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Benefit reforms trigger surge in DPB births?

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, March 25th, 2013 - 120 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, class war, families, national, welfare - Tags: ,

National, the party of beneficiary bashing, is on a crusade against parents on the DBP. It’s horrifying quite how open they are about it:

Beneficiaries having babies ‘reason’ for reform

As the second round of welfare reforms come back before Parliament, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the 650 children born to women already claiming a benefit in January are reason enough for her tough reforms. …

The Government has been slammed for cracking down on youth and sole-parent beneficiaries when the unemployment rate is soaring because there aren’t enough jobs. Opponents argue that rather than picking on the vulnerable, the Government should focus on boosting the economy.

But Bennett is unapologetic about the welfare reforms, which are midway through implementation. And she said the focus on sole mothers and young people was deliberate.

Got that? Putting the most vulnerable under even more pressure is deliberate. The opposition parties said what needed saying about that:

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said sole parents and their children were being demonised by the reforms. “Welfare reforms that punish these women for having children are a complete distraction from Government’s failure to provide jobs,” she said.

Labour’s social development spokesman Jacinda Ardern said she got many letters from sole parents who were struggling to find work. “This set of reforms will do absolutely nothing to improve their job prospects through either training or education, or by addressing the underlying issues of the inavailability of work, particularly work that suits their childcare needs.” The reforms did little more than respond to rhetoric, she said.

So much so business as usual for the Nats, who prefer extending the helping hand of the state to needy investors and farmers than to the disadvantaged and children. But there’s more. Look at these numbers:

There were 659 subsequent children born to parents already claiming a benefit this January, she said. …

Meanwhile, in 2010 more than 7.5 per cent of live births – 4800 of 63,900 – were babies born to solo parents on the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) and Emergency Maintenance Allowance.

Note that we expect about 7.5% of births to DPB parents (from 2010 data), a rate that is increasing slowly according to this report p8 (e.g. 1997 was 5.8%). So what percentage does the 659 births in January 2013 constitute? Using the rate of births to DPB parents (compared to other benefits) from the report just noted we can estimate that of the 659 births 575 were to DPB parents. Looking at births by month for the most recent 42 months (data below) we see an average of 5,189 births per month (with no noticeable variations for Januaries). So we can estimate 575 / 5189 = 11%.

(Note that these are all raw numbers, and the number of parents on the DPB is dropping fast, so we would expect the percentage of children born to DPB parents in a given month to be falling, not rising.)

So births to DPB parents in January constitute an estimated 11% of births for the month, if that continues for the year it compares to the 2010 annual average of 7.5%. That’s a – remarkable – jump (when it should be falling). Why?

Under changes introduced last October, those mothers will have to return to work when that child is 12 months old, if their older children are aged over five.

DPB parents are going to be forced to look for jobs that aren’t there, and in some cases punished when they don’t find them. Unless they have children of certain ages. Have the Nats’ “reforms” built in an inventive for parents on the DPB to have more children?

I’m cautious of this conclusion for (at least) three reasons. First, demographics and stats aren’t my fields and I could be missing something obvious about the NZ data (please correct me if I am). Second, we’re looking at data for just one month, which could be an outlier. And third, the apparent surge in DPB births is correlated with the introduction of the Nats’ punitive new regime, and correlation does not mean causation. But on this occasion I think that correlation is waving a big red flag, and backed up by a plausible hypothesis. The Nats hate the cost of supporting vulnerable children, but it seems that thanks to their punitive efforts there are going to be more of them…


Data from Statistics New Zeland, Live births by month for 2009 M01 (January) to 2012 M06 (June) (the latest available data).


2009M01 5,235
2009M02 4,951
2009M03 5,431
2009M04 5,105
2009M05 5,178
2009M06 5,141
2009M07 5,323
2009M08 5,372
2009M09 5,430
2009M10 5,506
2009M11 5,354
2009M12 5,379
2010M01 5,590
2010M02 5,008
2010M03 5,477
2010M04 5,182
2010M05 5,301
2010M06 5,210
2010M07 5,343
2010M08 5,244
2010M09 5,457
2010M10 5,396
2010M11 5,110
2010M12 5,343
2011M01 5,404
2011M02 4,806
2011M03 5,412
2011M04 4,927
2011M05 5,121
2011M06 4,984
2011M07 5,297
2011M08 5,214
2011M09 5,064
2011M10 5,048
2011M11 4,976
2011M12 4,882
2012M01 5,119
2012M02 4,763
2012M03 5,228
2012M04 4,821
2012M05 5,084
2012M06 4,714
Average 5,189

 

120 comments on “Benefit reforms trigger surge in DPB births?”

  1. BM 1

    Under changes introduced last October, those mothers will have to return to work when that child is 12 months old, if their older children are aged over five.

    Compulsory contraception will solve that issue, if people want to try and game the system then more tougher measures are required.

    Also a lot of these solo Mums seem to be only willing to take jobs that fit around school hours hence the reason many are struggling to find work.
    I know of very few positions apart from, surprise, school teachers that do a 9-3 day.

    • prism 1.1

      BM

      Also a lot of these solo Mums seem to need to take jobs that fit around school hours

      FIFY

      • BM 1.1.1

        There are a lot of solo mums out there who do work.
        This only work school hours bs, is a complete cop out.

        • Colonial Weka 1.1.1.1

          “This only work school hours bs, is a complete cop out.”

          Yeah, stupid women, wanting to spend time with their kids and actually parent them.

          • BM 1.1.1.1.1

            Just don’t expect other people to pay for it, what’s so stellar about her genetics that she deserves to be paid by the state to stay at home to look after her kids.
            There’s a huge group of women out there who would love to be in that position but they are trying to get ahead and be self supportive.

            Yeah, stupid women, wanting to spend time with their kids and actually parent them.

            You want to have your head ripped off by a large group of angry women, you go speak to women who work and quote that sentence.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Young children need and deserve a lot of parental time, energy and attention. You seem to have forgotten that.

              The economy desperately needs wage levels where one full time worker can support a family and pay the mortgage, leaving one parent at home most of the time. This would also make it far more practical for friends and family to help solo parents.

              • BM

                I think for the first few years,it’s important, than after that I’m not so sure.

                For me child care is the equivalent of what they do in more primitive societies.
                Mum goes and works the fields, dad heads off and goes hunting, the older people look after and teach the kids.
                Very much like the village set up, modern society can’t afford to have people not contributing

                I personally think it’s almost a necessity for children to spend a bit of time in child care otherwise they might struggle when they reach school age.

                Kids that go through child care tend to be much more confident and out going as they’re been exposed to a lot of outside influence, while the ones who spend the first five years attached to Mums side can be a bit shy and withdrawn.

                • Colonial Weka

                  “Kids that go through child care tend to be much more confident and out going as they’re been exposed to a lot of outside influence, while the ones who spend the first five years attached to Mums side can be a bit shy and withdrawn.”

                  I won’t even bother saying citation needed :roll: You want to have your head ripped off by a large group of angry women, you go speak to women who work at home raising kids and quote that sentence.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Very much like the village set up, modern society can’t afford to have people not contributing

                  Actually, we can. That’s what all that productivity increase over the years was all about. Unfortunately, the only ones benefiting from that are the rich.

                  Kids that go through child care tend to be much more confident and out going as they’re been exposed to a lot of outside influence, while the ones who spend the first five years attached to Mums side can be a bit shy and withdrawn.

                  [citation needed]

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Actually, we can. That’s what all that productivity increase over the years was all about. Unfortunately, the only ones benefiting from that are the rich.

                    Of course, to BM “contributing to society” = “making more money for the rich”

                • tricledrown

                  Bigoted Mysogynist The numbers on the DPB have gone up by nearly 30% since
                  Nactional have been in power!
                  I’m surprised the number of solo mums having children hasn’t kept pace!

                • tricledrown

                  and these children grow up to be emotionally aloof r soles like you Bigoted Mysogynist

            • felix 1.1.1.1.1.2

              “You want to have your head ripped off by a large group of angry women, you go speak to women who work and quote that sentence.”

              Probably true, but that doesn’t make you or them right about anything in particular.

              Circumstances often dictate that in order to pay the bills/progress a career/not starve, parents can’t be with their kids when ideally they should.

              That in no way implies that it’s a good fucking idea, and the fact that people get angry about it in no way supports your position.

              • Colonial Weka

                I’m not sure that it is true. There are women that don’t make good stay at home mums. Those women know that the best thing for their children is for them to go to work and find other people to help look after the kids. The women that are good stay at home mums, know that the best thing for their kids is for them to do lots of hands-on parenting.

                The problem is that far too many women don’t get to have a choice in the matter.

                And of course, my sarcastic comment was just a mirror of BM’s thinking – that some women making good choices by arranging their work life around school hours is a crime.

                • felix

                  Of course not every woman is suited to being a stay-at-home mum. I never suggested anything of the sort.

                  • Colonial Weka

                    That was me replying to BM’s points not yours. I was just saying I don’t think that it’s necessarily true that working women would be angry when talking about the value of stay at home mothers.

        • prism 1.1.1.2

          BM
          You know how-many? solo mums who can work at any hour of the day and so your idea of policy is based on that small number, but that policy will have no relevance to the actual important work of child raising and the problems of most mothers with a small living income.

          Snap decisions about policy based on a small sample of people, by people like yourself are worthless. Those who have no interest in the country meeting the needs of mothers so they can care for healthy children and provide happy homes and futures for both children and mother should butt out.

        • rosy 1.1.1.3

          BM, you do realise a lot of the around need for school hours work is because it’s hard to find before school and after school programmes in some areas don’t you? There’s not always granny or auntie down the road to do the job of getting kids up and off to school then looking after them getting them to sports practice and the like when school is finished.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.2

      “Compulsory contraception”.

      Let’s be clear about this: is this what you are advocating? I know of no party that has announced such a policy.

      Bennett flirted with it briefly, but she’s there to announce policy, not to develop it.

      • BM 1.2.1

        it will happen and it will be a very popular policy.
        Part of the requirement of receiving the DPB will be that you must be on some sort of long term contraception, which will be provided free of charge by the government if you’re not all ready on contraception.

        .

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          You should really get your head out of womens uteruses.

        • Colonial Weka 1.2.1.2

          Compulsory contraception won’t happen because you can’t force medical treatment on someone without their consent (and NZ is still far away from the kind of fascist state that would change those laws).

          What you mean to say is that women will be blackmailed into taking contraception by WINZ threatening to stop their benefit. I can’t see that happening either, not least because how would you monitor whether someone was taking the contraception or not?

          • BM 1.2.1.2.1

            You put them on something like Mirena

            http://www.mirena-us.com/index.php

            • One Tāne Huna 1.2.1.2.1.1

              No “you” don’t. A doctor does. And there’s the huge hole in your wet-dream: Medical Ethics.

              • BM

                Actually this one here would be a much better option, basically painless and the procedure takes less 5 minutes and can be done by a nurse.
                Lasts up to 3 years and can be removed at any time.

                http://www.implanon.com/

                • Colonial Viper

                  Still got your head in womens uteruses?

                • Colonial Weka

                  Wow, we could micro-chip them while we are at it.

                  /sarc

                  Like I said, you know little about how contraception works in the real world. Go read the contraindications and side effects, then go read up on the history of hormonal and IUD contraception and the problems they can cause.

                  Then come back and tell us how this would work in the real world, bearing in mind that the dept managing the whole thing are not health experts, are known for having medical opinions without a medical licence, and are generally overworked as it is.

                  • BM

                    Then come back and tell us how this would work in the real world, bearing in mind that the dept managing the whole thing are not health experts, are known for having medical opinions without a medical licence, and are generally overworked as it is.

                    1. Woman on DPB gets letter to go see local doc, gets checked out and if it’s possible placed on long term contraception.
                    This is at no cost to the patient.

                    2.Woman comes off DPB and if she wants to, goes see local doc and has implant removed
                    This is at no cost to the patient.

                    It’s not brain surgery.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      There is a cost to the doctor or nurse: being struck off can have serious career implications.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      BM, you are still not getting it. You seem to think that hormonal and IUD contraceptives are easy to use, like fairy dust, all you have to do is want to use it and then everything else is alright.

                      For some women, the trade-offs of side effects are worth it, for others they are not. In the real world, finding the right contraceptive takes time and effort and not all women are going to be ok on Mirena or Implanon. What about them? How are you going to prevent WINZ from coercing them to take things that damage their health?

                      And what about the women who can’t try those contraceptions at all for medical reasons?

                      Did you even bother to read the side effects and contraindications?

                      I’m also curious as to why you think GPs should pick up the bill (no cost). Or do you see some other way of paying for this? How?

                    • BM

                      It would be paid for by winz, not the doctor.

                      And I realise that there’s a chance of complications,but there’s a chance of complications with practically any medicine or procedure.
                      Nothing is ever risk free.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Let me spell this out for you.

                      1. Doctor or nurse helps enable your wet-dream.

                      2. Doctor or nurse is then stripped of the right to practice medicine.

                      3. No doctors and nurses agree to carry out your nasty little scheme.

                      But we get to see exactly what the right wing looks like.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “It would be paid for by winz, not the doctor.”

                      How exactly? Be specific, and then demonstrate some knowledge of how much the bureaucracy on that would cost compared to the savings.

                      “And I realise that there’s a chance of complications,but there’s a chance of complications with practically any medicine or procedure.

                      Nothing is ever risk free.”

                      Right, so you are in fact advocating that women be forced into medical treatment, irrespective of whether it is good for them or not, and even if their doctor says that they shouldn’t be for medical reasons. Have you been reading anything in this thread about medical ethics? Do you even know what they are? And how they are backed up by law?

                      And what about when the side effects or damage prevents the person from working or raising their child? Want to factor in some lawsuits or ACC coverage?

                      Like I said, you are pretty clueless when it comes to how contraception works in the real world, and likewise anything medical it would seem.

                    • fender

                      The best way to ensure there are no babies born ever again is to have all males adopt the personality traits of BM. Fixed just like that because no woman with half a clue would go near that nasty piece of work. Although I’m sure that like many right-wing fascist assholes he is often able to put on an act and fool some into thinking he’s human, but that is where the morning-after pill can be useful.

                    • AsleepWhileWalking

                      List of laws compulsory contraception for beneficiaries would break, just off the top of my head:

                      - Human Rights Act (multiple points of law would be broken here)
                      - Health and Disabilities Act

                      Would also breach UN conventions on the rights of women and possibly several other conventions.

                      In other words it isn’t going to happen. Ever. Of course you are always welcome to waste lots of ministerial time by continuing to argue the point with Paula Bennett via freepost letters to parliament or via email.

            • Colonial Weka 1.2.1.2.1.2

              And for the women who have side effects to an IUD? Or women who have been sexually abused and would be traumatised by being forced to have an IUD fitted?

              You really should read your own links BM. You obviously know very little about contraception and how it works in the real world.

              Mirena is not appropriate for women who:

              •Might be pregnant

              •Have had a serious pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), unless you have had a normal pregnancy after the infection went away

              •Have an untreated pelvic infection now

              •Have had a serious pelvic infection in the past 3 months after a pregnancy

              •Can get infections easily. For example, if you have

              •More than one sexual partner or your partner has more than one partner

              •Problems with your immune system

              •Intravenous drug abuse

              •Have or suspect you might have cancer of the uterus or cervix

              •Have bleeding from the vagina that has not been explained

              •Have liver disease or a liver tumor

              •Have breast cancer now or in the past or suspect you have breast cancer

              •Have an intrauterine device in your uterus already

              •Have a condition of the uterus that changes the shape of the uterine cavity, such as large fibroid tumors

              •Are allergic to levonorgestrel, silicone or polyethylene

              Serious side effects http://www.mirena-us.com/safety-considerations/#linkC

              Common side effects http://www.mirena-us.com/safety-considerations/#linkD

              Important Safety Information About Mirena

              Only you and your healthcare provider can decide if Mirena is right for you. Mirena is recommended for women who have had a child.

              • Don’t use Mirena if you have a pelvic infection, get infections easily or have certain cancers. Less than 1% of users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. If you have persistent pelvic or abdominal pain, see your healthcare provider.

              • Mirena may attach to or go through the wall of the uterus and cause other problems. If Mirena comes out, use back-up birth control and call your healthcare provider.

              • Although uncommon, pregnancy while using Mirena can be life threatening and may result in loss of pregnancy or fertility.

              • Ovarian cysts may occur but usually disappear.

              • Bleeding and spotting may increase in the first few months and continue to be irregular. Periods over time may become shorter, lighter or even stop.

            • tricledrown 1.2.1.2.1.3

              Bigoted Misogynist Didn’t the Germans and Japanese try that in WW2!
              That makes you a Megalomaniac!
              Why not have all male beneficiaries have vasectomies while your about it just to prove your not bigoted sexist!

          • felix 1.2.1.2.2

            “NZ is still far away from the kind of fascist state that would change those laws”

            Going by BM’s gleeful comments just the other day about jackboots jumping on faces I’d say he’s not exactly signing up for the resistance.

            • McFlock 1.2.1.2.2.1

              Lol

              First they came for the boy racers, and I supported it 100% because I am not a boy racer

              then they came for beneficiaries, and I supported it 100% because I am not a beneficiary

              then they came for the teachers, and I supported it 100% because I finished school at 15

              then I parked in a disability park, and they towed me, and I was outraged at this scandalous attack on my freedoms, this isn’t what my grandfather fought for, it’s pc gone made, hep me michael lhaws, hep me!

        • The Al1en 1.2.1.3

          “it will happen”

          No, it won’t.

    • Colonial Weka 1.3

      “Also a lot of these solo Mums seem to be only willing to take jobs that fit around school hours hence the reason many are struggling to find work.
      I know of very few positions apart from, surprise, school teachers that do a 9-3 day.”

      But that just shows you how incredibly ignorant you are about raising children and how the economy in NZ works. Many women with kids, even those in partnerships, organise their work life around school hours. It’s very common. They do part time work, often multiple jobs.

      Tell me though, and as a way of avoiding the morality, let’s use a woman recently widowed with a five yr old and a seven yr old, how can this woman do full time work and look after her kids? Just for the sake of argument, she has no family living locally and is relatively new to town so doesn’t have close friends to help with child care (let alone parenting). Her job options are all low waged. Tell us how that works.

    • clashman 1.4

      wow I don’t know any schoolteachers that work from 9-3.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      I don’t know any teachers that do a 9 – 3 day.

    • Foreign Waka 1.6

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_eugenics

      Interesting that what was once an utter disgrace is now en vogue.
      I don’t think that it is right to have the personal freedom taken away from women in such manner. Besides, when do we read about forced castrations of men?

      Perhaps it would be better when women say Enough is Enough! Men seem to think that their gender is one of exception and yet, all the sorrow and pain is for the most part created through their ego. (Wars, famine, class systems, burning and mutilating of women and children etc.,etc.)

      • QoT 1.6.1

        Yep, it ain’t Godwin if someone’s literally advocating Nazi-style measures. But of course it’s magically different when they’re the ones deciding who gets the forced sterilisation.

    • Georgy 1.7

      BM – You appear to be confusing teaching contact hours with teacher work hours.

      Teachers would average a 7.30am – 5.30pm day. Some days meetings go later and some days there are evening meetings, then there is often work in the evenings.

  2. prism 2

    The punitive and patronising strictures against single parents and any male support they receive increase the instability and anxiety about poverty affecting their lives, their vulnerability grows and their ability to plan and control their lives diminishes.

    Working with, and alongside single parents and allowing them to find support to enable them to manage their family lives, and get training first in child raising to enable them to do well with this important task and have NCEA credits for it which can then be applied to further training credits would be the way. But despising people who are merely responding to the entry to adulthood in one of the ways of normal human females, which we know about already from long research and stats, is counter-productive and shows the vicious side of middle class politicians.

  3. infused 3

    I know plenty of my partners friends who have children as an easy way to keep their lifestyle. You are living under a rock if you think otherwise.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      “Children as an easy way”

      There is nothing about raising a young child which is “easy” as far as I can tell.

    • bullshit – your friend of a friend anecdote is an right wing myth. Extrapolate a tiny number as plenty into a society wide trend to maintain your smug superiority – so 101.

      • Colonial Weka 3.2.1

        It is bullshit. But even if there are small numbers of women choosing to have kids and using the DPB to support themselves, why is that a bad thing? In a society where the power holders deliberately run the economy so there aren’t enough jobs to go around, and where the majority of the country’s resources are collected by a very few, why should women not make a choice for themselves?

      • infused 3.2.2

        Keep believing that. You’re just not privy to it, that’s all.

        • marty mars 3.2.2.1

          I’ll take the noun ‘privy’ and say nice pun, albeit unintended methinks :)

        • felix 3.2.2.2

          Ok infused, I’ll keep believing that your couple of mates aren’t a large enough sample to provide any meaningful data one way or another, because, um, that’s the blindingly frickin obvious truth.

    • Jackal 3.3

      What a load of tosh infused! Having children usually causes a huge change in peoples lifestyles.

      I think you’ll find that the increase is a result of more people being on the DPB, up 8% between February 2009 and 2010. I’m not aware of any more recent stats, but presume the numbers on the DPB have continued to increase since then.

      I think the increase is a result of the defunct neoliberal agenda, because National has ensured there are less jobs available, which has increased reliance on the state and meant more children are being born into welfare dependent families. I also believe that generally most woman wouldn’t choose to be on the DPB if there was a viable alternative.

      Even with Paula Bennett’s silly changes, poor families aren’t choosing to have children in order to continue receiving welfare or to avoid work testing, which is a meme more often promoted by right wing sycophants. Because of Nationals ageist agenda, there are simply more impoverished New Zealanders in the age group that has children. More people on the DPB equals more children born into welfare dependent families.

      The dynamic of increasing the amount of poor young people is more likely to cause a reduction in the amount of births overal, which is exhibited by a reducing fertility rate since 2009. Even accounting for an increase in young people migrating out of New Zealand, if there was truly an increase in the amount of births to DPB mothers, there would likely be a comparative increase in births overall.

      Those facts make me think the conclusion you’ve reached for Anthony Robins is the wrong one, although we would need more specific statistics to make any categoric conclusion either way.

      • Populuxe1 3.3.1

        That does make some rather huge assumptions about the quality of the parenting. I can imagine some scenarios that shouldn’t exist outside an episode of Jeremy Kyle.

      • ghostrider888 3.3.2

        Good Analysis Jackal (though there may be some self-selection occurring; poor people are not stoopid, it is the conservatives who are)

        • Populuxe1 3.3.2.1

          I suspect the statistical distribution is a bit more even than that, but why let math get in the way of a good prejudice.

      • infused 3.3.3

        Not when they already have kids – it changes very little.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.4

      Children are parasitic in nature, from the time they develop in the womb sucking vital nutrients from the mother. If the mother has a shortage in a nutrient her body will go without while the foetus grows unimpeded.

      The sacrifice normally continues this way right up until they leave home, and sometimes up until the parents are finally dead.

    • prism 3.5

      infused
      You should stop trying to understand life from reading the tealeaves at the bottom of your cup.
      What people say mockingly, or gleefully about themselves doesn’t necessarily match up with what they really think, given a chance to express their deepest feelings, to have clear options too. I hope your partner knows what sort of person you are under the outer mask.

    • One Tāne Huna 3.6

      children as an easy way to keep their lifestyle

      Infused, who cares what people do in Remuera?

  4. pollywog 4

    *sigh*…if only Paula and I we’re still facebook buddies I could have shared this with her and her legion of leopard print loving fanbots.

    We were just touching on Maori teenage pregnancy rates when I was unceremoniously de-friended.

    Feeling pretty vulnerable eh. I feel like I’ve lost that intimate connection to a kindred spirit.

    If youre reading this Paula i could really do with a hug about now :(

  5. Yep these children and their mothers (and fathers) are expendable cannon fodder for this government and the shame of this disgusting regime is on all of us. The jobs aren’t there, the support is diminishing and the vilification is increasing. What are people supposed to do? Where do they go when their desperation increases? Nowhere – the ultimate individualism. Communities will help where they can and whānau and families where they can but look around – unless you’re a mate of this government you are left to suffer and struggle. Our society will reap a horrific harvest from these moves and unless we stop them and support the most vulnerable in our society we are all implicated in the absolute shitstorm that will inevitably arrive – it’s already beginning, it’s already here.

    • pollywog 5.1

      Do you think iwi do enough to support young jobless Maori with or without kids and promote responsible parenting?

      What could they do more and should they?

      Is there a Maori party take on this as it relates to Whanau Ora?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Don’t staff fishing boats operating in NZ waters with foreigners for starters.

        • grumpy 5.1.1.1

          …gold…

        • pollywog 5.1.1.2

          And how does that promote responsible parenting?

          • prism 5.1.1.2.1

            pollywog
            If you ask a question with multiple points, someone might comment on one only of those points.
            You referred to ” support young jobless Maori ” and that’s what CV was referring to.
            The part about parenting is a separate point.

            And marty mars that wasn’t a snide point. Maori business managers have not offered enough opportunities to their young men to participate in fishing employment. There are certain difficulties as many of them don’t like to spend time away from their rohe when training.

            Then they may not like the long time spent out at sea with tough working schedules interspersed with small sleep periods and just enough time to keep clean and eat and watch a dvd. This can go on for many weeks – firms have varying schedules – could be like 6 weeks on ship and 3 weeks off or 12 weeks on and 12 weeks off. I’m not sure what the latest work programs are.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.3.1

            Just pointing out that the corporate capitalism and greed that the white man brought to these shores is too easily infectious.

            • Populuxe1 5.1.1.3.1.1

              So basically you’re saying that iwi and hapu didn’t compete and indeed go to war over resources and territory prior to first contact with Europeans? The myth that indigeneity brings with it some magical moral superiority (rather like the myth about their instinctive environmentalism) is one of the most ridiculous promoted by the intellectual laziness of political correctness. All humans everywhere compete for resources – it has nothing to do with race or culture, it’s universal. Just because Europeans tarted it up with symbolic currency and muskets doesn’t change that simple fact. Pretending Maori existed in some edenic pre-European paradise of peace, love and kumara is both patronising to Maori and racist. They’re not some kind bonobo or shrub – they were and are complex beings just as capabable of fucking up and choosing to adopt whatever system they like as anyone else.

      • marty mars 5.1.2

        Big questions there polly – in general I think there is always more we can do and I think iwi are trying their best under difficult and oppressive conditions. I’m aware of various parenting initiatives that different iwi support such as “Manāki Whānau/No Sweat Parenting programmes” and i quite like this one running at the moment

        http://www.facebook.com/whanauparentingtips?ref=ts&fref=ts

        working on the ground with people is the best way to go imo so that alternatives and good models can be seen, understood, and copied. Getting whānau supporting new parents is positive but many are spread all over these islands and it is practically harder to do that in my experience. But others will be able to be there in the traditional way Māori have supported their kin.

        don’t know what the Maori Party are doing e hoa.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1.3

        Should they do more to support jobless Maori with or without kids? Maori value family over most other things, especially money – I don’t see why anyone would expect an entire culture to alter it’s value system for the sole purpose of aligning with National policy on welfare. Each iwi has it’s own system for assisting youth mainly in the form of scholarships and grants.

        A business is best suited operating within it’s area of expertise, and iwi are no different. Most have no experience of “creating” jobs to assist Maori. Best to stick to managing assets and distributing scholarships IMHO.

        I sense in OP comment a shift in responsibility away from the National government creating jobs, to an expectation that Maori will create their own jobs for their own people. Humph.

        • pollywog 5.1.3.1

          Hell yeah AWW!

          Exercising sovereignty over an iwi means serving the people, not yourself.

          What do you think of Ngai Tahu getting harder into dairy farming?

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/8467224/Ngai-Tahu-trials-dairy-conversions

          • marty mars 5.1.3.1.1

            What do you think about it polly?

            Not trying to butt in, but personally I have concerns and have raised them with the iwi – one of the arguments is that it will provide a training ground for rangatahi but I’d like them to become trained in organic farming and more diversified farming than just cows. They say they will set the standard for best practice environmentally and we will just have to wait and see about that especially in regards to water.

            • pollywog 5.1.3.1.1.1

              I don’t see dairying as the future for anyone, let alone ngai tahu.

              Jumping on the dairy train cos it’s a cash cow at the moment seems pretty short sighted.

              And yeah, unless you got an inside line to the river gods or a protective taniwha, I can see they’ll be paddling your waka up shit street in no time flat.

    • ghostrider888 5.2

      a “stormy harvest looming indeed marty” (“the chances of anything coming from Mars, are a million to one, yet still they come…”)

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Where are Family First on all of this? Aren’t they anti-abortionists and all that too?

    Obviously this policy can only lead to increased abortion rates, but the FF are suspiciously quiet. Why is that?

    Mush be pushing for a policy on DPB parents being barred from sex altogether, because they should be married after all.

    • QoT 6.1

      Why is that?

      Because their real goal has fuck-all to do with the sanctity of life and everything to do with controlling women’s lives and bullying them into a make-believe 1950s way of living. Whichever strategy is the strategy du jour to achieve that works for them.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Have the Nats’ “reforms” built in an inventive for parents on the DPB to have more children?

    Possibly, National and the right in general has been wanting to increase the population if NZ for some time. IIRC, they wanted the population to be 20m by 2000 back in the 1970s and we’ve been hearing more about the benefits* of a high population again lately.

    * There isn’t any really. What they see is an illusion created by the abstract nature of money. Oh, and having more people in the country will mean that there’s more possibility of clipping the ticket and thus making the rich richer.

  8. pollywog 8

    It’s a cunning plan to get paid 20hrs a week looking after other people’s kids while you pay someone else to look after yours.

    Everyone’s in a job and it looks great in the govt’s books, especially if you’re only paying youth rates!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 8.1

      Brilliant! And Work and Income are no longer on your back. Ideally you would set up your own company and claim the costs back on the tax you pay from your benefit.

  9. DPB parents are going to be forced to look for jobs that aren’t there, and in some cases punished when they don’t find them. Unless they have children of certain ages. Have the Nats’ “reforms” built in an inventive for parents on the DPB to have more children?

    I may be missing something (ie genuinely missing a significant point, not engaging in sarcastic rhetorical flourishes), but I’m struggling to see the incentive to produce additional children here. The idea behind the “reform,” to generously grace it with the govt’s preferred term, is that the existing work requirement after your youngest turns five is already an incentive to have more children. Changing the work requirement to “youngest-hits-18-months” for those additional children makes having more a lot less attractive. (Or at least, that’s the govt’s theory – and regardless of the many reasons why actually doing it would be a bad idea, the theory itself is plausible.) What I’m not getting is how you think the work requirement kicking in at 18 months might create an incentive? I suppose recipients could game it by producing children fewer than 18 months apart, but that theory doesn’t seem at all plausible – it would be a hell of a lot of work, to try and avoid a bit of work.

    • Colonial Weka 9.1

      It’s not about avoiding work though. It’s about having WINZ turn your life upside down and creating stress in an already stressful situation. I’m not sure people appreciate how nasty and demoralising WINZ can be, and how ludicrous it is to be forced into work ready programmes when one is already struggling to manage at home on lots of levels.

      It’s not like someone sits down at that point and makes a logical decision to have another child as part of their long term financial plan. Women find themselves pregnant, and maybe this time they think enough, I’m not having an abortion, it works better for me to keep this child.

      For some women, having children brings many benefits despite the hard work involved. For some having another child is preferable than being forced into minimum wage casual work and benefit abatement poverty associated with the UB. And don’t get me started on childcare. What we’re doing is asking women to work for well below minimum wage, often with little job security.

      btw, having kids spaced less than 18mths apart didn’t used to be uncommon. And presumably it is a longer time for the policy to kick in, taking into account the 9 mths of pregnancy.

      • Psycho Milt 9.1.1

        For some women, having children brings many benefits despite the hard work involved.

        And if they can find a bunch of investors or volunteers to finance that for them, best of luck.

        For some having another child is preferable than being forced into minimum wage casual work and benefit abatement poverty associated with the UB.

        Exactly. For some, having children offers the significant benefit of providing a respectable career and someone to love them, without the bother of going through the troublesome business of education and employment, or sieving through the available munters for a potential husband. It’s an understandable approach for the unskilled to take, but I can sympathise with the government’s reluctance to fund it.

        • Colonial Weka 9.1.1.1

          “And if they can find a bunch of investors or volunteers to finance that for them, best of luck.”

          Why? What is wrong with people being supported by the state to have kids?

          You still seem to be under the impression that most women plan pregnancies. I’m not sure that’s even true across the whole population, but it’s certainly not my experience within the underclass. Conception isn’t a cut and dried, rational, intentional decision for many people.

          You can argue abstinence or control all you like, but sex is natural for most humans and always will be. The best way to reduce single parents needing the DPB is to offer ways out of poverty. You and NACT aren’t doing that.

          “For some, having children offers the significant benefit of providing a respectable career and someone to love them,”

          But that’s not what I said, and you’re a pretty cold, disconnected bastard if you think that career and being loved are the major motivators for most women having kids.

          • Psycho Milt 9.1.1.1.1

            What is wrong with people being supported to have kids?

            Well, let’s see. It’s wrong:
            1. Because the taxpayers of the country haven’t expressed any enthusiasm for funding motherhood as a career.
            2. Because the kids produced under this funding model are higher risk for poor outcomes on just about everything we bother to measure: poverty, abuse, neglect, health, education, you name it this funding model is crap for it.

            You still seem to be under the impression that most women plan pregnancies. I’m not sure that’s even true across the whole population, but it’s certainly not my experience within the underclass.

            Well, that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? Pregnancy isn’t a great, unexplained mystery, it’s an obvious and entirely predictable consequence of fucking without contraception. Humans aren’t rabbits, and children don’t have to be an inevitable consequence of having a sex life. Those too thick or too broken to figure out such an utterly basic concept for themselves perhaps do need the govt to step in and order them about.

            The best way to reduce single parents needing the DPB is to offer ways out of poverty. You and NACT aren’t doing that.

            I’m pretty confident that “ways out of poverty” do not include doubling-down on the single parenthood by having more kids. This isn’t an either/or – there’s a need to get these children out of poverty, but there’s also a need to lower production of them in the first place. Yes, we needn’t look to NACT for training, childcare etc, but we needn’t look to Labour for anything aimed at lowering production of the problem, either.

            …you’re a pretty cold, disconnected bastard if you think that career and being loved are the major motivators for most women having kids.

            I certainly would be, were I ever to suggest such a thing. It’s a motivator for some of the women Paula Bennett’s interested in,though.

            • Colonial Weka 9.1.1.1.1.1

              “Well, let’s see. It’s wrong:
              1. Because the taxpayers of the country haven’t expressed any enthusiasm for funding motherhood as a career.”

              But it’s not a career. You can keep asserting that, but there is no evidence that any significant number of women women choose to have children as a career move.

              “2. Because the kids produced under this funding model are higher risk for poor outcomes on just about everything we bother to measure: poverty, abuse, neglect, health, education, you name it this funding model is crap for it.”

              Nope. The reason for the poor outcomes is because of the structural inequities within society, including running the economy with a level of unemployment, and what Bennet is doing is making it worse. You cannot use a stick to stop people from having babies (unless you are the Chinese govt I guess).

              “I’m pretty confident that “ways out of poverty” do not include doubling-down on the single parenthood by having more kids.”

              Completely missed my point. Which is that, if here is no way out of poverty (and that is true for many people, irrespective of their personal decisions and actions), then having a child can be a meaningful choice. Or it’s a meaningful choice despite the poverty.

              “This isn’t an either/or – there’s a need to get these children out of poverty, but there’s also a need to lower production of them in the first place.”

              But if you solve the poverty, then it doesn’t matter if women have children on their own. And the rate of sole parent families was always going to increase due to the financial emancipation of women.

              “Pregnancy isn’t a great, unexplained mystery, it’s an obvious and entirely predictable consequence of fucking without contraception.”

              I think you would be surprised at the number of pregnancies that result from contraception failure. And fertility isn’t as cut and dried as you make out. Nor is the need for sexual contact. Nor is the degree to which sex gets used as currency. You can pretend that sex is primarily a rational decision that is weighed up carefully, but mostly it’s not.

              “It’s a motivator for some of the women Paula Bennett’s interested in,though”

              Citation needed.

              • But it’s not a career.

                So, not a career, just full-time work that you happen to do for decades, and build up skills in, and get paid for. OK.

                Nope. The reason for the poor outcomes is because of the structural inequities within society…

                …so it’s just coincidence that these poor outcomes occur a lot more often in some types of families than others? I’m not a big believer in statistically-significant coincidences, but who knows, maybe that’s true.

                But if you solve the poverty, then it doesn’t matter if women have children on their own.

                Well, yes, and if we solve illness then it doesn’t matter if you wash your hands or not. Excellent idea, but step 1′s a big’un.

                I think you would be surprised at the number of pregnancies that result from contraception failure. And fertility isn’t as cut and dried as you make out. Nor is the need for sexual contact. Nor is the degree to which sex gets used as currency. You can pretend that sex is primarily a rational decision that is weighed up carefully, but mostly it’s not.

                I’m familiar with the waster apologist view that it’s just totally, completely impossible for a group of humans to lower their birth rate regardless of whatever contraception is available. It’s bollocks, isn’t it. What’s actually surprising is how few pregnancies result from contraceptive failure or general stupidity – but then, it’s not surprising, because most people aren’t wasters and manage to fuck for decades without littering the countryside with unintended offspring.

    • r0b 9.2

      Where does 18 months come from?

      The cited article says: Under changes introduced last October, those mothers will have to return to work when that child is 12 months old, if their older children are aged over five.

      Doesn’t that create an incentive to have children under five? As CWeka has said, I don’t for a moment think this is about “avoiding work” – because there is no work – I think it is in some cases partly about not having your life turned upside down by a punitive process when you have little or no control over the factors involved.

      • Psycho Milt 9.2.1

        Where does 18 months come from?

        My subconscious. Sorry, not sure how I came to have that figure in mind.

        Doesn’t that create an incentive to have children under five?

        According to the govt, the current system (you’re work-ready when your youngest turns five) creates an incentive to have children under five in your care. The “reform” supposedly removes that incentive, because acquiring your next child under five will have very unpleasant consequences. It’s a vindictive approach to take, but the logic of it is sound enough.

  10. Visubversaviper 10

    Many of my refugee friends are on the DPB and they would all love to work. They either came here as widows from conflict situations, or realised when they got here that they did not have to stay with the bloke they were married to when they were 13. They go to language classes as soon as their youngest goes to school so that they can have enough English to manage in the workforce. They first look for work in their own communities, cooking and childcare mostly, but the holy grail is a full time job. They say it as if it was in capitals and parenthesees – a “Full Time Job” and when I went back to work full time 5 years ago a number of them rang to congratulate me.
    The problem of course is that the jobs are just not there. They are not there for lots of white, educated, confident, and experienced older women so what chance does a 35 year old only just literate African woman have?

  11. Confusing heading. Should read “DPB births trigger surge in Benefit reforms”.

  12. Roy 12

    Something that was pointed out to me by a female friend: If the policy changes were introduced in October, a January surge in births can’t be blamed on the policy changes, because the January babies would have been conceived last April.
    You’d think that Ms Bennett would know how long pregnancy is, wouldn’t you?

  13. AsleepWhileWalking 13

    I wonder if the Poverty Action Group will mount another challenge against the new SSA legislation in a similar way to what they did with section of the SSA which penalised beneficiaries for not naming the father (or in a handful of cases the mother).

  14. Treetop 14

    I would like to know a bit about who provided the sperm for the 650 babies born in January?

    What percent (fathers) are already on a benefit?

    Why are they not with the mother and child?

    Was there a contraception failure?

    Targeting the child and single parent will not achieve anything.

    Bennett needs to get it that single parents are left holding the baby and to ask herself why?

    Why was Bennett left holding the baby?

  15. Hami Shearlie 15

    I’ve noticed with all the comments above, no-one ever mentions the fathers of these children!! Are they all immaculate conceptions? If people gripe and complain about the money paid to solo mothers to raise their children, do they not realise that half of this money is the responsbility of the dead-beat fathers of these children. The mothers are easily identified because they stay with the children and raise them. So if people are wanting to pour scorn and ignominy upon the mothers, how much more opprobrium should be rained down upon the fathers of these children – Where are they all? Hiding while working in Australia, or here, or maybe living on another single benefit of their own? More than likely they are starting new families all over the place and then disappearing, only to pop up somewhere else and start yet another tribe!! If the Natz are keen for solo mothers to be pressured into taking contraception, how about compulsory vasectomies for these dead-beat dads!!

    • Treetop 15.1

      For sure the dead beat dads have a poor attitude. Sometimes the attitude is, another one won’t make a difference, the state will look after another one etc.

      I am not for a second saying that anyone has to endure psychological, verbal, sexual or physical abuse or stay together when the relationship is an unhealthy one.

  16. feijoa 16

    I believe the research tells us that all around the world there is only one thing that reduces the birth rate
    it is
    the EDUCATION OF WOMEN
    (not contraception availability)
    (sorry dont have a citation, but read it in Dompost last year, good article by a Massey /Vic Professor in sociology I think it was)

  17. Mary 17

    “Labour’s social development spokesman Jacinda Ardern said she got many letters from sole parents who were struggling to find work. “This set of reforms will do absolutely nothing to improve their job prospects through either training or education, or by addressing the underlying issues of the inavailability of work, particularly work that suits their childcare needs.” The reforms did little more than respond to rhetoric, she said.”

    According to statistics, Labour having said this publicly while in opposition means it’s inevitable the same sorts of reforms will become Labour policy when they are next in government.

  18. KJT 18

    If the right wing were really so concerned about women, “breeding for a living” (Which can only possibly be a few anyway, given the statistics as to who is on the DPB) they would be working on giving them better options.

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