

    Comment by Paul — Wed 25th May 2005 @ 3:50 pm

  11. Heres some tips for avoiding payment that my partners ex has played on us.

    In spite of the fact that he drives a company car (free), he still claims for travel expenses. IRD knows this (we have told them) but still allowed for a reduction from $1100 per month to $600. Also, he has claimed for air travel (Wellington to Masterton!!) and hotel expenses for the same.

    Shared care is a great one. Firstly, you can say you want shared care and show the days you want in the future, and even if your ex disagrees, IRD will still cut it down the middle or something. As long as you can somehow (and IRD has told me they aren’t interested in what the court order says (we have two), but what is ‘happening’) get 40% you’re set. Now some of you will have the kids over christmas for a week or two. This ex worked out that the ‘part year’ policy allowed him to stop care at the end of January, and get 2 months not only free but with my partner paying him (a credit!), while she looked after the children effectively full time. This is actually against the Act, but IRD has a ‘policy’ on this.

    Having seen what it’s like being the custodial parent (and being a liable parent myself) I would much rather be the liable one in the economic department. Being on the DPB is one step away from the gutter. She has to inform them of a change in circumstances, you do not. I pay extra and in excess of the requirement, in spite of threats to cut my ex’s benefits by IRD/WINZ. I’m not going to tell you how. At least I will be able to tell my then grown children I did all I can to make life as easy as I could.

    How about getting your ex to take the $30 from you (and therefore entering into a voluntary agreement) then offer to make the rest up in kind with cloths, food, toys, holidays, phoner bills, rent payments, etc … Most of these are untracable by IRD. It’s worth noting that there isn’t much communication within IRD, and they also hate it if you ring them every day. Make yourself a huge nuisance and they might just let you get your way.

    If you don’t want to pay anything you could always set up a trust with all your income paid into it. Then you can say you’ve ‘won’. Myself, I value my kids more than that. Christ, it’s only money.

    Ritchie, you can always take out a custody order without a lawyer. The court may appoint a councel for the child and they will recommend whats best (or at least something based on you both).

    Comment by Devlin — Tue 7th June 2005 @ 1:04 pm

  12. Devlin
    You State
    Having seen what it’s like being the custodial parent (and being a liable parent myself) I would much rather be the liable one in the economic department. Being on the DPB is one step away from the gutter. She has to inform them of a change in circumstances, you do not. I pay extra and in excess of the requirement, in spite of threats to cut my ex’s benefits by IRD/WINZ. I’m not going to tell you how. At least I will be able to tell my then grown children I did all I can to make life as easy as I could.”

    Are expecting sainthood for supporting your children?

    Parents seperated from their children are treated as cash cows. Fathers fight for 20 years because they doubt the paternity of a child to be find out they are not the father. For 20 years a child has been decivied.

    Child support is cancelled and the IRD reinstate it Ultra Veries.

    Children are deprived a finnacial future with tens if not hundreds of thousands being paid and yet they need to incurr a student debt to go to uni!

    The wife/partner of a seperated parent finds that the living allowance allowed for their child is 1/2 the ammount that he pays for his child!

    You dont see your child for years but they take your money every month till your child turns 19.

    The system is geared against seprated parents and their stories are all too real.

    The solution is simple : Presunptive shared parenting and fair and reasonable Child Support.
    They go hand in hand.

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 7th June 2005 @ 10:30 pm

  13. The solution is simple :

    As I say above, you could always contact your ex, offer to match what she gets from the DPB ($30), perhaps a little more to make it worth her while, and then put the remaining amount in an account specifically for uni for the children. That way she gets the same, you pay the same, and all goes to the children.

    That is if you can be trusted to do this without personally assessing “what it really costs to raise children” and adjusting your payment accordingly. If you have trouble differentiating decent responsibility from ‘sainthood’ then I suspect not.

    Again. it’s only money.

    Incidently, I don’t think there is any debate, from either liable or custodial parents, that IRD is abysmal in their role here. The only thing that can be said for them is that in many cases it is the only way many custodial parents would get any money whatsoever.

    Try the custody order as well.

    Comment by Devlin — Mon 13th June 2005 @ 1:08 pm

  14. I have 3 girls all to the same mother, we split up a few years ago, and have had various arrangements about where the kids will live. Finally we have agreed to share care of the children 1 week on 1 week off, I am to pay tuition fees, extramural activity costs, doctors and medication costs, and we both purchase clothing for the kids.
    Despite all this, as I have a willy between my legs, I am paying $874 a month in Child Support. After rent, phone, food, power, car payments etc, I am left with a very small sum (not even enough to save for my childrens education).

    So, my question is, if the care is shared 50/50, yet I am ‘liable’ for over 50% of the costs of raising my girls, how does this in any way make for a supportive environment for the three of them?

    My girls mother is a home maker, as she has recently had her 5th child, her partner works (yet they are supposedly living apart). She is struggling financially mostly due to lack of money management skills. I can’t claim CS from her as I earn too much.

    My goal is to get full custody rights for my children, mostly so I can bring them up in a stable environment (not that their mother is a bad mother, however she is unable to give the girls the full attention).

    It would almost seem that even if I have the girls full time, I will still have to pay a portion of my income to my ex if she ever has them (I know this isn’t the case, but it may as well be with the current system the way it is!)

    Comment by David Jones — Fri 5th August 2005 @ 2:37 pm

  15. my husband has been paying child support to the Australian child support agency for the past 10 years. Suddenly last xmas we received a bill for $35,000 from the NZ child support agency – apparantly his ex had taken my husbands son to NZ (without his permission or knowledge) and applied for child support in NZ as well as Australia. After many phone calls to NZ (and after being threatened with court action by NZ) the debt was wiped as we have been paying Australia all this time. However NZ has now taken over and now we have to pay $60 per month extra due to exchange rates and inflation. No apology nothing – no notice so we could budget for it either. My husband has no access to his son due to the mother simply saying NO. Now I guess we’ll go to a lawyer (if we can scrape up the money to pay for one!).

    Comment by rachel — Tue 14th February 2006 @ 9:43 am

  16. My contribution to the government is 1,797.35 per month.

    She left me, which I could have no say in or else its considered harrasment. My oldest 2 are 18 & 16 respectively and both have been working full time (more that 30 hours per week), making them pay her $100 per week each. My youngest is eigth and in theory she should be working part time, except shes now on DPB. Somehow I am responsible for her being on the benifit according to the Government???

    She has now had a baby to “the other guy”.Her man is on the dole paying the minimum amount to the government and both living together in my old house. Now I admit in my shock I signed it over to her in order to support our children but didn’t know she was planning to move the man in – too late.

    We are being double taxed here too since the Goss income we are estimated on obviously is not at our disposal. What the hell is going on here???

    To be honest I dont think a chage of government will change anything. Simply the law is an “ass”. That says a great deal about those making it!

    Comment by Doug Turner — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 7:23 pm

  17. I have had my bank account completely emptied by IRD on the eve of Good Friday – I have NO money and cannot get any money until Wednesday. That means they have left me penniless for 6 days. Would they rather I starve to death for the sake of money which they claim I owe. How can they do this?? Surely it is a violation of my human rights. I don’t know what to do. I am going to have to grovel and borrow money from friends to keep myself healthy and/or alive. This is ridiculous. That money was already earmarked for my rent and bills. How can they leave me with NOTHING??

    Comment by ChrisP — Thu 13th April 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  18. I am the wife of a paying parent for a child from a very short previous relationship 7 years ago when he was young and didn’t wear a condom…we are married and have one child and the strain on our relationship from excessive child support payments is huge…when he fathered this child he was on around 25k…now on close to 80k we don’t seem to reap the benefits of his/our success? How is that fair…why should our child support payment continue to rise so excessively when we are trying to support a family too…when we have our second baby his liability goes down by around $10…why do our children cost $10 p/w and the government takes around $140 p/w for the other child (which doesn’t go the the child anyway as the mother has been on the DPB for the past 6 years)? The Act needs to change, how do we effect change? Surely we are not such a minority?

    Comment by T.P — Tue 19th December 2006 @ 10:35 am

  19. Apprently we are a minority….or perhaps it is just that we need to speak out together to be heard and taken seriously by the government?

    Comment by A caring Dad — Thu 1st April 2010 @ 9:43 am

  20. I should be happy, well I was until I got a $29000 bill from ird,Strange how the father of the children still owes me 6900 in childcare. I actually got a letter from IRD and they told me that it was up to me to collect the outstanding childcare owing. I have had no access to my children for 2 years, he got his phone disconnected,just another means of being nasty, Strange also we had a verbal agreement to write a letter to have a private agreement, guess who got fooled, guess who believed that honesty was there, guess who told me to f off you will now pay the price.. I worked 3 jobs one for the rent, one for the food and another to pay a babysitter to take care of the kids while this bum sat at home in front of a computor.I did this for over 15 years,I am sick now, my income is small, I still pay childcare I have to save to travel to australia to see my kids, he is on the benefit in australia, with the kids, “they incidently were all born over there. I got some great advice from inland revenue, the only way that these debts will be wiped out, will be on my death. My life is pure hell I love my children, I wish I had not given them the chance to choose the country of choice, someone else always wins I feel very cheated by this government, you know australia can come in and take everything from you, it does not work the same way for us.

    Comment by Aly — Fri 2nd July 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  21. Aly I couldn’t really follow the details of what you are saying but I certainly sympatheise with you. The entire family law and child support systems need to be scraped and replaced with something far more child focused.

    Comment by Dave — Fri 2nd July 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  22. I had admin review last august by Stuart Benson, I found him to be very fair as I was paying $1600 a month which he reduced to $550. Well in September IRD sent my employer a demand for more money so it says a lot for admin review!
    So next month my middle son turns 18 and I’m off IRD s books as the youngest I have a private arrangement.
    So old commissioner Donahue has instructed me to continue paying $375 a month until my $24 k debt is paid off.
    So there you go , another 5 years added on so Your debt must be paid.
    I’ve been paying 32 years now – so much for saving for retirement!
    Good luck to you all

    Comment by Roy Allan — Fri 31st May 2019 @ 8:54 am

  23. The current understanding I have is;

    that the Admin Review ‘Officer’ is an ‘Officer’ of the Family Court not the IRD.

    The information in the review becomes available to the parties, including the IRD.

    The ‘Officer’ of the court supposedly has obligations to the State Parent.

    The Office may have provided the IRD with an opportunity you can’t see.

    Then again the IRD may simply be screwing you over because they can. They’re inclined to do this, forcing you back into the Family Court for a review.

    I would expect there are thousands of older men getting screwed in old age in this way.

    Elder abuse by the In Person Revenue Department.

    Comment by Boonie — Fri 31st May 2019 @ 9:15 am

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