Says It All
The following is a letter the ‘apparent’ writer could have written.
Jane laid this out for me just last week when I met her at a scuba diving course and over numerous intervening coffees. Remember, when you read this, she was at a scuba-diving course.
The word ‘brazen’ is just too mild a word to describe the transparency with which she related her story. The substance is correct to her words. The format is mine.
I cannot remember feeling so angry when I heard this diatribe.
Dear New Zealand,
My name is Jane. I’m now 34 years old.
I left school in 1995 with modest marks in NCEA. I couldn’t get a job after I left school so I went on the dole for a couple of years. Then I couldn’t get a job I wanted to do so I stayed on the dole for a couple more years.
So the dole, trading a few drugs, and screwing a few older guys for the stuff they bought me and the money they gave, got me money enough to party on and have a good time.
Then at 22 I met Jeff. He was full of life, had a fab job, seemed to be all energy and plans. He was soooo positive about everything, and he fell in love with me. I liked him a lot but I didn’t love him.
Jeff was into his sport, his job, buying a house for us, doing all the good-keen-man stuff, and he would do anything for me even though I wouldn’t do ‘anything’ for him. By that I mean, I did the minimum to get by and keep the peace.
Then Jeff wanted kids. I didn’t really want them but he had this plan for a wonderful family all living on Walton’s Mountain in the burbs. And so I went off the pill and let him have kids. It made a real mess of my body. Now my boobs sag, I’ve got stretch-marks and will probably never see size-12 again.
Kids really are a pain, y’know. The first one, Eric, screamed for most of the first three months, and Emily got her tricks from spewing after every meal till she was two. It really did start to wear me down after a while. There’s me. Stuck at home. No job….not that I wanted one less than being some famous person. No qualifications to get a job anyway, and stuck with Jeff-the-whirlwind, and two kids who always wanted to take the time I didn’t feel I had to give.
Anyway, time went by, the kids got to seven and eight, and I started getting really bored with Jeff always coming up with some new plan designed to get my butt off the couch. And I just got sick of it.
A couple of more years of boredom went by and I started to look at my options.
A friend, Sally, who was getting the odd biff from her old man,…and probably deserved it given she can be a real bitch at times… introduced me to DPB. Wooo! Now there was an answer. All I had to do was get Jeff off the scene and I could live without any responsibilities.
Sally had already done the beaten-woman number on the Family Court and had added whole bunch of other stuff just to make sure her claim stuck. She suggested I could throw Jeff under the bus at the Family Court, and get custody of the kids. Then share a house with her, not tell WINZ we were sharing, and get on with having a really cruisey life. And so that’s what we did.
I was a bit nervous at first, but it turned out to be so easy.
I got a lawyer for free, told her all sorts of shit about Jeff, and she coached me into using the right terms for the court. I lied my head off and nobody ever asked me to prove anything I said. By the time I’d finished (got custody of the kids) the court believed Jeff had interfered with Emily, had beaten me senseless almost daily, withheld money, cheated on me, called me names for being a dead-beat mother, and so the list went on.
Of course, he didn’t do or say any of those things, the poor wee dear worshiped the ground I walk on. But hey! It’s the new age, eh? First in, best dressed. All for one and I’ll be the one, thanks.
Jeff could have brought God hisself along to court as his personal witness and the court would still have believed me.
There was insufficient evidence for the police to charge Jeff. Of course because none of it was true. In fact my lawyer told me that the last thing I wanted to do was to try to press charges because then the charges would be tested in the real court, and that could really screw things up. But in the Family Court any old thing goes, and girls rock!
And so, after a few months of drama, Jeff was not allowed to see his kids, I got custody and a shit-load of money and benefits, just like Sally said I would get.
Me and Sally now share a house, (a really flash, 4 bedroom number with 3 bathrooms) both of us claim individual accommodation benefits, cos the system is too slack to match addresses and the ‘friendly’ landlord gave us separate tenancy agreements for half each. Cost us each a couple of bonks, but hey! Who cares? Fortunately, the landlord is a big boy. Ya need a big boy after a couple of kids. So it was all good really.
One of my kids acted out really well (it took a bit of coaching but we got there) and so now I also get a disability allowance for my son. Of course, I also get medical travel allowances, clothing allowances, cheap doctors fees, dental allowances, and so the list goes on. And every month, just after Jeff’s big fat payment turns up in my account I get a huge box of free pull-ups which my kid hasn’t needed since foreverbut they keep sending them. (I get these sent to me by courier and then sell them at the markets).
Plus WINZ helped me buy a flash car, and they help with the repairs. It’s a really great system, this WINZ.
With Jeff’s payments, plus all the stuff I get from WINZ, plus the money I pull in from the markets and few other things I do for cash, I really have a great life. I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind telling a few innocent porkies to some bored judge who doesn’t care anyway.
Jeff would’ve paid more but I made the mistake of writing to his boss while I was putting the boot in, and Jeff got fired. His new job pays ten grand a year less, so that cost me sixty bucks a week. Silly move, eh? My advice is, keep it all in the Family Court, then you get the max.
The kids are always at me for this and that, but I make sure they understand the reason they can’t have this and that is; I simply don’t have the money left over after partying, a bit of fun-medication, clothes, getting my hair done, this scuba course…and I want to do Fiji this year; you know, the essentials of a girl’s life.
And now, just for drill, both Sally and I have live-ins. They add cash to the pot and we use them to baby-sit while we go out. All they want is a bonk now and then. They even pick up their own take-away wrappers, do their own laundry, and they buy all the booze for us and take-aways for the kids.
Sally and I reckon we have to wait only another 18 months and we can toss these tossers under the bus and stick it them for more maintenance, and get two new ones to take up the slack.
Sally…she’s really smart, eh? She reckons that if we turn over new live-ins every three years, have a kid by each one, then we can living like royalty within about six years. Works for me. Me work? Get real!
All-in-all, I have to say that thanks to the Family Court. I’m living a really good life. And every day I wake up wondering at what a fabulous country I live in.
But what really pisses me off is the kids forever going on about wanting to see their father. What’s so bloody special about him? After all, I’m the one who wakes up and feeds them, most times. I’m the one who has to put up with their constant nagging for clothes, food, entertainment…none of which I can really afford because I have my own life to consider, you know!
So what’s so bloody special about him? I ask you.
Frankly, if this government could find a way to simply pay me what it pays me now, then Jeff could have the bloody kids and they could all play happy-families or whatever families do. But, you see, because I would have to get a job if I let Jeff have the kids, I’d have to go to work! UG! Oh no! For the grand or so a week I get from WINZ, Jeff and my little side enterprises, there’s no way I’m going to swap that for becoming a worker. Why should I? You guys and girls set the rules. All I’m doing is fitting in.
And who really gives a shit if the kids do or don’t see their father. Do you? I don’t! Sure, my kids are growing up to be dead-beats, but that’s probably their father’s genes causing that.
Go the Family Court, I say.
wonder what would happen if something like this got stuck outside the FC’s regularly… hornets nest is what comes to mind
How he %^&(O^(P did you get hold of my ex’s story????
Oh god I wish this wasn’t true.
It appalls me that people would abuse the system like this. And it appalls me more that they would be so blatantly proud of doing it. Obviously I am not clever enough to exploit the system properly. My experience of the DPB is that it is only enough to get the bare essentials – perhaps I am the wrong demographic-I was investigated within 3 months of going on it. I have one more year of study then I will be delighted to get back to work and not have to buy all my clothes at Warehouse and $2 recycled clothing shops. I don’t understand how this woman gets child support at the same time-usually this goes straight to Winz if you are on DPB.
And just in case anyone wants to shoot me down for being on the DPB – I already feel that I am exploiting the system by getting the TIA but it is there to be used and was too great an opportunity to pass up. I have done nothing illegal, I haven’t lied to anyone and I have enough guilt that I am thinking of ways that I can voluntarily give something back to society with the degree that I will have. I was thinking of womens refuge but after having been on this site for a while perhaps I will think again!!
Chrissy, Well from my perspective you are utilising the DBP for the right purpose.
My mum was on the DPB, my Ex was also on it as was my current partner like your self they have all made a difference to society after there studies to the betterment of New Zealand. If it has allowed you to better your self and allow you to improve the living standard of your family then it is worth the cost to the Tax payer. I am sure after your degree that you will be more than successful and maybe the Women’s Refuge needs to see another point of view so to help families as a whole. I have always wondered why there is not a Men’s refugee.
I to also hope that that letter is not correct but seeing it talks about NCEA in 1995 it is likely to be false as well as the comment about child support as it goes to the State unless it is over the amount of the DPB being paid but I will say it is in this case but this is not to say it has not happened and is not happening.
Meanwhile I’m over in Korea, paying 5% income tax, teaching approximately 100 kids each week and being asked by parents to touch thier kids more to show more warmth!
It seems like a world away from the insanity of gynocentric nz.
Yes it is a sad world when we demand men to be more nurturing and sensitive and then put the fear of god into them so that they are uneasy even bathing their own children.
You probably have read that there were recently 2 cases where male teachers have been acquitted of abusing pupils and there is worry that men will drop out of teaching all together. If kids from separated households don’t get to see father much and then don’t have male teachers then they have lost a great opportunity to have a male role-model. I went to a barbeque a while back with a solo mother who had a son and it was amazing how he thrived on the attention from the fathers there.
Back to the alleged Jane Doe- perhaps this is a conglomeration of several stories of women abusing the system.
This post worries me. For starters this is not true because it is impossible to happen.
They don’t help people unless they are already paying for a car prior to going on a benefit.
And I don’t know what is wrong with this man. The men I know in situations like this would have taken the kids and walked out along time ago. You must be aware that there are heaps of fathers as main caregivers.
Raising children requires self sacrafice. If this woman was hating being a mother it would have shown up at some stage to some-one.
You cannot get a grand a week for 2 children unless they were very ill and there was alot of specialists involved costing alot of money.
I hate to tell you this but I think ‘you have been played.’
girls.. situation: if you are capable of working and earning to support your child.. would you
a) stop work and go on a benefit just because a system is there for you to use
b) earn on your own efforts to support yourself and child
c)earn at a lower salary level than you are capable of aand head to the nearest WINZ office for “extras”
D) utilise the system just because it is there without making an effort of your own.
I am capable of working and supporting my child myself but chose to go on DPB cos was available to do so and have help with study. guess that makes me an a) or d). (get the knives out)
so pretty much a situation where you are capable of walking but choose to use a wheelchair…??
yes with the expectation of being able to run in the near future
A) because parenting is more important. But I think work has it’s benefits so I would also include C)
and yes I agree with comment 10.
But I would add that many women earn more than the DPB so you should have an E)
Since you agree parenting is important.. that’s okay but why are men penalised for earning for their families during a separation.. isn’t supporting your family important too?.. yes I can see arguments for going on benefit system.. but add to the above scenario.. what if all families went on a benefit?.. then what?
E would be covered by B
Chrissy.. comment 11.. so you would deprive someone who would really need the wheelchair just so you didn’t have to walk/ Or as per com11. run-… when there is no real reason for you to use the wheelchair? Why be a burden on the tax payer when you don’t have to be?
I am going to ask MSD, “How many men are on benefits?’ Because I don’t think it is all one sided. When I learn’t about people staying on the DPB for good (until pension?)when they turn 50 I learn’t it from a male that had been planning this for years. He doesn’t want National in because that will bring change. I asked 2 single mothers if they knew about it and they knew nothing.
A single male parent was telling me how difficult it was to work over the holidays and paying for ‘care’ for his kids. He works 2 jobs. A single mother was having the same problem and then her ex paid only $200 for child support for the month for 4 kids.
Where does it all balance?
I think it all comes down to individuals and like you say, ‘Ethics.’
Well as I’ve stated before I do have guilt about taking the DPB. I could get the same money if I went off it and used the child support money instead. If I tried to work and study parttime then I will be pushing 50 by the time I finish-also it is nice to have time with my daughter while she is young and be able to be involved with some of her school activities. I have spent years bleating about people that use the system so I do appreciate the hypocrisy of me using it. The sad thing for me was the Winz case managers delight that someone actually wanted to do some study and was planning to go back to work. In my case I was working fulltime, child in creche all day, I felt guilty because I felt others were bringing up my child, I was tired and burnt out. We went through a restructure and there was an option to take redundancy so I took it. It was while I was looking for another job and re-evaluating my life that I decided to study law. Seemed a good idea to be studying while child at school so I could be part of the activities. She will be 8 when I graduate which I hope will make it easier for her to have to go to after school care. I don’t regret my decision- I will hopefully get a good job at the end of my training, I have been able to make sure that my daughter has been well established at school and I’m not as stressed as I used to be. My quick calculation is I will get $75k over the 4 years study. around $63k is what I would get in child support so i owe the tax-payer around $12k and $63k to my daughter for not getting child support.
COMMENT 14… chances are the woman with 4 kids made sure the father did not get shared care of the kids so they ended up with her?..hence her complaint about expenses since she cant handle it anymore..probably the “plan” backfired longterm?.. so yeah ethics is a must in all situations.. you play fair.. you get fair. and for your comment.. a single male working 2 jobs to pay for care of his kids… thats what fathers do whetehr they are seperated or together with their family.. but are often overlooked for their efforts. the media and the current common idealogy glorifies any small act a mother does but overlooks all sacrifices a father makes. Do fathers deserve such negligence/ ignorance?..
Chrissy … so you are saying 15g’s a year goes entirely to your daughter and her care?.. or are you dipping into it?
cos if you look at the Living expenses allowed by IRD for an adult.. it is 14G (with one child.. I understand you both have 1 kid?) … so in other words you are saying and in ratio.. living exp for an adult living by themselves is 14G which is equivalent to paying child support of 15G for 1 kid living with a parent?
Am getting a bit confused myself now!!
My ex is paying about $1000/month childsupport. I get around $305/week DPB plus approx $3000/year training allowance. When I was working, the child support was around $800/month, $600 went on childcare and $200 into childs account. So what I was trying to say was that I would owe the taxpayer the TIA money and the child support is near enough the same as DPB so technically that money would have been spent on childcare and surplus in her account.
Chrissy yo comment”When I was working, the child support was around $800/month, $600 went on childcare and $200 into childs account. ”
so you were fully hitting your ex for childcare- in other words your ex was fully paying for the child the two of you bought into the world together… what about your contribution to your child? Are you implying
1. either your ex is not interested in having the child on a shared care or
2. the jane doe story as applicable..?
If shared care was in place.. or the ex wanted shared care but you did not agree then ethically where is your financial contribution?
If not then.. given you are entitled.
Starr seems to be taking you on a journey. He does make us think which is really cool and different from what I am used to.
I don\’t think you should bother about working what you owe tax payers. If I was to start on tax-payers money I\’d start on the people charging $400+ per hour per person for something that is ridiculous. Look at what the police are paying to teach 35 cops to be polite to the public. $300 per day per person over 3 days. $314,000 in total. I could teach them how to be customer friendly for $10,000.
Your benefit is petty to what trusts are claiming for. When you finish your degree, you will be a bigger tax payer for it so you are an asset not a liability.
Now Starr, your comment for that please.
PS. Chrissy, just got my paper results back and passed both my papers. Do you have your results back?
Regarding your comment 16.
I don’t know whether this particular women having 4 kids stopped the father from sharing the children. But I can tell you that I like the father who works 2 jobs. He is a neat guy and absolutely loves his kids.
Even though we discuss the good men or were to discuss the good women I am sure you are aware not everyone is like that.
Sometimes when one person takes the initiative to work hard the other becomes lazy. When they know that the children are being well taken care of they just step back and care for themselves. Which is their loss.
Now all of these people will tell you their story how things were unfair for them so thus their actions but I don’t buy that too easily. If I or you were to give sympathy don’t you think we would be doing them a disfavour. I mean isn’t it sometimes best to be tough. (tough love)
congrats Julie for passing.
now in answer to “Your benefit is petty to what trusts are claiming for. When you finish your degree, you will be a bigger tax payer for it so you are an asset not a liability.
Now Starr, your comment for that please
the key word here is “when”.. but whats important is doing the right thing “now” not “when” because we know the saying about “tomorrow”.
Secondly as i understand Chrissy is doing law?.. so your comment about trusts apply here?.. all lawyers i know have trusts setup and like to get paid to their trusts so asset or liability?.. hmmm.. food for thought.
not sure what you meant hewre julie “If I or you were to give sympathy don’t you think we would be doing them a disfavour. I mean isn’t it sometimes best to be tough. (tough love” but if tough love were to apply then shouldn’t it apply equally?
My name is Jane. I’m now 34 years old.
I left school in 1995
Meaning she was about 23 when she left school?
Story sounds suspect………. Sorry it lacks credibility for me.
I think Chrissy is learning about the male’s side (as me) but I would not like to see her jump of the DPB just because it is ‘the right thing to do now’ in your opinion.
This DPB is David’s post and David’s issue to deal with. It has nothing to do with Chrissy’s life and for all you know she has better ‘ethics’ than others here.
I hope you don’t mind me jumping in on this but Chrissy seems to have a better chance to help once she becomes a lawyer and she has long term plans which will help her child.
Sorry, was trying to wean myself off this website a little bit-was becoming a bit addicted and other things getting ignored!!
Congrats Julie, tick another 2 papers off your list! I passed my half year paper and the mid years on 2 papers and waiting on one more result.
husband left before birth so no legal or wanted custody. He has open access.
It’s a long story and if I leave bits out I get shot down!! so I won’t bore you with it.
I believe most lawyers, accountants and other self-employed people have trust accounts to protect their assets. As I was flicking through family cases the other day there was one where the father had put all his assets into a trust account so he didnt pay child support. DPB not means tested so no point hiding assets to get it.
The ‘when’ of getting of DPB should be around March 2008. That is 4 years for degree and 3 months for professional exams. Apparently the starting salary for lawyers is around $25k (why am I bothering????) but am hoping my maturity(age wise) and previous work history will enable me to get a bit more.
I certainly believe that child support is for the child which is why she currently has more in her bank account than I do. Once I’m back to work I presume that I will go back to spending it on afterschool care and the surplus goes into her account. I think that is fair while the ex is earning a good income. obviously if he retires or becomes unemployed then we would have to look at it again. We have a reasonable relationship so is able to be discussed.
You posted –
“yes with the expectation of being able to run in the near future”
Newsflash – Continuing the metaphor -every day your cruising around in your ‘wheelchair’ letting your leg muscles waste many others are in constant training and only getting stronger as you get weaker.
In the race for the finish line (well paid jobs) you have as much chance as a snowball in hell.
If you recall the original Q I put forward had the gist of- when you can work and earn to support yourself and your child, would you leave work and go on DPB just because its there? And the response from Chrissy was “yes”..comment 11. The issue then became when you are capable of earning and supporting yourself.. do you necessarily have to go on DPB?
Now my opinion:- all I can see is a “religious fanatic” like approach to taking DPB because “I deserve it”. No logics to it. Esp when you can earn and support yourself. Why deliberately go on it when you don’t have to? Also you set a precedence your kids learn from it. ..My parents were on DPB .. I don’t have to work.. I will be on DPB etc. we all forget our kids observe our actions and adopt it. Do we want that for our kids or do we want them to learn the value of hard work and striving to achieve their goals in life? Or do we want them to adopt the culture of let others “wipe our butts” for us..
the issue is not whetehr Chrissy stays on DPB or not… its pretty much – do you have to use a system unethically just because it is there?.. and believe me this comment appliesto all aspects of family law as well If you think about it
So Starr, Can you work full time, look after a child full time and Study full time…?
If you can you had better bottle it as most of us will buy it.!!
You describe the women that are in power and the women that are yet to go into power. Thanx.
I hear what you are saying. It is a joke. Do you know how many of your own gender have given up and sit on benefits?
Not sure how my comment infers anything to do with women.
SNMP… there is a thing called organising yourself… but then whne you have a job and are looking after a child.. why do you yhave to go study again when you should have done it in your single years?.. thats called future planning. ( face it realistically- no parent out there looks after a kid full time period. whether they are working or not. if they say they do i will show you a lier. ) so again why be a burden?
Julie:.. this is not about gender but since you have bought it up… why do you think that is so?.. discussions with most fathers on DPB reveal.. they had good jobs but were forced into taking DPB as an outlet because of the games and vindictiveness recieved from their ex’s. now you know exactly what i mean here so i won’t specify. if your gender as you would like to refer cannot be ethical and straight.. why does your gender want mine to be fair to you? be ethical.. you give out what you expect to recieve should be the norm?.. or as the bible says “do unto others…”
Personally I think I am well organised but you never know. Well not sure what sort of job you have but most people in professional employment are required to study and certification yearly. My primarily employment alone requires at least 12 re-certifications per year, each of which is a 3 hour exam plus the required study as the pass level is 85% minimum. Also so your thoughts on doing study in your Single life honestly is a joke, I have been a dedicated parent since I was 16. So not all of us have had the drunken and care free teenage years.
Well I do know of parents that look after there children Full time, including home schooling.
I am sorry for attacking you regarding your questioning of women and the DPB.
I 100% know where you are coming from and yet I changed from rationally discussing it to becoming emotional about it. I am the first to admit I have lots of flaws and I know I am inconsistant on alot of matters. I just want you to know that because it is my problem and not yours and that I do think your challenges give alot of food for thought and from that comes knowledge.
I think that many times people are challenged, they don’t appreceiate it at first but later when they think about it. And that the one challenging gets crap thrown at them at first and then gets thanked later on.
comment 32… don’t you think you becoming a parent at 16 was your irresponsible behaviour and careless experimentation…. becos i know for certain your becoming a parent at 16 was not planned… not planned because you were not ready to support a child, you were not established enough to take on extra responsibility… so you comment”Also so your thoughts on doing study in your Single life honestly is a joke” … i would say get real and face up to your demons which you are ignoring… you were not responsible enough to plan for yourself hence the situation you ended up.
Any person out there knows that every action has consequences.. irresponsible behaviour just tends to brush this aspect aside… but the consequences remain.
if you could not plan the basics for yourself.. no one else will do it for you.
Oh starr you are so perfect… Oh why Oh why can’t we all be like you. LOL.. NOT
I guess you have never in your life made a mistake… I have and I accept every one of them… Yes at 16 my daughter was not planned, but hay she is on this earth now and I love her dearly and would and do anything for her.
Well a wake up call for you starr, I have financially supported my children there whole life.. Maybe you can’t say the same. So how about you face up to your own demons… Mine are more than happy and I sleep well at night…
and would and do anything for her.
“I have financially supported my children there whole life.. Maybe you can’t say the same”
NICE.. getting defensive are you..
based on this all i can say is you do not know what you are talking about most of the time.. refer to your comments 32 and 35 where you refer to accepting your mistakes…
if you really did these comments would not have arisen.. looks dark i know.. come to terms with it buddy.. then look at things logically..
my demons.. i love them becos they make me look at things realistically.. and not fantasize.. pity others just don’t happen to be that strong.
Starr in the nicest possible way. Starr you need to get over your self…
Me Defensive; you don’t know the meaning of it.
Starr and SNMP,
Don’t forget, you are both on the same team.