The current legislation is an illegal under the Bill of Rights 1990.
The current legislation is an income tax levied on certain parents and not on others. I refer to it as a child tax because that is in fact what it is. It is an illegal tax under the NZ Bill of Rights.
There is nothing in the legislation that relates to the cost of caring for a child.
The money collected under this legislation is based on income of a certain minority. There is very little provision for any other factor other than the income of this minority group. The income of the receiving party is not considered by this legislation. The main point is that it is an income tax. It is not a cost-of-caring-for-child tax.
There is no requirement, monitoring or control for money collected under this legislation to be spent on caring for a child. The money can and is spent on anything at all.
The money collected under this legislation goes either to the government consolidated fund or it goes to whomever the receiving party chooses. What I mean by this is that the person who is nominated to receive this money can elect to have the money sent directly to anyone they like for any reason. It could be directed straight to their TAB account for example. The legislation explicitly provides that the money can go to someone other than the person nominated as being a carer of the child. This is but one example in the legislation that makes it clear that it is a form of tax to be used by the recipient anyway desired.
“The NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 can protect your rights in two ways:
– The Courts can recognise your rights. However, the Courts may need to balance your rights against the rights of others and the interest of the whole community.
– The Bill of Rights requires the Attorney General to report to Parliament if any proposed law appears inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. The government will have to justify the need for such a law.
The Act says that any limits on your rights must be reasonable.”
“3. Non-Discrimination and Minority Rights
You have the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation.” 
 Source Ministry of Justice: http://www.courts.govt.nz/pubs/other/pamphlets/2001/bill_rights_act.html
The current legislation clearly discriminates against a minority in the community based on marital and family status in favour of another group based on their marital and family status.
The legislation must therefore pass the test of balancing the rights of the people being taxed against the rights of others and the interest of the whole community
The current legislation does not protect the rights or interests of the child.
As stated previously the current legislation has nothing at all to do with the cost of caring for the child. There is no requirement, monitoring or control that the money must be spent in the child’s interests. In fact the legislation explicitly allows for the money to be spent on other things.
There is only a vague relationship between the care of the child and who gets the money collected. For example much of the money goes to the government. More importantly, in general the care of the child by the person being taxed is not considered.
As the current legislation has been amended over and over again, clauses that may have provided some protection to the rights of the child have been explicitly removed. There Trend of law makers with this legislation illustrates that the intent of the legislation has moved even further away from protecting the rights of the child and further towards an income tax.
This means that the current legislation does not balance the rights of the child against the fact that is discriminates against a minority of people based on marital status and family status.
It also does not protect the interests of other children involved in blended families. In fact it makes their lives more difficult.
I am not aware of any research or evidence that the community is better off with this current legislation. There are arguments based on ideology and anecdotal evidence both ways on this point. Part of the problem with assessing the net outcome for the community is that the legislation has no relation to the cost for caring for the child. Part of the problem is that the simplistic assumptions of the legislation are ideological, outdated and deeply flawed. Part of the problem is that the implementation of the legislation is a failure. A large number of people can not or will not comply with this system. An even greater number are experiencing real hardship and loss of freedom in order to try to comply.
In addition when considering the interests of the community an erroneous assumption is made that insufficient money would be made available to care for the child. This is not substantiated by the available evidence.
Further more if this legislation was determined to be illegal under the Bill of Rights it would clearly be replaced by other child focused and equitable legislation. In other words the comparison is not between this legislation and having no scheme at all. When weighing the interests of the community of this legislation one must consider that rather than no scheme, some other scheme based on the cost of raising a child would replace it.
Hence the current legislation fails the test of whether the discrimination against one minority based on family status and marital status is balanced by the rights of others and the interests of the whole community.
The current scheme is illegal under the NZ Bill of Rights 1990.
I also believe it is illegal under UN conventions of human rights.
The current scheme is NOT a child support scheme it is a minority income tax scheme.
It would be simple to replace the current scheme with a scheme based on the cost of raising a child across two households. This has been demonstrated in other jurisdictions such as in Australia.