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Letter to Hon Paula Bennett Re: Child Support and Benefit Abuse

Dear Paula

I wish to draw your attention to a case that has come to light with Child Support NZ.

My husband and his ex wife had a private arrangement where he paid her child support each month as a cash payment. She went on a benefit during this time and did not notify him of the change in circumstances or furnish his correct contact details to CSA NZ for collection, in spite of being in regular contact.

Subsequently, he has received a liability from CSA which he is appealing under Ground 9 of the Administrative Review that he has already met his child support obligations.

He has forwarded bank statements and evidence showing payments made to his ex wife for child support along with supporting statements from his grown up son (he is now 23 years old).

I spoke to the International and Review Teams on his behalf as a nominated person about the allegation and supporting evidence of the custodial parent being in receipt of a benefit whilst receiving un-declared child support payments. I asked whether IRD, Child Support shares information with WINZ fraud team. They have responded it is not there policy to share this information. He/I could contact WINZ and DOB her in.

Which leads me to the point of my email. IRD, CSA can request and share information with other Government Departments when seeking information i.e. Customs Department, yet does not refer alleged benefit fraud abuse to WINZ .

If the Administration Review supports his case that he was paying child support directly to his ex, this confirms benefit fraud took place.

Why does IRD, CSA as a Government Department, not have responsibility or duty of care to forward this information to WINZ?

I look forward to your response.