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

Quotes from the internet on the need for reform of the New Zealand Child Support Act 1991.

Filed under: Child Support — Scrap_The_CSA @ 7:59 pm Mon 23rd August 2004

Quotes on the New Zealand Child Support Act 1991 collected from public websites on the Internet via a search engine.
Suggested Search Terms :
Child Support Act 1991, Child Support Theory, Men’s Convoy 2004,
Child Support Reform

“In light of that is can be easy to forget the basic truth that in child support I know staff want to be as helpful as possible, that the level of payment is fair and that the system is based on sound principles”

David Cunliffe, Minister Responsible for Child Support : Child Support National Workshop 28 July 2004.
See full speech at

Perhaps David Cunliffe would do well to listen to what the real situation is:

“There are major problems with the Child Support Act which are not addressed by this Bill. In particular, a basic flaw is that the objects of the Act are inconsistent with the formulae. This is discussed in the August 2000 issue of the New Zealand Law Journal. An extract from a version of the article is appended to this submission. Any piecemeal change to the Act is likely to exacerbate these problems.”

Stuart Birks, Director, Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, Massey University, Submission to Social services Select Committee on the Child Support Amendment Bill 2001
For full submission see

“..child support laws are a disgrace. They are fundamentally flawed and in urgent need of a complete overhaul. The widespread alienation of fathers from their children, caused by our family law, is at the heart of – not only this debt, but – many of our social problems.”

Dr Muriel Newman, Deputy Leader ACT , Child Support Debt Passes $795 Million, 25 May 2004, Press Release: ACT New Zealand.

“Victoria University family law lecturer William Atkin said the living allowance was stingy in acknowledging new relationships and the children who were part of those. In that respect the Child Support Act was at odds with other family statutes that were more flexible and better aimed at meeting the needs of children.”

Bill Aitken, as quoted in Sunday Star Times, The downtrodden step-family 1 August 2004.

“It is child tax, not child support”, is how .Jim Nicolle, spokesperson for MEN’S CONVOY 2004 describes the current child support system.
“It is calculated on gross income using an inflexible formula and mostly ends up in the consolidated fund. It targets a group called ‘liable’ parents and it takes no account of individual circumstances. The Child Support Act 1991 is focused on collecting money, not on supporting our children, and nothing more than a tax applied to ‘liable’ parents”.

“Parents have had enough of being viewed as walking chequebooks and the rebellion against this unjust and unfair regime will not go away”.

Jim Nicolle, NZ Child Support Reform Network. Convenor Men’s Convoy 2004: Men on the move for Child Support Reform
See more at:

“The reform of Child Support needs to be extricated from the “too hard” basket. Instead of being designed as a punishment for deadbeats, the reform needs to attend to the best interests of children. And it must acknowledge that modern households have diverging financial obligations that cannot accommodate ‘one size fits all’ levies.”

Keith Rankin, Accounting for Child Support Thursday, 1 June 2000,

Its time for Change! Join the New Zealand Child Support Reform Network,Working together as a network of groups and individuals to achieve a fair and reasonable child support system .

NZ Child Support Reform Network
128A Epuni Street, Lower Hutt.
(04) 586-0880
[email protected]

Don’t forget to post your comments, it would suprise who who reads them.


  1. They call us the liable parents,then tell us we are now expected to live on some formula that does not take in to account any human factor,so now we have a computer running child support.The formula’s should be indivual based on both parties ability to provide support for the children.Then maybe we might see a change in the D.P.B. stats(lowered)as partners can’t use it as a easy way out of a committment,straight in to a paying job to stay at home.

    Comment by chris buchanan — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 7:16 am

  2. Where in the system is account taken of responsibility (my ex decided marriage was too hard)? She decides to move out and I am given a 12 year sentence in penury?

    Where is my ex made responsible and accountable for the spend of the monies on my children? Based on experience, she spends it in other areas like cigarettes, alcohol, entertainment for her and the current gigilo, new clothes for her, new jewellery for her, new car, new computer etc.

    Why are IRD Child Support staff so callous that they will call someone on their birthday to inform them that they are “liable” for extortion in the disguise of child “support”? Yes, it happened to me.

    How much is it to expect that when you ring the 0800 number that the person answering will have ENglish as a first language? A sad day when the person on the other end of the telephone does not even understand "I want to speak with a ‘Manager’ now!"

    How can you claim to support the children when child support monies are used for benefit recovery?

    Why are penalties not passed to the children?

    Enough is enough, IRD Child Support and D Cunliffe need to look carefully at where they stand, because the paying parent community are getting organised. Don’t bet on a win next election, David.

    Comment by Mark Shipman — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 9:43 am

  3. I do not like the system assumption, that being a father automatically categorize me as the liable parent. I have maintained forcefully for years that there is no reason (at law or otherwise) why my children should not have equal access to the resources of both comptetant and loving parents, as to both time and finances. This simple and right benefit for my children has been almost impossible to achieve.
    Allan Taylor

    Comment by A C TAYLOR — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 11:21 am

  4. My ex took the kids away 3.5 years ago largely because of her own issues including post natal depression that she refused to admit to – but which was later diagonised. Has always refused to discuss anything of the financial debts left behind. Has since been obstructive regarding my access – including (I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anybody) false allegations of me ‘touching my kids’ – which have proven baseless (of course).
    She refuses to let me have the phone number for my children and the weekly calls are a joke and she continues to put every obstacle in my way regarding contact with my kids. NOW the IRD Child Support have used their ‘blind calculation’ to assess me beyond reason and have started stealing $973.55 per month – for kids I don’t get to see, have had no input regarding decisions for schooling and other welfare issues, wait evening after evening hoping for a phone call etc. Even after a Administrative Review – they have declined any departure from their assessment – despite in their own words ” his monthly outgoings are only fractionally more than his income”.
    Could someone please tell me how I can pay my bills – including my rent ????
    My self esteem is absolutely shot right now and I cannot see a solution. It is only a matter of time before I am put out on the street – presuming I haven’t ‘snapped’ beforehand and have ended up on the 6.o’clock news…..

    I am somewhat comforted and holding onto the FACT – that my three little girls LOVE their daddy to pieces and vice versa. My oldest girl at 7.5 years is aware the mother is playing games and doesn’t think it is right and frequently consoles me that ‘one day it will all be sorted’……..

    Meanwhile as I say I have no immediate solutions to my predicament with the child support deduction(s) – except to buy a Lotto ticket and hope that sooner rather than later I can write ****-off cheques to all and sundry. Please feel free to email ideas, messages of support or ask for my address where you can post money !

    Signed : Normal Honest Bloke Who Loves His Kids But Is Getting Majorly Dicked Around By The System And Is Only Hanging On By A Thread

    Comment by Kent Richardson — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 3:36 pm

  5. I too, am one of many it seems, that is being unfairly treated by this so called “fair” legislation. I currently pay $957 per month for ONE child.
    I have no opposition to paying (a fair amount)towards the upkeep of my child but when I see my ex and her new partner with two incomes and the fact that I dont have a rightful say in what MY money is spent on for my child, it makes me furious.
    These so called politicians need a wake-up call. They are obviously either living elsewhere or just simply do not know what is happening in the real world.
    Get rid of this unjust child support act and give us back our lives!

    Comment by Phil — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 3:56 pm

  6. I haven`t experienced anything before in life, as this child tax they are
    collecting. When children are withheld from a parent to force them to sign a beneficial contract with the other party or they will go to the IRD to increase the child tax. The IRD is too happy to oblige.

    Yes, it is true in my case. The IRD increase my child tax to a third
    more after my children was withheld from me. I believe advice was
    giving to my ex by her lawyer to withheld my children from me until I
    sign a beneficial financial contract with her. I was already paying a
    hefty child tax amount. They went back to the IRD and the amount was
    increased by a third! It left me unable to pay for my own
    accommodation and paying these excessive amounts was impossible.
    Letters to Michael Cullen and the IRD fell on death ears.

    I opted out of this forced system and kept records of my costs to my
    children. The IRD has send me a statement showing that I own $54 000.00 to date. Penalties and interest makes out a major part of that. I
    guess the next step for them is to bankrupt me so that I won`t have
    any money and then they can say they did it in the interest of the

    I`m surprised that these people get away with this, as I`m sure they
    are responsible for many fathers taking there own lives.

    All the best for Jim Nicholl`s splendid work in exposing what this child tax s actually doing.

    Comment by Kobus Abrie — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 4:02 pm

  7. I supported 3 other children plus 2 of my own and payed $700 a month for one other child not living under my roof. The review went poorly, even when I made the point that I wish I could give the children under my roof $700 a month. I paid regular and on time until I was made redundant and then they wacked me for penalties for the month between employed and benefit, and that was based on my employed salary. Even I had to pay CS on any bonus which is totally wrong and that can vary consideribly year to year

    Comment by Mike Ennis — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 4:35 pm

  8. David Cunliffe must be correct when he stated that “the level of payment is fair and that the system is based on sound principles”. That would explain why the National Manager of Child Support, David Udy, does not feel obliged to discuss, or even acknowledge, extreme examples of injustices caused by the Act. Obviously there aren’t any. Since Mr Cunliffe is happy with the Act then he won’t mind me stating that fact on the side of my car when the election campaign begins.

    Comment by Max Anderson — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 8:31 pm

  9. CS is not fair or reasonable: any formula that allows only $$21 for the support of an adult partner while insisting on $60 for a child is ridiculous. A levy on gross income is a tax on a tax and the administration is so woman biased – regardless of whether she is the liable or custodial parent – that it makes a mockery of any pretence to equality by the government or IRD. CS tears families apart and reducesfathers and children to tears and poverty – thats why its called CS: the chemical term for Tear Gas.

    Comment by Robert Murray — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 8:31 pm

  10. We are already paying tax by the means of general tax, now we are lumbered with a child tax too.

    The sudden separation leaves the husband with mostly all the debts like in my case. With no consideration or effort from the family courts, IRD or politicians to address the situation.

    You are without a home, with nothing on your name, maybe a vehicle and a suitcase full of clothes.

    It is so hard to make a new start with the IRD draining your last revenue.

    This is like a Gestapo that never ends.How hard must you fight to make a start again in life with IRD taking your shirt of your back. It takes years to recover and the women has the house, car and IRD support!

    It`s hard to loose so much and then being held back by IRD so that you cannot make a start again in life.

    Comment by Gert Swart — Tue 24th August 2004 @ 10:04 pm

  11. I really don’t know whether to feel ‘comforted’ by the fact that this IRD Child Tax thing seems to happen to everyone and that I am NOT alone Or whether to get even more angry because I am just another victim and it becomes a matter of “Hey – join the queue……”.
    Some of the above comments disturb me because I know at this very moment I cannot pay my rent and face having to live out of a suitcase – so what happens to my ‘house lot’ of possessions….. It seems the system is begging for us to either be dishonest or do something desparate. For instance I have a number of questions regarding declaring bankruptcy and/or faking my own disappearance etc etc Please feel free to email or contact me with ideas, messages of support or comments. Cheers Kent Ph 09 834 0277 [email protected]

    Comment by Kent Richardson — Thu 26th August 2004 @ 12:07 pm

  12. I paid child support for my son for years who was alienated from me as a result of false and subsequently unproved allegations against me. His mother had by then taken up a relationship with a new partner who moved away to another part of the country. The first I knew about it was seeing thier $450,000 Hamilton lakeside house featured on the front page of the property section of NZ Herald. Meanwhile I was an opp-shopping adult student bereft of money after lengthy, costly and ultimately futile dealing with our femily caught system. Did Child ‘support’ give a shit? Yeah right.
    Naive old me. They must have had a field day (ex, ex’s new partner, family court lawyers, court staff, child support staff, every feminist and closet feminist I knew).

    When I live in a country where I find these sorts of things aren’t unusual but happening routinely I cannot help but think men there need to totally rethink going into relationships and having kids period.
    Misandry. Tell me about it.
    And now I’m teaching over 100 South Korean kids each week. We laugh, we hug, tease, challenge, support and console each other and they make great strides in learning in lovely, safe, and highly productive relationships free from NZ’s stinking PC femthink.
    NZ’s loss. Korea’s gain.
    Divine justice some might say.

    Stephen Gee.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Thu 26th August 2004 @ 1:04 pm

  13. Child Support has too little flexability and is undermining itself.

    How? It does not recognise or encourage the “non-custodial” parent to be involved with their children. Being a loving and effective parent is not a mathmatical equation.

    It makes it easier for a liable parent to giveup and quit paid employment and head to the black market or benefit. It takes thousands of dollars, years of work and study and ongoing commitment to have the income Child Support taxes.

    Instead the focus is on 1st money for the government, if that’s met then money for the custodial parent, then the children. And what support, assistance or recognition is given to the one being held as liable? Very little.

    Child Support is cutting off the very people it dependent on.

    Comment by Nik — Mon 30th August 2004 @ 9:58 am

  14. A question for Cunliffe and Co.: How do children benefit from only seeing one parent?

    My children arrived in my world as a result of the union of two people. Their arrival humbled me; I felt awed that this wonderful gift will look to me for love, hugs, self-esteem, guidance and leadership – in short a role model.

    My Team are three strong: an elder boy and, two years his junior, boy-girl fraternal twins. Mine are wonderful children (not that I have any bias) and I love them dearly.

    Child Support has now forced me to a point where I may no longer be able to maintain an environment that will allow me to see my children. Who benefits from this?

    Certainly not my children and certainly not me.

    Open your eyes Cunliffe; think with your brain; listen with your ears – figure out that the Child Support police state that you so strongly support is based on unsound principles that DISADVANTAGE both parents and children.

    Then work it out that your current stance on this big issue is very unlikely to get you re-elected. Our time is nigh and we will speak with our votes!

    The police state that is child support cannot continue.

    Parents are responsible and I certainly wish to contribute reasonably to my children’s upbringing.

    My contribution is much broader than just an unreasonably large financial one. Like others I am unwilling to submit to a sentence in penury imposed by an unthinking and uncaring socialist/communist police state in the guise of a Labour governement.

    Remember Cunliffe, we can and will vote against you at the next election…bye-bye enormous salary, bye-bye perks, bye-bye lunch at Bellamy’s, bye-bye Cunliffe.

    Take heart all liable parents and be ready, our time is coming.

    Comment by Mark Shipman — Mon 30th August 2004 @ 10:50 am

  15. The Child Support Act and its administration by the IRD is a mess and David Cunliffes comments would seem to indicate that he has no idea how harmful this Act can be toward the very people it claims to be working for – CHILDREN.
    I constantly hear horror stories from both sides of the fence – these seem to indicate that the Act is working for very few people.
    How many liable parents have been forced to flee the country due to the inflexible nature of the Act? This leaves children without one parent and IRD to persecute those that stay behind even more to make up for the lost income. A vicious circle that needs to be broken and broken quickly.
    Time to get real Cunliffe. Let parents who what to support their children do it! Personally I don’t need IRDs interference and I will be standing up before I see money collected in my child’s name pissed down the toilet and burnt in cloud of illegal smoke. The worm is turning Mr Cunliffe so how about learning about what you are talking about before you make such harmful comments?

    Comment by Glen — Tue 31st August 2004 @ 8:33 pm

  16. According to Mr Cunliffe, I am one of those who ‘flee the country’, to avoid paying child support. Of course, if I was looking for ‘somewhere to hide’ I would only have to go a little further than Australia, where, according to this ridiculous system, I could choose to be assessed on my overseas income, or my New Zealand income.

    Instead, I have chosen to deal with IRD from Australia, where the unfairness that all so-called ‘liable parents’ must face is amplified by distance. Here is how:

    In Australia, the cost of living is higher than it is in New Zealand. Wages are also generally higher. I get hit twice by this reality: once when I pay my rent, food and bills and again when my ‘high’ income is converted to NZ dollars and a child support liability calculated accordingly.

    Child Support is calculated on gross income. So are all the other necessary
    expenses: tax 25%; Australian student loan 5.5%; Compulsory superannuation 5%. Compulsory NZ student loan payments are a flat rate based on my loan balance. Last year this was another 5%. The system ensures that I do not see 60% my income, which is already well below the Australian average.

    If I want to keep in touch with my daughter, I pay the phone bill and for
    flights between Australia and NZ. IRD will not consider this unless I can
    produce receipts (no, travel documents are not OK) that total greater than 5% of my gross income.

    If you move from NZ to Australia beware: your annual assessment will be based on income earned over 15 months, because of the differences in the NZ and Australian tax years.

    These problems should highlight the fact that every liable parent in Australia is subject to special circumstances, yet we are assessed as if we are magically earning Australian incomes and living next door to our kids.

    More than that, it should highlight the fact that each of us ‘liable parents’ find ourselves in special circumstances which the system is designed to be too rigid to consider.

    The only ‘basic truth’ of Child Support is its assumption that a father, unless living with his children and their mother, is a selfish bugger who does no parenting and has no other responsibilities, while the mother is completely selfless, devoting all her time (and child support payments) to ensuring that the children are emotionally and financially supported. If this situation exists somewhere, perhaps Mr Cunliffe might like to point it out to us.

    Comment by Iain Sutherland — Fri 10th September 2004 @ 5:29 pm

  17. to think that these assholes that make up these abscene rules that make a working man pay exchobant rates of child support are earning 10 times what the avg bloke makes. I bet that the laws would change real fast if they had to pay 80% of their income.

    Yes I am anoth bloke who is having to pay. Except my ex took my children out of the country. Good news is that if this happens you can have it STOPPED. But you have to tell then to stop as they are no longer in NZ. only 1 little problem: they dont tell you that they can do this.
    I thought that IRD data matched with immagration…….. but only when it suits them.

    Comment by Merv — Mon 11th September 2006 @ 9:40 pm

  18. My husband had a child born here in Australia with his ex – after they split up she took the child back to NZ without his consent or knowledge – now NZ IRD wants him to pay child support based on NZ dollars – hence his income here of $37,000 has had an exchange rate added (a terrible one too i might add) and an inflation rate of 3.2% – hence his income has now become $46,500. This is nothing short of obscene – he doesnt earn NZ dollars!! This is crippling our family and my family tax benefit for our 2 children is now spent (some of it) on child support. NZ IRD should have no say in this matter – his child was born here and should still be here! He should be assessed under an Australian assessment. He has no contact with his child either.

    Comment by rachel — Tue 30th January 2007 @ 3:35 pm

  19. eoibibzyeboqxvauwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch 😉

    Comment by rornsorbneift — Tue 30th December 2008 @ 4:13 am

  20. Kent, I sincerely hope by now things have worked in favour of you getting to see your girls, I know I know how much you miss them. Hope life in general is better and you are once again a happy man

    Comment by julie — Wed 15th April 2009 @ 12:50 am

  21. The state needs more and more cash to pay for massive expenses , pensions for the MPs, judges, generals, police commissioners, they reduce their losses from DPB due to their choice to encourage divorce and therefore DPB payments to single mothers.
    That is why the drastic measures to destroy father-kid relationships, hysterial doemstic violence campaigns. IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY FOR THE STATE

    Comment by a listener — Wed 15th April 2009 @ 3:25 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Please note that comments which do not conform with the rules of this site are likely to be removed. They should be on-topic for the page they are on. Discussions about moderation are specifically forbidden. All spam will be deleted within a few hours and blacklisted on the stopforumspam database.

This site is cached. Comments will not appear immediately unless you are logged in. Please do not make multiple attempts.

Skip to toolbar