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And now for some breaking news ….

Filed under: General — golfa @ 4:14 pm Tue 17th December 2013

New rules around child support have been postponed for a year because Inland Revenue says they’re complicated and can’t be implemented on the date set by Parliament.

The legislation was passed in April with an implementation date of April 1 next year.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay says IRD couldn’t give him an assurance it could implement the changes “to the high standard the Government expects” and he’s put them off until April 1, 2015.

“I’m not willing to implement these changes until I am assured that they can be made smoothly and that parents will not be adversely affected,” he said today.

Former revenue minister Peter Dunne brought the legislation to Parliament, saying it was the first major child support reform in 20 years.

It set up a new way to calculate how much money an absent parent should pay for child support, giving greater recognition to shared parenting.

It also changed the way IRD administered the scheme.

Read more:


  1. Merry Xmas & Hallelujah!!! Someone I know using the new calculator was possibly going to have to pay an extra $3100 pa on top of nearly $12000pa because of no shared care because of denied access. Much relief……..

    Comment by Karin Duxfield — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 4:37 pm

  2. Dunne rushed this legislation into parliament because IRD killed a New Zealand father living in Australia and IRD were never able to implement the changes anyway!

    Question: Since parliament voted on the implementation date can the Minister simply delay it, without a debate in parliament?

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 4:46 pm

  3. I can not believe this. So many of us have been waiting for a break with the system and some fairness for all. My story, I have my son 39.65% (according to ird) and have a parenting order in place. I pay for all his clothing and living costs, nappies and day care when I have him and pay full child support, I even pick him up and drop him off just to save the hassle of him being dropped late by his mother and not keeping a routine at home with me and my new partner and I don’t get a break with child support (but its not 40% ird said) Problem is, I now have a child on the way with my partner and she will have to stop work and I’ll have to fully support my partner and baby and still pay what I pay to have my son as much as I do, this is really stretching the budget. After this announcement I might have to consider not having my child as much (back to every second weekend dad) to reduce costs because it’s just so expensive. I’m not going to get a break for wanting more responsibility and quality time with my son instead I’ll be bled dry and my ex can still sit on her ass and get looked after by the govt and ird.

    Comment by Mark Schofield — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 4:51 pm

  4. So, how many lives have been turned upside down by this announcement?

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 4:57 pm

  5. Both examples above show how totally unfair the current & new system to be is. That’s why some people are allowed access if at all below the thresholds to maximise payments received. It totally sucks

    Comment by hateseeingmymanscrewed — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 5:16 pm

  6. @Downunder (#4); I suspect like most children that have been (forcibly) separated from their mother or father; the worst part of ” lives turned upside down” has already been experienced. What we, as parents, experience beyond that initial separation is the chronic and ongoing exhaustion of mental and financial resources to satisfy the insatiable bureaucratic beast that haunts every separated family. That beast has no empathy; it is administered only by automatons whose sole function in life is to ensure taxes are collected! The delay in implementation of the new “child support” rules has nothing to do with being complicated; it has everything to do with not being able to balance the fiscal deficit should the new rules be enacted now.

    To illustrate: how hard can it be to look at a child’s birth date and figure out that the child is now 18; therefore child support payments are no longer due? Too hard for the bureaucrats; makes you wonder what we are paying them for…..doesn’t it?

    Comment by Bruce S — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 5:20 pm

  7. It’s election year next year isn’t it! Dump the news right before Xmas and put off the disaster until after the election. It will still be a bloody great mess for hundreds of people when whatever happens.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 5:59 pm

  8. #7 very accurate
    Yes lets all dump the news before Xmas, old news in the New Year, disaster off till after election, blame Peter Dunne Nothing for the whole problem, If labour win their problem to sort, if Nats win then it was all Peter Dunne’s chaos. Todd McClay under instructions to keep it all smooth till after election time.

    Comment by allan harvey — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 6:13 pm

  9. The new formula did look more realistic, in the way it handled shared care situations. However, end of year adjustments appeared to me to risk being impossible to calculate, if more than one person put in an end of year request for reconciliation due to increase or decrease in income.

    If IRD were not able to see that earlier, then they really shouldn’t be doing that job. Of course there are many other reasons why they are not suitable.

    makes you wonder what we are paying them for”¦..doesn’t it?

    To be abused, at your own cost?

    For all of the talk about transferring cash from non-custodial parents to custodial parents, the most important issue is the often reduction in quality of childhood, due to the loss of accountability by custodial parent, to the non-custodial parent. This topic is at least as important as the transfers of cash.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 9:23 pm

  10. The recognition of shared care did seem to be a positive step, call me pessamistic but all I forsee happening there is predominantly dads losing more time with their children as the mums fight to hang on to the dollars.
    IRD dont seem to be able to to run the current system effectively and I have little faith in them running one that would be a tad more complex. All I see the new system doing is lining the pockets of more lawyers as how do you prove you had the children for ‘x’ percent of the time.
    Obviously those parents in amicable situations doing their best for the children will be able to sort this out but for anyone dealing with a ex who wants full and unfettered access to your wallet after ditching you and taking the kids will find it somewhat problematic.

    Comment by Mits — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 8:17 am

  11. The puppets we never see controlling these matters probably did the maths and realized they were going to miss out on too much revenue – so hey just delay things – keep the current corruption running a bit longer….

    Never also forget you have election year coming up next year – and they dont want to upset the mothers who have not yet been subjected to the persecution that men have had to deal with for so many years…..can you imagine the back lash when BOTH parents get hit with the new COST of LIVING FEE – No $$$$ defined – for each child – racking up more DEBT and PENALTY – which only benefits others……..NOT the CHILD and NOT The PARENTS.

    And lastly – also note they ( IRD ) just had their arses chewed by a high court judge – who awarded costs to the people persecuted….I know this was a business matter but the same despicable tactics are employed on good parents – ex parte in secret applications, unlawful siezure of property – funny thats what they did to my family…..

    NZ herald today…….

    “University of Auckland Business School senior lecturer in tax law Mark Keating said the court awarding indemnity costs against the IRD was “unprecedented”.

    This is happening across the board, the problem of course is getting a complaint accepted – as we know they refuse to take complaints – you have to spend money forcing Justice in this fascist little nation…….because the corrupted justice system will never investigate its own…..

    Comment by hornet — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 8:32 am

  12. IRD Scolded for errors

    He [Justice France]said the errors were “at the upper end of misleading the court”.

    This is what IRD does to the man in the street everyday of the week and get away with it.

    Thanks for posting this Hornet – it’s not surprising the new Minister for Revenue is doing a runner. This is what you get from a department that runs on 10% of GDP.

    I wonder who is going to be Minister for Revenue after the next election. Hmmm, is that why National is making friends with Colin Craig?

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 9:10 am

  13. @Had-Enough Here is the court decision should it be of interest to you.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 9:27 am

  14. @MarkSchofield (#3) – I agree with your frustrations with the system on reaching the threshold. Been there done that. The costs you incur while the children are in your care are the cost of enjoying them (according to IRD) and not access costs. So while you get to pay your full child support, then the additional costs of having the children your ex gets the benefit. My ex slapped me with a parenting order to avoid the new thresholds and to stop my 14 year old coming to live with me without a battle. Sad when the welfare of the child is forgotten for the greed of others.

    Comment by Brent — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 9:57 am

  15. Downunder – exactly – we are all waking up to the tactics of those wanting to protect their butts – national are NEVER going to keep one of their ministers in charge of the most publicly hated portfolios – thats why DUN NOTHING got the shit file in the first place…….and you are right, some other disposable – sacrificial lamb will get this nasty before the next election……

    Notice how they got Paula Bennett to do all the dirty work – forcing mums to work for the benefit just one of many poison pills she was forced to sell the public – then they hang her out to dry with election boundary changes next year, same as they did with Rodney Hyde – got him to sell the contentious Super City – he takes the blame and then they dump him……..

    Things must be getting desperate – since the PUBLIC – the PEOPLE finally got some JUSTICE by taking the LAW to court PRIVATELY – and being forced to do the job the Govt refused to do and should have done with BANKS……………if they are trying to coax Hyde back to ACT – desperate times and a sad state of affairs – clutching at straws if you ask me….

    lets just hope CRAIG has the INTELLIGENCE to stay away from the Poison BAIT being offered……the ONLY PLACE YOU GET FREE CHEESE is in a RAT TRAP………

    Comment by hornet — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 10:03 am

  16. Not at all suprised (in fact a few of us predicted it) as these changes have always been a novapay in the making.

    I didnot label it Dunne’s Diasater for no reason.

    Rumour has it that the IT to support this confusing tax formula is proving harder to get right than anticipated and not producing the expected results in it gets calculations badly wrong.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 10:31 am

  17. @16. The current system gets the calculations badly wrong too!!!

    Ok; its time to lobby on this issue. I agree that some of the changes proposed would have helped some people like Mark, not everyone would have been better off.
    I for one am currently paying approx $400 a month for the privilege of having 59% shared care of my 2 kids while my ex buys a brand new car, goes on flash holidays without the kids, etc.
    I’m wondering whether to name the top CEO that is her partner to shame her. Also thinking about taking it the the family court to try to get a departure order. Am I stupid or does it seem ridiculous that the kids cost more in her care than when they are in mine?
    I cant afford the flash house and big xmas presents. I’m not even working… but as I have a partner I cant claim anything.
    The new system will not help me 1 cent either.

    Comment by A dad — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 11:23 am

  18. 17 . Designed to be deliberately difficult…..Fathers – men persecuted and deliberately deprived of time with their own for years in the past because we were the primary breadwinners – Firstly – Forced PROFIT for the Corrupt family court conflicted lawyers and the Secondly FORCED to fund REVENUE for the next level of Tyranny – thats why the CHILDS age of support keeps being extended…….

    the new changes being introduced are required given the shift in INCOME STATUS for parents – NOW that BOTH parents are WORKING full time to earn the same salary ONE used to earn. New rules simply a new expanded corruption to take property and wealth from BOTH parents…..instead of just ONE.

    wakey wakey – designed to be DELIBERATELY OPPRESSIVE , UNFAIR and DISHONEST………if you have the money try and get a departure order – which of course can be overturned at the next REVIEW – where EXCESSIVE demands are made against all the requirements of fairness, natural law, ,due process and habeas Corpus – because they can, because no one is allowed to investigate them – NOTICE how NO LAWYER will help investigate this corruption – all of which ultimately forces you to sell all your property to meet the unjust demands, go bankrupt – but the debt still remains, so run away overseas or simply kill yourself to clear the debt from your kids future…….

    Those are your choices under the currently corrupted system……

    Comment by hornet — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 11:51 am

  19. Time to throw out the child support scam. It has nothing to do with children or fairness. As soon as they start taking it directly from our bank accounts, we’ll all be homeless within months.

    Comment by Scott B — Wed 18th December 2013 @ 4:27 pm

  20. Forgive my naievity here but if parliment have passed the new child tax regime an now the said tax should stop at 18 but IRD then say hold on we arn’t ready so lets put this back a year. What happens to the poor old payer when a child turns 18 early in 2014?
    am I still liable?
    Did parliment put off the proposed changes or can the minister of IRD just make up his own mind?

    Comment by Mits — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 8:48 am

  21. The current legislation which says child support ends at 19 years unless the child has left school and is self sufficient. IRD policy determined that a child was not self sufficient if they declared less than 30 hours work per week.

    The change in the new legislation says that child support ends at 18 unless a child is still at school.

    So the only actual change here is that a non-custodial parent will cease to pay child-support if a child between 18 and 19 is working less than 30 hours a week.

    I understand, from what I followed that a select committee went to considerable trouble to investigate that start date, and heard submissions from the IRD on this.

    So at the very least I would expect that it should be returned to that select committee to investigate. I don’t see that the Minister should be able to arbitrarily displace legislation in this manner.

    Even though I have no respect for the current legislation and would rather it was tossed out, we still have to consider the parliamentary process that any legislation goes through, and I agree with you, Mits, this looks real dodgy to me.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 9:28 am

  22. What can we do about this?
    I for one will be going to see my local MP.
    Totally disgusting that they are delaying the changes. I’m paying the ex a bloody fortune every month and yet I have significant care of my child (that isn’t being recognised by IRD).
    No way does it cost what I’m currently paying to bring up an 18 month old each month!
    The changes would have saved me over $100 a month.
    I’d be pretty fucked off if I had an 18 year old and suddenly found out that I was about to be screwed for another year.
    FFS…the ‘computer says no’ argument for delayed changes is bollocks. They can still implement some of the changes. You don’t need a complex computer system to figure those out. In fact, I don’t see how it’s really that complicated as they make it out to be. Any old fool can work it out on a spreadsheet.
    What’s the bet National will lose the election and then a new govt (a feminist Labour/Green coalition) will just override all the changes.

    Comment by screwedleftrightandcentre — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 10:29 am

  23. Reducing the threshold to 28% would be the easiest thing to do. Does IRD know how to use a calculator?

    Comment by kumar — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  24. “Any old fool can work it out on a spreadsheet.” – possibly, but the number of possible permutations, based on formula and non formula factors makes it extremly difficult to write the code required.

    The problem with any formula calculation is the variables. The biggest single variable here is income and in many cases it changes several times in the year.

    I doubt they will be able to deliver these changes before 2016 and suspect a “novapay” at that time.

    What can you do? Keep fighting the concept of taxing parents for caring for children.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 2:13 pm

  25. Scrap_The_CSA We need an update post on the child support situation so we start a new string of comments on the current situation. Can you do that for us?

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 2:56 pm

  26. If NZ is basically copying the Australian CS system can’t IRD use a similar computer system?

    Comment by hateseeingmymanscrewed — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 3:46 pm

  27. @hateseeingmymanscrewed (#26) – believe it or not; it IS an Australian system (from Tasmania) that the NZ IRD are attempting to implement. As usual the bureaucrats have delivered all non-custodial, paying parents a fine and dandy christmas “cracker” this year. I’m sure we all just can’t wait to see what next year’s prezzie will be!

    Comment by Bruce S — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 6:59 pm

  28. This sucks. Don’t they have a working calculator already on the IRD website? That’s what I used to see I would pay less next year.
    Anyway the whole system should be scrapped, in South Africa once the Custodial gets re-maried Child Support stops, (im a kiwi).

    This addition needs to be added to the changes, but I’d rather the whole thing was scrapped, no more GOVT involvment in affairs of the heart, esp because adaultry doesnt matter to anyone anymore.

    Just a load of finacial bull.

    Comment by Too Tired — Fri 20th December 2013 @ 1:12 am

  29. Downunder, will create a new thread when I get some spare time in the next couple of days.

    Regards Scrap

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Fri 20th December 2013 @ 8:24 am

  30. Hello Todd,

    I fully support your decision to delay the Child Support changes due next year, the proposed changes haven’t addressed enough of the problems with the old system. For one thing other countries acknowledge that Child Support ends when a custodial parent re-marries or enters into a long term relationship.

    Also there is no mention of a time period for either parent at the dissolution of a relationship to organise who will be the custodial parent vs non-custodial or what level of shared care will be accepted by both parents. Also allowing nil child support to begin while custody battles are being fought through the courts etc. This situation just harms the parent that was forced to leave the family home and is trying to gain custody. Something that takes financial effort. Also the new law on a discount based on level of shared care will cause more friction between parents and more of a work load for the already stressed Family Court System.

    If we as a country start taking the payments from wages automatically their needs to be checks done to make 100% sure that those payments are actually owed because once paid there is no way to get that money refunded if mistakes are made.

    I hope their isn’t too much of a back-lash over the delay to changes as a lot of people were looking forward to them.

    I hope you respect that I didn’t use any terms like mum or dad above as child support has both male and female on both sides of the debate. Honestly it would be easier and cheaper to cancel the whole thing and make parents responsible for having their children in the first place.

    Making people pay child support takes away the option to volunteer or refuse payments (taking away choice), it also ties the two separated people together financially. People find it easier to separate because of the financial cushion. People quit work because of the reduction of wages which means less people paying income tax and more receiving benefits. Not to mention the ones that take their lives over debt.

    It’s a heavy burden the portfolio that covers child support matters in NZ. We currently have it all wrong and need some one to step up and make the hard decisions.

    Thank you

    Comment by Too Tired — Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 3:36 am

  31. It’s a heavy burden the portfolio that covers child support matters in NZ. We currently have it all wrong and need some one to step up and make the hard decisions.

    … and here’s me thinking Peter Dunnenothing was naturally short.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 7:31 am

  32. @Scrap

    The biggest single variable here is income and in many cases it changes several times in the year.

    So how will a calculator cope with situations like assessed income. Will the computer model automatically enter your assessed income and not let you enter your real income. Then when you have a loss of income for what ever reason for one month will the model default to a percentage of child support, then if that is not able to be drawn from a bank account how does the model cope with penalties and which takes priority.

    And for all those people that can’t use a computer or don’t have access to one (and there are thousand of manual workers out all day in forestry, construction, fishing and the likes) who will want the wages office to sort it out for them – it’ll go in the to hard basket for a lot of people.

    It is not going to be a Nova Pay; its going to be a bloody nightmare for the whole country, that’s if it ever gets off the ground. It’ll be more like that fancy Police computer programme a few years back that cost millions of dollars and never got off the ground.

    You’d think the media would be hard of the trail of this one, but NO, it just flies right over their heads because it’s child support.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 10:15 am

  33. Government Website:

    ‘I propose to recommend the deferment be included in a Supplementary Order Paper to the Taxation (Annual Rates, Foreign Superannuation, and Remedial Matters) Bill currently before Parliament. The Supplementary Order Paper would also include a number of other minor technical amendments’, says Mr McClay.

    The current ‘passed by yet to be implemented legislation’ is being amended by Supplementary Order Paper?

    I wonder what those changes might be?

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 12:02 pm

  34. #33. Yes that occured to me aswel, what exactly are they amending,I guess they are doing nothing till after the election. it’s all on hold for holidays.

    Comment by Too Tired — Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 9:03 pm

  35. As much as it paqins me to admit, if the real reason for deferring the implementation of the changes is in fact i.t. related – that the system is not yet ready and fully tested, sadly I agree with them to defer; no-one wants another novopay; you imagine them debiting your pay double; or not at all, and then trying to re-coup, but adding ever-compounding interest?
    I’d rather have a system 100% accurate and fit-for-purpose.
    Now, if we accept that under the proposed formulae changes, men over-all will pay more in CS than currently, then it is not in IRD’s interests to admit there are issues and defer implementation. So there is unlikely to be any conspiracy.
    That our beloved government might proceed with the non-CS changes, makes sense, if overall there is money to be made by changing the Femily Court processes, why would they hold back.
    On the one hand, they can save money in some areas; on the other hand, they can increase income for Femily Court parasites.
    Bearing in mind, overall, Dunne’s legacy is designed to capture votes, it will appease some voting men; appease industry parasites, and ultimately increase revenue for the government (through Femily Court itself, through Femily Court industry associated parasites, and through IRD penalties).
    Why wouldn’t the government rush through those bits that appease most parties, ahead of the next election? They’ll vote them back-in as a vote of thanks.
    Most broke de-childed men won’t vote regardless of what the government does.

    Comment by Sarah Haras — Tue 24th December 2013 @ 7:48 am

  36. i was doing some work in the westpac towers in tauranga the other day, ird has a whole floor in this building dedicated to the data integrity team, the people who ring you to ask your income and how often you have your children, staffed predominately by women (at a guess more than 90% at a quick glance) and most of them were sitting huddled in groups of 3 or 4, discussing what they got up to last night, on the weekend, what happened on shortland street and the like. not really doing any productive work. hell, some were in the staffroom yakking for close to 45 minutes at around 3.30 in the afternoon. lengthy tea break if you ask me. i wonder if the delays to the new formula are really because the ird cant get their computers fixed or because their data integrity teams are lazy gossiping workers who aren’t in any great hurry to get the job done…

    Comment by matti — Wed 12th February 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  37. I am one of the poor people affected by all this legislation and I have two current issues which I can’t find resolutions for:

    1: IRD has delayed this for one year. I am unable to find any legislation that has to have been passed to alter the date from 1 April 2014 but there must be legislation to state this change or else IRD must adhere to 1 April 2014.

    2: I have contacted IRD at least 20 times and spoken to numerous people about how they handle the following: I have a court order outlining my shared care/access arrangements. My ex currently refuses to let me see my child at all. IRD is simplifying their interpretation of legislation now and say that as my ex gives me no access, despite an order to state what it is, they will ignore the arrangements on the order. I asked how that was possible and they said simply put, they will contact my ex to verify my current access and whatever she says it is, is what it will be – that it does not matter waht I say and nor does it matter waht the judge said. I pointed out this actually then encourages people to flout court orders by giving thema financial incentive (my ex gets a lot more by giving me no access). That is flawed. It does not marry up to the legislation underneath it. IRD refuse to put these statements in writing however, and effectively said it was what it is. That is a serious issue. Has anyone else encountered it? I wanted them to verify this in writing as I wanted to bring this to everyones attention, but they won’t do that.

    Comment by Gareth — Thu 3rd April 2014 @ 12:21 pm

  38. Gareth,
    Ird are correct on both issues.
    There has been legislation delaying the implementation of the new regime.
    Also it is what actually happens and where the children spend nights and court orders do not override that under Child Support legislation.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 3rd April 2014 @ 1:44 pm

  39. @Gareth

    I think that this may well become a big issue under the new legislation. It would be good if you could log in as an author and make a separate post so that others in the same situation can discuss this?

    Perhaps use a headline like – No Access still paying Child Support.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 3rd April 2014 @ 1:53 pm

  40. Dear Gareth,

    I hope you hadn’t used up any money in obtaining the familycaught$ order? Sometimes such orders can be enforced, often they cannot. If it is possible to enforce, then that involves additional time delays and extra expense. Any responsible parent should consider whether such caught orders are worth the cost and nuisance value to obtain. The answer is, usually they are not worth the costs. Some attempts to enforce orders just end up with the order being modified, so that it hasn’t been breached. Stalin was no worse than these clowns.

    Remember – the familycaught$ only damages people who take it seriously.

    Much better to approach them pragmatically, rather than idealistically.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 3rd April 2014 @ 2:10 pm

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