MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

‘Active dads’ could tackle child poverty

Filed under: Child Support,Gender Politics — JohnPotter @ 7:11 pm Thu 4th December 2014

Murray has already drawn attention to this article on Stuff yesterday in a comment, but I think it deserves a post of it’s own. It is written by Rene Smit, who I met many years ago at the Dunedin Father & Child group. ‘Active dads’ could tackle child poverty.

Rene’s perspective is similar to most MENZ contributors, as he demonstrates when he talks about the rise of poverty in the 1980s:

Another big social change was the idea that having a father active in the lives of children was not necessary. Considerable resources were put in place to assist women to meet this belief. Considerable effort was exerted to foster this belief, backed by the theory that this was necessary to combat the evils of patriarchy – read men – which they considered the confining force on women.

He makes an interesting point about the rise of inequality which I had never really considered before:

Those women that have gained the skills to make a good income are naturally pairing up with partners that have the same skills. In part, it is these duel high income partnerships that have the buying power to drive up prices, which in turn makes life harder for those not in this situation.

The Stuff discussion is worth reading too. Most participants generally agree with the article, but there are a couple of obvious trolls pushing the feminist line that the real problem is that dads are all deadbeats:

I, along with most other single mothers I know, would absolutely love the father of my children to take responsibility and contribute to the welfare of his kids. I have tried for years to get him to talk to his kids, spend time with them, and contribute financially to their upbringing. However he will not.


  1. Thanks for pointing this article out John.


    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Thu 4th December 2014 @ 9:18 pm

  2. I am sure there are ‘dead beat fathers’ out there as every urban legend has a beginning in reality. Has anyone on this site actually met one? I once met a mother who bleated on to me about her children’s dead beat father so I asked where he lived. She told me she didn’t know and didn’t care. I asked if her 8yr old son had ever met him and she snapped at me that whilst the dad had attempted contact she believed it would be bad for the boy as his father was a boozer and gambler. Apparently he had been sending the boy gifts and cards for years but mom was a wise woman so made sure the lad never got them. Yea! What a dead beat he was. Never mind, moms soon take care of those bastards.

    Comment by triassic — Thu 4th December 2014 @ 9:39 pm

  3. Those women that have gained the skills to make a good income are naturally pairing up with partners that have the same skills. In part, it is these duel high income partnerships that have the buying power to drive up prices, which in turn makes life harder for those not in this situation.

    I can see where he is coming from, and this is something I have thought a lot about.

    I would describe it this way:

    Say, with pre dual-income families you have a scale of (1 -10) where one is poor and ten is rich, then over time with dual income families the scale becomes 2 poor 20 rich; the growing disparity.

    This is now described politically as the gap between rich and poor, which has to be acceptable otherwise feminism can’t exist – (You may remember it was one on Helen Clark’s favourite lines – elimination of the gap between rich and poor, she understood the threat of the circumstance to her dream world – the world of the emancipated women)

    This I think is totally separate from inflation – that is to say that the rich are not the driving force but the only ones able to keep up with affordability – the middle-class becoming a smaller minority by the day.

    The process of feminism has also changed the way in which people pair up.

    Pre dual-income families, couples made relationship decisions based on a range of factors, where the financial factor was not the dominant factor.

    Very few individuals can afford the ultimate life now (as individuals) sure some can and do (the media love their celebs). For most the reality is, that to have a reasonable lifestyle (perception) you need someone on equivalent or better income.

    In modern dual-income relationships the financial consideration is now the paramount consideration.

    Likewise it is also a major driver in separation and divorce – which is another part of the same economic argument, and why women initiate divorce.

    Going further you get hidden issues such as the part-time professional women, which is convenient, but also further unbalances the equation.

    In the end they are all contributing factors to what I have often said here;

    ‘Feminism is an invalid economic argument’.

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 5th December 2014 @ 7:32 am

  4. The article got published, which in one respect is a win, and the writer put a lot of thought into it, something we don’t often see, but it wouldn’t have been published if it conflicted with Feminist ideology.

    When the value of active fathers is again valued and the men return to New Zealand, then you will see child poverty rates drop.

    The general philosophy, and this conclusion I can’t agree with.

    We are constantly bombarded with the message that men should do half the housework. The way women view this is that men should also do half of what mothers (and other women who supported mothers) used to do when they were stay at home mums.

    Someone of the basic arguments are undeniable; Rene is quite right in that Feminism attacked and destroyed male input into children.

    What fathers did, had no value, only what women did had value, so men should forget what they are naturally inclined to do, and used to do, and accept retraining to do half of what women used to do, or what women think they should do.

    The outcome being proposed here, is not that men should return to the active role they once had, but that they should accept a new role designed for them by Feminists and behave not as a father but as a quasi-woman parent/replacement caring female assistant.

    I can understand this perspective being derived from the author’s personal experience, it worked for him. But the idea that men will flood back into the country and start respecting Kiwi women again is not going to happen based on this thinking.

    It’s totally foreign to our generation, and we’ve been financially and emotionally raped.

    What about the next generation being retrained at schools?

    Is this the way we want them to be taught?

    We can see the outcomes of this, gender confusion, gender identity issues, relationship confusion, social role confusion, unwillingness to reproduce, social dislocation from individual rights (the freedom argument is something else I wouldn’t argue with, except to say, it is used in the wrong context) and … where does it stop.

    Would this stop men leaving the country in the first place?

    As a result of separation – no – the system is still killing men who object.

    But those who do stay will be less inclined to have children, and that’s not based entirely on what they have seen through the older generation’s failure to deal with Feminism, but how they view the world as a result of what they have been taught, and the possible outcomes available to them.

    The other side to this is that too many young women are now nothing better than battery hens popping out eggs with legs, not only because of what society has taught them, but also what it hasn’t taught them – we are now a country that has to teach mothers how to look after children.

    They are unequipped and unprepared for parenting and raising children, and less supported by family structure.

    Would this end child poverty?

    Of course not, it’s merely suggesting that we continue the adjustment to meet the needs of the women that this feminist society is churning out.

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 5th December 2014 @ 9:23 am

  5. Why men leave the country and don’t come back: and why there is child poverty.

    Because of the laws politicians pass to pay for their own fat arses.

    Debts owed to the Inland Revenue Department, including tax, student loans and child support, have ballooned to a record $9.3 billion in the past year.

    You are now a criminal in your own country if you don’t pay the state for your education.

    Student-loan debt was 21 per cent higher than in 2013.

    Three-quarters of defaulters were overseas.

    A law change in March made it a criminal offence for those overseas to knowingly fail or refuse to make reasonable efforts to pay their student loans. The new powers allow Inland Revenue to seek an arrest warrant for persistent defaulters returning to, or leaving the country.

    The child support laws that don’t work. Child Support which is mostly invented penalty debt anyway, makes up a third of IRD debt and is still increasing.

    Child support added another $3b, up 9.6 per cent since 2013 mainly because of penalties.

    It would be interesting to know what the recovery rate v dollars spent is for child support – how much is it costing the tax payers to kill fathers. I would expect it is much worse than the general tax figure.

    The 425,000 people who owed money nationwide represented about a quarter of the workforce.

    Inland Revenue budgeted $90m last year to collect overdue debt, up from $39m in 2009. For every dollar spent, it recovered $45.95 in tax owed.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 9th December 2014 @ 5:50 am


    Comment by kirann Jiharr — Mon 22nd December 2014 @ 7:15 pm

  7. Here’s an Australian media hotline looking for cases where child support enforcement breaks the law … Do you know more?

    Send your confidential tips to [email protected]

    The media is actually looking for more info …

    @kiran That’s a really interesting article, and it’s close to home in Australia.

    It is an independent male senator speaking out against child support.

    Senator Xenophon has been trying to use Senate estimates to get answers on the spending on the case, but his questions have been taken on notice, with Human Services then refusing to answer, citing “confidentiality”.

    He’s really rattling some cages, but someone will get him for this.

    DHS has been ordered by the government’s information watchdog to hand over a briefing it prepared for its minister, along with other documents, but the department has hired top-end lawyers Clayton Utz to fight the decision of the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

    What did they tell the Minister – how much the government stood to lose if they lost the case?

    How many men have already been screwed over doing the same thing?

    It must have been one brave lawyer to take this to court in the first place, knowing how the legal system operates in New Zealand (threatening and intimidating lawyers who think about taking these sorts of cases to court) I am sure it is no different in Australia.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 23rd December 2014 @ 7:50 am

  8. … of course all those men that have left New Zealand for exactly this sort of thing … they won’t be coming home any time soon.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 23rd December 2014 @ 7:52 am

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