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Taxman’s rules: Father until proven innocent

Filed under: Child Support — JohnPotter @ 10:53 am Sun 15th May 2005

Ross Hill opens bills with what has become a familiar dread.

There are the standard accounts – power, phone, credit card. And then, inevitably, the letter from the IRD, demanding $220 a month in child support for an 11-year-old Australian girl he has never met.

The letters started coming 15 months ago, but since then Hill has come no closer to verifying whether he is the girl’s father, or even establishing contact with the girl and her mother.

Hill never knew of the girl until the first letter arrived in February last year, saying the IRD would collect his payments on behalf of Australia’s Child Support Agency (CSA).

While he admits having a relationship with the girl’s mother years ago, Hill says he was in a residential rehabilitation centre at the time of conception. He has been trying for more than a year to resolve the paternity issue through a DNA test, saying he would happily pay for child support if it showed he was the father.

But the CSA is refusing to review its position and consider a DNA test unless Hill can produce records showing he was in the centre at the time – records he says appear to have been lost.

Hill says the CSA is now asking for more than $7000 – and any possibility of arranging a DNA test of his own accord is hampered by the CSA’s refusal to give him the woman’s contact details.

Hill’s lawyer, Gary Clarke, said the situation was frustrating and unfair.

“It seems to me (the system) is considerably weighted in favour of a woman,” he said. “They can assess a man for child support on the say-so of a woman, yet he can’t get it reviewed unless he can provide records showing otherwise.”


  1. Yet another shining example of the Anti-clark’s re-engineering agenda at work: anti-parent (the “Dad” in question becomes a walking cheque book) and anti-child (it doesn’t matter that the girl will benefit from having her Dad involved in her life).

    A message to the Anti-clark and all of her worshippers: parents and children have had enough of your anti-parent, anti-child, anti-family agenda.

    If your child hood was SO bad that you have unresolved issues still, go and see a therapist and stop trying to remake New Zealand.

    Bring back a “family friendly” (apologies for the plagiarism) New Zealand. Get rid of the Anti-clark, the funny-boys, the funny-girls and the feminazis!

    You are neither liked nor wanted in New Zealand – so go away and leave us alone.

    Just outr of curiosity, has anyone thought to put this Dad in touch with Parents for Children or NZ Child Support Reform Network?

    Comment by Sparx — Mon 16th May 2005 @ 9:14 am

  2. hmm, a thorny issue. it’s pretty obvious who the mother of a child is – she’s the one with the giant belly for nine months. it’s also much easier for men to run away from the baby in question, before it’s born. a woman can hardly run away from her baby in the same way a man can.

    perhaps the law should be biased towards women on this particular issue?

    Comment by damian — Tue 17th May 2005 @ 4:35 pm

  3. With DNA testing it is pretty obvious who the father is (or isn’t) too, just watch for more moves like that described in the article, which make it hard for men to access these tests.

    a woman can hardly run away from her baby in the same way a man can

    What about abortion? Could a man make that choice?

    Also, running away is occasionally the best option for a man, although I would strongly counsel any father to only do this if all else has failed.

    Comment by JohnP — Tue 17th May 2005 @ 5:48 pm

  4. if the woman is a pro-lifer, abortion isn’t an option.

    but the underlying issue here is probably communication. if the man and woman could properly communicate their wishes wrt the baby, then these issues could be avoided right from the word go.

    as masculinists we need to be addressing the underlying issues (ie lack of communication such as what happens here) rather than trying to come up with post-hoc fixes like law changes to be applied after-the-fact, when it’s too late to change the situation anyway.

    rather than developing compromises (remembering that while compromise means overall happiness is maximised, neither side gets exactly what they want) we should try to stop the situation where we have to compromise happening in the first place.

    Comment by damian — Tue 17th May 2005 @ 5:59 pm

  5. “as masculinists we need to be addressing the underlying issues (ie lack of communication such as what happens here)”

    Yes, I agree.

    “rather than trying to come up with post-hoc fixes like law changes”

    What we are concerned about in this case is the fact that the law has changed to disadvantage men ie: Ross Hill is guilty until proven innocent.

    We’re also worried about the possibility that future law changes may make it more difficult for fathers to do this – by requiring mother’s permission for DNA testing for example.

    Feminist Jurisprudence (more words worth searching on) regards the law as a tool to effect the redistribution of power – this is what is really going on here.

    Comment by JohnP — Tue 17th May 2005 @ 9:12 pm

  6. could you suggest an alternative tool to redistribute power in these problematic cases?

    Comment by damian — Tue 17th May 2005 @ 10:50 pm

  7. A great tool for redistributing power in these situations would be/will be the male birth control pill. It will turn the reproductive power dynamics of sexuality in heterosexual relationships on thier head. I suspect many women know this and that’s why they are deafeningly silent about it.

    Comment by Stephen — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 12:29 am

  8. could you suggest an alternative tool to redistribute power in these problematic cases?

    I don’t actually think that the State should be in the business of ‘redistributing power’ in the first place.

    Comment by JohnP — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 9:31 am

  9. stephen – yeah, that will be very interesting. i don’t think it’s just women who are being deafeningly quiet, i think it’s everyone. probably because it conflicts with the male gender role. it’s basically voluntary sterility, and part of being male (as our gender role tells us) is being virile.

    wow, that’s a really interesting point, thanks. i’ll certainly be bringing it up on saturday if it fits with context.

    johnp – i agree with you on that.

    do you think power needs to be redistributed in the first place?

    Comment by damian — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 2:53 pm

  10. Damian, grow some bollocks! The power has been redistributed and is being further redistributed as you argue a very moot point.

    Comment by Sparx — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 6:32 pm

  11. I don’t think ‘power needs to be redistributed’, no at least not in NZ (it’s a different story in countries where women do not have equal rights with men).

    What I do welcome are policies which increase the choices availiable to men and women, rather than those that promote gender discrimination.

    Comment by JohnP — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 7:00 pm

  12. johnp – ok, i understand, and i think that’s a valiant goal for policies. i think we’d probably disagree on what counts as gender discrimination but other than that i agree with you fully.

    ps, cheers for your continued engagement with my /arguments/ rather than my beliefs, personality or background, john. i very, very much appreciate the chance to understand where you are coming from.

    sparx – if power has been fully distributed, as you assert, can you explain why there are many, many more male school principals than female school principals, many, many more male ceo’s than female ceo’s, and why men still earn on average much more money than women?

    Comment by damian — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 11:47 pm

  13. Damian,
    Those positions you list in your last posting as being predominantly filled by men are STRESSFUL. It seems most women won’t go near them when they find out the huge sacrifices neccessary to hold such positions successfully. The same could also be said of many other of what are called the 3D professions – Dirty, Dangerous and Disposable.

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 20th May 2005 @ 1:04 am

  14. Stephen,

    That’s why the metal plates in the middle of the road are called “man-hole covers”.

    As Billy C has been heard to say “The ******* day a ******** woman climbs down there to work in the s**t – then they can ******** call it a person-*******-hole cover!”

    As you say, if it’s stressful or dirty or dangerous, highly likely a man will be doing the job.

    Comment by Sparx — Thu 2nd June 2005 @ 5:47 pm

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