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Bennett slaps solo parents

Written By: - Date published: 1:53 pm, March 23rd, 2010 - 157 comments
Categories: class war - Tags:

According to Basher Bennett “the dream is over” for solo parents on a benefit.

What dream is that Paula?

The “dream” of struggling to pay your rent and feed your kids?
The “dream” of being a target for every bigot on talkback?
The “dream” of having your personal details leaked to the press by a bullying minister?

Or is it the dream you had Paula? You know, the one where you wake up one day and you’ve become a minister on $245,000 of taxpayers’ cash a year and all you have to do to keep it is kick other solo mums in the face.

National. The government that does nothing to save your job and then blames you.

157 comments on “Bennett slaps solo parents”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “There were 43,000 single parents on the domestic purposes benefit whose children were of a school age and who were ready to transition back to work.”

    Well I guess that’ll screw up Bennett’s touted unemployment figures, won’t it?

    Unless that’s her plan, swamp the unemployment figures with solo mums and then claim for the next 9 months that the increase is due to all these mums being put into the workforce, not a lack of jobs from a do-nothing government.

    captcha: fate

  2. A Nonny Moose 2

    So Paula, are you going to find the extra cash for child care/after school programs for those solo parents? Or are you going to rely on “the village” helping to bring up those kids, then bemoan “kids running wild without parental supervision”? Because goodness knows that every single solo parents has adequate support from family and employers…

    • Hey nonny nonny 2.1

      “We expect those people to be at work for at least 15 hours a week,” Ms Bennett said.

      • A Nonny Moose 2.1.1

        Yes, and so many employers are SO accomodating to making sure they get those work hours around the employees needs.

        In my experience of being in minimum wage jobs, employees with “hassles” (kids, sick family, outside work needs) were not looked upon favourably.

        And 15 hours is a ridiculous amount to ask as a minimum contribution, on both the employer and employees side. Employers aren’t paticularly accomodating to lots of staff wanting few hours; employees may not find it economical (transport, child care) to work what’s the equivalent of 2 days/ a couple hours a day spread out.

  3. prism 3

    I know a single parent who told me that she loved her car for being useful in many ways. One was as a private sanctuary when feeling ground down with worries about the present and the future, and duties of parenthood, and lack of money, and inability to earn enough to get ahead. She used to drive somewhere quiet where she could cry without her children seeing and getting upset. She would go home in about half an hour able to carry on. Her dream that she could guide her children through their education and teenage years to a happy future came true. But not before much avoidable difficulty and anxiety.

    Bennett says that there are many who bring up children alone without state support. But often they will have supportive parents or whanau. It is impossible to manage everything, earning, caring, housing, cooking, school involvement… without some support. And it can be better to have state support than the bad role model of a partner who is unemployed, shiftless, lazy, alcoholic or user of other drugs.

    It is good for the parent to have part-time work, as soon as possible after the child/ren can go to preschool. This builds workplace experience, confidence, and stops isolation. But it should not be set at a minimum of 15 hours and should not have to be paid work. Volunteer work in the community should be allowed even if for a few hours then perhaps accompanied by a period training at a polytechnic course. The number of further children born to solo parents would be lessened if more future-building opportunities were present and then there would be less drift into uncommitted, short-term relationships.

    It would be good if there could be weekend camps that solo parents could apply to take their children on. Often they can’t afford to have holiday breaks, and for the parent and children to spend time together at an adventure park doing fun outdoor things – that is my dream for solo and low income parents Paula.

    • freedom 3.1

      applause of the highest magnitude for this well thought out comment.
      i hope many learn from your warmth and obvious compassion

  4. tc 4

    Hope the labor machine’s chosen the right candidate to take down this appalling excuse for a senior cabinet minister and her ever expanding ego.

    The karma that awaits her would be worth selling seats for…….westy’s will remember.

  5. PK 5

    ***There were 43,000 single parents on the domestic purposes benefit whose children were of a school age and who were ready to transition back to work. ***

    This just creates a perverse incentive to have further children to continue the payments. Birth control shots should be a condition of ongoing DPB payments.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      Ho ho, PK, very provocative. Would even have been topical if you’d come up with it a fortnight ago when Gas ’em Garratt was spewing.his hatred of the poor. But right here, right now? It just makes you look like a twat. Again.

    • freedom 5.2

      to PK
      i cannot even begin to tell you what a cretinous, vile and reprehensibly ignorant statement that is.
      I think you would be happier commenting here

    • Lanthanide 5.3

      Funny, a few weeks ago I caught part of an interview on CTV (Canterbury) where the guy was interviewing a National MP, and Labour MP and a person who works with mothers in the community.

      The interviewer asked if this would create a perverse incentive for people to have more children to avoid work. Everyone laughed at him.

    • PK you are typical of the people who crawl out from under their stones the minute Right Wing Tory governments are elected.
      Every time a National Government is elected its just a matter of time before we have the same old urban myths regarding the unemployed and the Single mum. \What I can’t understand is why these people disappear
      under Labour . Of course there is a lot less unemployment under Labour ,perhaps that’s the answer .

      • No PK, there is a disincentive to have more children. While the payments do increase for additional children (this is what may have confused someone as dumb as yourself), this is not nearly as much as the additional cost of each additional child.

        Each additional child puts a solo mother in a worse financial position, but I guess you want to argue that they are dumb and stupid and can’t see past a bigger dole cheque , funny how in reality that actually describes you huh?

  6. torydog 6

    only one question…..WHAT JOBS????

    • The Voice of Reason 6.1

      Cycleway. Mining. Prison officer. Washing Basher’s car. There ya go, problem solved.

      • Best laugh i’ve had this week , and i’m suffering from a cracked rib and am not supposed to laugh ,so I hope you are not a tory in disguise out to “get me”

    • JAS 6.2

      I second that one!

      As one of the people targetted by this policy, who has been desperately job without success seeking for months.

  7. Bill 7

    Emergency hardship payments would also be tightened up.
    “We’re tightening the system up so that these payments only go to those in genuine need to those whom life has simply thrown one too many curve balls.”
    The Government could not sustain the $250m it paid in hardship payments last year

    So the welfare bill is under by at least $250 million, hence the emergency payments. And now the welfare bill is going to be under by $250 million plus whatever amount up to $250 million they can get away with not paying out on necessary welfare.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      Because that $250m was only being spent on wasteful luxuries like stopping the power from being turned off or paying for your kid’s glasses.

      Bennett and Key are trading off people’s ignorance by throwing a big number out there without letting people know how hard it is to get a hardship payment or what that money is spent on. They are a couple of creeps.

  8. Well all I can say is “What did anyone expect . ” Where are all the conned
    plonkers who voted for this lot.Where is the change for the better ?.
    Im sick to to death of reading and hearing what this lot have done next.
    Where are the crys of anger ? Will all the unemployed and beneficiaries now come over to Labour/Greens and help us clear this ghastly right Wing
    regime out. Im not holding my breath!
    Having said that where the hell is the Maori Party ? Im thinking that Shane Jones is correct in his staements regarding the Maori Party. They have forgotten just who they are supposed to be representing.

    • A Nonny Moose 8.1

      See, that’s the problem with democracy. Unless they curfew us, make us carry papers, start tagging us for ethnicity, and generally start behaving like {insert favourite evil dictator here} , our proper recourse is in 20 months.

  9. Evidence-Based Practice 9

    I wonder how many of those solo mothers have disabled children, and will now have to find and pay expert carers or lose the DPB. Often the fathers left because they could not cope. Just another stress for stressed out mothers.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Well, I said back 2k8 that this government would be bashing the beneficiaries again just as they did in the 1990s and making them all poorer so that wages can be forced down even further. With this government you get a choice: Starve to death on the benefit or starve to death working to make someone else better off.

    • JAS 10.1

      I said similar, and am saddened that I was proved right. Particularly as in the 90’s when it was done, I had seen first hand as a case manager of that lovely department how badly the decisions the govt made affected its clients.

      What scares me most, is the case managers that now have the power to effectively starve famiiles at whim, while some do an awesome job, there are many who will just love having this power at their fingertips.

  11. BLiP 11

    Basher Bennett strikes again – just in time to provide a nasty little diversion from the mining of the the conservation estate.

    • JAS 11.1

      or to generate a bit more bene-bashing pre the Privacy Commission ruling that must be close

      • BLiP 11.1.1

        What’s the bet Basher Bennett will be taking her “leave of absence” to go fawn over some right wing professors in the states around about the time that report finally gets released?

      • mickysavage 11.1.2

        It has been a long time. I cannot believe how long it has taken for the privacy commissioner to rule.

  12. big bruv 12

    It is about time the gutless Nat’s started getting stuck into the thousands of DPB and dole blugers out there.

    What Bennett has proposed is hardly earth shattering but at least it is a start, I hope the next phase is a lot tougher and looks at putting term limits on both the DPB and dole.

    The sooner we start to educate people that they cannot keep relying on their fellow hard working Kiwis for an income the better.

  13. Uncle Helen 13

    IrishBill: And now you’re banned.

    [lprent: It is that daft bugger Klarkov… Adding him to the spam engine with a new signature. ]

    • The Voice of Reason 13.1

      ‘The days of parasites feasting off the rest of us are rapidly drawing to a close.’

      Really? Has Paul Reynolds been sacked then?

    • Funny how all these bludgers have magically appeared while John Key has been in power.

      • Jared 13.2.1

        The “bludgers” were always there micky, except Labour relied on them for support so didn’t want to alienate a firm set of voters. Im appalled, but not surprised at the comments here attacking Bennetts proposal. The unemployment benefit should only be a stop gap measure, and if you can work, you should work.

        • mickysavage


          If that is the case how come Labour got far more of them into paid work.

          You guys should wipe the froth away from your eyes so that you can see reality a bit better.

          • Jared

            Considering the level of unemployment stemming from the last 9 years of Labour I wouldn’t be that proud.

            • Killinginthenameof

              Do remember that every voter National kicks off welfare they are probably turning into a life long Labour voter.

              • Jared

                And doesn’t that just exemplify the typical labour voter.
                Vote Labour – Stay on the benefit.

                I seem to remember something called the “benefit cycle” and “welfare dependency”.
                Unless people are motivated into work, how are they going to set a good example for their kids?

            • mickysavage

              Earth to Jared, earth to Jared. It is time for your weekly dose of reality.

              Unemployment under Labour was low. Unemployment under National is high.

              • Jared

                How about that recession?
                As I said before, Labour rode an increase in growth and jobs and passed the baton on at the start of a recession.
                So don’t start with the “Unemployment under Labour was low. Unemployment under National is high.” you know why its high under National. Because the jobs simply aren’t there, at the moment.

  14. willaspish 14

    big bruv & Uncle Helen — did you two get lost, while on your way to talk back radio?

  15. big bruv 15


    I take it you are happy for thousands of bludgers to steal money from hard working Labour voters?

    • Captain Rehab 15.1

      You’re the bludger Bruv.

      • big bruv 15.1.1

        Not me Rehab, I am one of the hard working types who pay for these low life scum to sit on their backsides all day.

        • Captain Rehab

          Nah. You’re a self-hating bludger. It’s how you’ve got so much time to puke all over the blogosphere.You wouldn’t know hard work if it bit you on your fat lazy arse. Bludger.

    • prism 15.2

      big bruv how come you aren’t working at 4.13 pm. Or perhaps you are a barman at night selling happy hours to other hard working NZs?

  16. bobo 16

    “The dream is over” I wonder who came up with that one liner that sounds like a Crowed House track. I take it with all these reviews of benefits they will need a hell of alot more Winz staff to process them which means less time spent actually finding people work? Much like national standards with teachers doing more back office than actual teaching..

    It all fits in with National promising better faster services, for less money which someone should take them to the consumer institute if it still exists for the same misleading advertising as the dodgy finance companies..

  17. PK 17

    *** The Voice of Reason
    23 March 2010 at 3:02 pm
    Ho ho, PK, very provocative. Would even have been topical if you’d come up with it a fortnight ago when Gas ‘em Garratt was spewing.his hatred of the poor. But right here, right now? It just makes you look like a twat. Again.***

    I did mention the temporary birth control shot requirement (as opposed to the $5000 incentive for permanent tubal ligation) at the time of Garrett’s comment.

    23 March 2010 at 3:19 pm
    Funny, a few weeks ago I caught part of an interview on CTV (Canterbury) where the guy was interviewing a National MP, and Labour MP and a person who works with mothers in the community.

    The interviewer asked if this would create a perverse incentive for people to have more children to avoid work. Everyone laughed at him.***

    It sounds silly but the interviewer isn’t wrong. I doubt many people actually consciously set out to do that, but it does allow people who don’t have many other options an out.

    As others have noted jobs may be hard to come by so simply forcing people back to work may not be realistic. That is why I would support ongoing (even increased) payments, provided people used contraception.

    • Bright Red 17.1

      But PK, you only get an additional small amount per child. You have another human to feed and clothe and a slightly larger pot of moeny to divide more ways. You’re better off having fewer and getting less money to divide between fewer people.

      I mean, you’re not so dumb as to believe the DPB is so generous that you have money left over from the per child payments at the end of the week are you? Far from it, you get worse of the more children you haave.

      There is no business case for breeding for a business.

      • Lew 17.1.1

        But in PK-land, beneficiaries are calculating enough to know that if you have more kids so they can get more money, and yet not calculating enough to realise that the marginal benefit of each child brings on rapidly diminishing returns. Because that’s not inconsistent at all.


    • I’ll take your word for it, PK, but links are nice. To save you looking it up, I’ll concede you were a twat then too. This phrase lays it out pretty well; ‘the temporary birth control shot requirement’.

      Requirement. Even Garrett doesn’t go that far and he’s bonkers. Should it only apply to DPBers? What about WFF? You gonna tell middle NZ to keep their legs crossed and the number of rug rats in each house at the present level, or else? It’s taxpayers’ money after all.

  18. Lew 18

    Truth nastier than fiction: Radio NZ are reporting that John Key has described the changes as “a kick in the pants” for beneficiaries. It’s like they’ve hired IrishBill as a blagwriter.


    • IrishBill 18.1

      Jesus. The depressing thing is that phrase is too contentious not to have been focus-grouped.

      edit: just checked. It’s actually in his speech:

      We believe in a welfare system that supports people when they are most in need, encourages them to get back to work, and occasionally gives them a kick in the pants when they are not taking responsibility for themselves, their family, and other taxpayers.

      Is this a metaphor or should we take it the way the right took Hone’s comments about Phil Goff?

      • Lew 18.1.1

        Ministry of Arse-Kicking? Bennett as Chief Arse-Kicker? There’s plenty of opportunity to turn this against them.

        The framing of the “kick in the pants” as an appeal to the good old-fashioned values embodied by their side of the child discipline debate must not be permitted to stand unchallenged. This needs to be redefined as intimidation, which is what it is.

        Leading Checkpoint, too.


        • IrishBill

          Less arse-kicker and more vindictive bully I’d say.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Funny how if you rort the tax payer through a trust, this mob are gonna give you a cheque in the pocket.

            • tsmithfield

              Um, don’t mean to poop on your party, Pascal. However, rorting the WFF through a trust has been going on for years, probably decades under Labour and they did nothing about it. National is sorting it out in their first term.

        • Cnr Joe

          I agree L, my take? – arse kicking is not very Prime Ministerial or even touristy.

    • A Nonny Moose 18.2

      Nat – treating their constits like little kids since 2008.

  19. Di 19

    Bug Bruv- My idea of a bludger is a suit receiving an obscenely high wage, avoiding paying any tax.

    • Jared 19.1

      I believe the alternative is communism. We don’t want to go down that track.
      The “suits” are often paid according to international rates because of demand for talented leaders well exceeding demand.

  20. big bruv 20


    So you would want to control the amount somebody can earn?

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Nope, they can earn as much as they like – they just have to earn it and pay the taxes.

  21. prism 21

    Also John Key said that the changes to demands for Dpbs was not to save money but to – something like – improve their lives.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    Paula Bennett fronts up to Newstalk ZB, but not Radio NZ’s Checkpoint. She refuses to appear on the programme.

    Not for the first time, National Ministers show they can’t cope with real interviews. If it’s a kiss-and-cuddle from Paul Henry or Larry Williams or any other safe right-winger, they’re there. Otherwise they run for cover.

    It’s a recurring pattern, and much worse than any previous governments I can recall, National or Labour.

    • Tiger Mountain 22.1

      Great isn’t it, the substitute for Bennett was a Salvation Army guy who daily has to pick up the pieces after National’s beneficiary bashing

  23. Olwyn 24

    The nine years of Labour government showed how few people are unemployed because they are bludgers – under a government that actually cared about getting people employed, the numbers on benefits went down overall – OVERALL, I said, so do not come back bleating about the sickness benefit. These people, like their nineties counterparts, are not interested in getting people employed, just in providing an easy target for the hatred of cowards, and pointing out a group to whom everyone else can feel superior. This is particularly galling when both Key and Bennett have relied on benefits themselves. What is surprising is that the people who join this festival of contempt do not seem to feel embarrassed at what a bunch of net-curtain-twitching hicks they make all of us look as a country – as if we have so little that is uplifting to think about that we are only interested in grinding our teeth at the thought of any unfortunate person “having it too easy.”

    • Jared 24.1

      You had 9 years of economic growth and job creation with a change of government at the beginning of a recession, what do you expect? jobs to appear out of thin air? No one is debating the need for an unemployment benefit, but if the individual is able to work, even for just 15 hours a week, then why not? why the objection? what else are they going to do with their time, sit around home twiddling their thumbs?
      Also, I have read the Greens New Deal, and its largely unsustainable in nature so don’t even mention it.
      Captcha: Ridiculous
      The question we should be asking is why are the left so opposed to encouraging the unemployed to seek work.

      • Olwyn 24.1.1

        I said that the Labour record shows that people are not generally unemployed as a career – if they were, they would have resisted employment, despite the economic climate, but they did not. There are ways of getting people employed, and bullying and shaming, to cries of approval from right wing bores, are not necessarily the best or most effective ways.

        • mickysavage

          Labour’s policy was actually to get people off the dole with a carrot. WFF was offered only to working families, not to the unemployed. This caused some consternation amongst the ranks because the poorest were not helped but it did have an effect.

          National have the opposite approach. Instead of a hand up and a carrot it is a kick and a smack down.

          It will not work. It will blight many people’s lives.

          But they do not care. They are just trying to look tough. They are not interested in helping ordinary people, just looking tough for their mates.

          • Draco T Bastard

            They’re trying, and succeeding, in getting wages to drop just as Jonkey said he wanted.

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.2

        and its largely unsustainable in nature

        A RWNJ going on about sustainability….


  24. ak 25

    What a nice chap.

    Our most vulnerable and deprived young mothers are “breeding for a business”, and now all those at the bottom need a “kick in the pants”.

    The pus is starting to show through the silk shirts.

    • big bruv 25.1


      “Our most vulnerable and deprived young mothers are “breeding for a business’, and now all those at the bottom need a “kick in the pants’.

      Thank god!, you have finally grasped it.

      This is why we need massive welfare reform, IMHO Neville Key has not gone far enough but it is a start.

  25. Sally-Ann 26

    Another way for the Govt to continue their crusade on ‘bene bashing’.

    I have no real problems with these ‘policies’ but they need to be handled sensitively, realistically and without a ‘one size fits all’ mentality.

    By realistically, I mean do not put people already under stress under even more stress by making them try and undertake work they are not suited for, does not suit their family circumstances or is not even in existence or could cost them more than they might earn thus increasing the social, economic and emotional stress they might not otherwise face thus costing the country more in the long run.

    Childcare will be an issue too. Many sole parents do not have the parent/family support (and understanding and helpful employers) that other families tend to have (unlike the ongoing and close support Ms Bennett had while she yo-yoed on and off the DPB).

    Most part time jobs that may be available (and hotly contested for by students and often the unemployed or those in low paying jobs looking for a second job) are in supermarkets and fast food chains, at nights, on weekends, etc. Normal childcare is often not available outside of normal business hours and this could leave children on their own while their sole carer is forced to work.

    IMO – upskilling and higher level training is the answer. If a person can train to be more ’employable’ then that should be the first priority. Training that is targeted to areas of employment that have a lack of trained staff. Put back the TIA or something similar that will allow eligible beneficiaries to upskill and perhaps attain a liveable wage that means they no longer have to rely on so-called ‘government handouts’.

    Wow – what a ‘dream’!!

  26. JAS 27

    Cant disagree with a word of that!

    Ms Bennett forgets that many sole parents are not as lucky as her to have support and childcare.

    I wonder how 15 to 20,000 kiwis would feel if their full time jobs now become the 43,000 part time jobs that are going to be created from thin air. All because the 43,000 will have no choice but to work for minimum wage and be a cheaper alternative for big business.

    • Jared 27.1

      As was noted previously, when it gets to the select committee stage I would advocate that work could include volunteer work also.

      • JAS 27.1.1

        That was something else I was pondering this afternoon… Many of these people already fill volunter roles within their communities, schools etc. Are they going to supply extra staff to schools when the pool of volunteers dries up because they are working instead?

      • big bruv 27.1.2

        “As was noted previously, when it gets to the select committee stage I would advocate that work could include volunteer work also.”

        What a silly idea.

        • felix

          Yes how ridiculous to imagine that important valuable things actually get done in the world by people who aren’t being paid.

          You are all delusional apart from BB.

        • prism

          but do you know what an idea actually looks like from personal experience little bruv. just repeating a lot of criticisms that blokes having a whinge resort to for feelings if solidarity isn’t having ideas.

  27. Serendity 28

    With the wealth of free contraception and sex education in this day and age, no child should be born outside a solid partnership. If I were Paula Bennet I would have looked at my watch and said “OK, after nine and a half weeks there will be no future DPB paid to women or young girls intent on doing the solo mother career plan. Obviously extenuating circumstances would be taken into account if necessary.

    If a female is not responsible enought to take precautions she is probably not responsible enough to guide an innocent child through life. And yes I do know that there are some wonderful solo mums out there but the number of those seems to be outweighed by the number who are not quite so wonderful.

    The DPB should only be for women who have been left, widowed or who have found themselves in a bad/dangerous relationshops.

    The benefits would be two fold – far fewer feral teenagers trawling our streets at night also a major drop in transmission of STD’s – so many young girls today pick up chlamydia (which is symptomless in male and female) which can leave her infertile when she does choose to have a child – then the taxpayer has to fork out for extremely expensive and not always successful IVF treatment.

    And many children would not die at the hands of the latest ‘uncle’ brought into the home to supplement the ‘family’ income.

    • BLiP 28.1

      If a female is not responsible enought to take precautions she is probably not responsible enough to guide an innocent child through life

      Quite right. Since the dawn of time, just a few thousand years ago, women have been the downfall and the curse of manhood as we proud penis bearers struggle in the almighty quest to become nett positive taxpayers. Do away with them, I say. Motherhood is just so over rated these days.

    • Bill 28.2

      @ serendity

      So if you said what you have just said in a real world conversation with me rather than in the safe environs of an anonymous distant blog, then what do you think the chances are that I’d break your face?

      Same chance as anyone else would do?

      Which is high?

      Which is why you and yours only spout your turd brain nonsense via anonymous blog comments?

      Thought so.

    • Descendant Of Smith 28.3

      Nope there’s no men out there getting these girls pregnant is there, there’s no men giving these girls STD’s, there’s no men walking away from relationships or trading their older spouse for a younger newer model, or hitting them, or having children to lots of different women, there’s no girls being passed around the gangs at the gang leaders whim, theres no men finding out their kid is disabled and buggering off, there’s no men ( and plenty of self employed businessmen) refusing to pay to raise their kids, there’s no men sitting in relationships while their wife partner sits on DPB cause they expect the benefits of a relationship but none of the responsibility, there’s no women with no self esteem from this type of abuse by men, there’s no rate of lower pay for women, there’s no employers that get rid of their pregnant staff for a trivial reason so they can employ someone who can’t get pregnant, there’s no women prostituting themselves for men’s benefit, there’s no women being drugged at pubs and parties, or plied with alcohol by men- nope it’s all the womens fault.

      Nope lets go back to the days of women having to stay in these sorts of relationships cause you know they made their bed they should lie in it. Maybe we should send them off to the country to have their kids on the quiet, maybe we should forcibly take their kids off them and put them into the hands of mercenary abusers paid for by the state, or institutions.

      Maybe if you poured some of your vitriol at the fathers of these children and their irresponsibility you might get somewhere but I doubt it because in your eyers all these men are scum as well cause they are not your friends and your neighbours and the man you buy your car off, and the man at the bank who gives you your mortgage, and the man who owns the restaurant where you eat your meals.

      The trouble is you’re delusional cause those are the very men who many of these women were in a relationship with / fathered their child and you’re damn naive to think otherwise.

      • QoT 28.3.1

        Hear bloody hear, DoS. And let’s not forget that there’s also no religious leaders telling women that they owe their husbands sex, and there’s no cultural stigma of emasculation around condom use, and there’s no women’s mags constantly emphasising that men need to be made happy, and there’s no fundies promoting abstinence-only education, and there’s no lack of basic sex ed in some of our schools*, and there’s certainly not a constant barrage of Sex and the City and Bridezillas and lose-weight-for-your-wedding TV shows reminding you that your one shot at happiness is being with a man and having a baby and if he leaves it’s because you were a b!tch.

        *Which, can I say without facetiousness, is my key hate, this idea that because people who have the privilege and time to post comments on blogs know about contraception and are fully confident in discussing sexual matters = EVERYONE knows about contraception and has a liberal attitude to it and lives in a situation where they can openly discuss/seek it. Fuck off to a fundamentalist Christian household in Lynfield and get back to me after you get knocked up by a relative and nearly haemmorhage to death post-coathanger.

    • prism 28.4

      serendotty suggest you sit quietly close your eyes and say your serenity prayer. You are getting too worked up about other people’s difficulties – women tend to get drunk and end up with a baby, men get drunk and hurt someone. Which gender tends to be a positive life force and which a negative one?

  28. Serendity 29

    Yeah, right, I meant nine and a half months. The less children conceived in unfavourable environments the better far all society – both those in work or out of work. Everbody benfits, especially the children of those we know that would never make suitable parents.

    • BLiP 29.1

      Quite right. Who needs children, anyway? Damn things get underfoot, squabble on airplanes and need regular thrashing before they can become sensible adults like you.

  29. big bruv 30

    Nobody said they were not important Felix, if they have survived thus far with volunteers then I can see no reason why they should be handed what amounts to my tax dollars to keep doing what they are now doing for free.

    They need to find a job that pays real money, then they can contribute to society, hell, once they find out how much of their OWN money is stolen by the government they might come to their senses and stop voting for Labour.

    I am really surprised at the way so many on the left have gone nuts about Bennett’s decision, Labour abused the middle class for nine long years with their tax grab and they (the middle class) have had enough.
    Public sympathy will not be with the long term bludgers on this one.

    • Draco T Bastard 30.1

      The middle class is about to get royally shafted by the present delusional NACT government as they give themselves and their mates lots of taxpayer wealth.

  30. BLiP 31

    I’ve tried tightening all the nuts but there it is again . . . fap fap fap

  31. Bill 32

    Tonight I spoke with a number of people from across the beneficiary spectrum as well as ex-beneficiaries.

    Angry just doesn’t capture the mood. It’s like a very deep quiet rage. All it needs is a little sign post…a little direction. Just wish I didn’t live in the provinces…

    • I am a dickhead 32.1

      Goodness no! The parasites are angry that decent Kiwis aren’t going to pay to support their lifestyle choices?

      Whatever will we do without them?

      [lprent: Adjusted your name to something more appropriate. ]

      • Bill 32.1.1

        You what?

        Bankers and speculators do have their lifestyle supported and their fuck ups mitigated by decent Kiwis….not to mention the many decent Samoans, Koreans, Germans and others who live here but who are not ‘kiwis’….

        And what we would do without them is not suffer the joblessness and other bullshit associated with recessions and depressions…

        Oh, I see. You mean to refer to the inevitable victims of the market economy…the unemployed and under employed whose situation is the engineered necessity that makes it possible for the parasites to rip off the majority to the maximum extent.

        Do you know the difference between kneeling down and bending over? Or do you just live to serve however?

  32. tsmithfield 33

    Actually, I have a great deal of sympathy beneficiaries generally, although it might surprise many of you. A lot of people desperately want to get back into work but at the moment there is not much to be found. So, moves to reduce benefits without compensating moves to increase the work available will not achieve too much. Generally, where people are motivated to work they will fill the gaps as jobs become available. Therfore, there needs to be compensating moves on the part of the government to increase available jobs for their policy to be effective.

    The way the government can really help the unemoployment situation IMO is to leave more money in the hands of those who have the ability to create jobs. Changes to the tax laws with respect to housing investment may cause people to put their money into more productive areas that help growth rather than into housing which is quite unproductive. Also, moves to reduce company tax rates should also help in this respect. So, perhaps the government’s move to change tax rates and close off tax advantages on property may be the other side of the coin needed to increase available jobs.

    I do have a great concern about inter-generational welfare and the effect that it has on those born into this environment. This is an extremely difficult area but needs addressing. I am also very concerned about the situation of many young teenage women who become mothers while they are still children themselves. Firstly, they often lack the parenting skills necessary due to their young age often dysfunctional upbringing and thus perpetuate the problem. Secondly, they lock themselves out of many future opportunities by becoming pregnant at such a young age. I see these types of issues as the most pressing ones in welfare.
    And not from a beneficiary bashing point of view. But more from a concern about the opportunities these people are missing out on, the effect on children born into these situations, and the ongoing cost to society in terms of dysfunction and crime.

    • SPC 33.1

      How many jobs are created cutting the tax paid by banks, Contact (or the SOE’s, do they pay higher dividends with the money saved or borrow less for their new investments) then?

      Thus the cost of creating new jobs by cutting tax rates is very inefficient.

      Of course how they would afford the tax cuts, may cost jobs.

    • BLiP 33.2

      I know – given all the dysfunction, stress, missed opportunity and suffering the welfare recipients are undergoing, lets make it worse for them; lets remove education opportunities, force them into dead-end no-hope exploitative jobs, force the children into cheap childcare, and then, to top it all off, lets pillory them in the media and community!! Let them pay for their intransigence and immoral, wicked ways. Never mind the impact on their children, bring it on, lets be having the slack arse breeding bludgers front and centre.

      Brilliant. Love your thinking. You’re a true humanitarian. After all, its for their own good, isn’t it?

      • tsmithfield 33.2.1

        Actually, I’m all for education if it opens the door for people to change direction in life. Sometimes that is the only way forward. For instance, for many of those workers (clothing manufacturing etc) who have lost their jobs due to industry being relocated to China etc.

        What I don’t like is people just vegetating. I think this is very soul-destroying for people and eventually leads to people just giving up and accepting welfare as their lot in life. I don’t know about you, but I think that is very sad and something we need to fix.

        • BLiP

          I’m not sure that being a parent can best be described as vegetating.

        • SPC

          Start by having government dedicated to full employement, before combating inflation. While government prevaricates on that central issue, this is just window-dressing.

    • Bill 33.3

      Or….’double’ the benefit levels.

      All the money will be spent more or less straight away ( such is the dire shortfall in current benefit incomes) thus benefiting local business which will allow them to expand and employ more people. Will wage levels go up? Yes. But that’s all ‘closing the gap’ and all that. And as long as wage growth out paces inflation then hey….win/win.

      • BLiP 33.3.1

        Far too sensible, lacking in suitable victims to thrash in the media/public, and, what’s more, likely to lead to success. National Ltdâ„¢ wouldn’t touch it with a 40 foot barge pole.

  33. B 34

    This is a sad day for children in New Zealand – the government has basically said you don’t count – if you suffer & go hungry because your mother cant or wont find work and her benefit is cut in half – too bad – not our problem

  34. SPC 35

    When are they finally saying how much income a beneficiary can earn before the horrendous disincentive of abatements come in.

    Its been their stated policy for an age, but when is it going to happen?

    • tsmithfield 35.1

      SPC, several points to be made in reply:

      1. If multi-national companies see they will make greater profits due to tax cuts, it may well motivate them to invest more in NZ in order to increase their profits further due to the favourable tax regime. This could have the effect of increasing jobs as a result.

      2. The largest percentage of business in NZ is small to medium sized businesses. These companies are highly likely to reinvest any tax-savings back into their businesses with positive spin-offs for employment.

      • SPC 35.1.1

        Yeah right

        • TightyRighty

          ha, mocking the positive impact big business can have, then spouting one their marketing establishmnets most popular catch phrase. how ironic

          • Draco T Bastard

            You know, I’m pretty sure that the term “Yeah, right” was around before the Tui ads. The Tui ads just made it more well known.

    • Bill 35.2

      @ SPC

      According to today’s proclamation, the earnings allowed rise to $100 before tax from the present $80. But that only counts on the main portion of benefit and housing allowance as I understand it. So you will lose $ for $ on every $ earned from any Temporary Additional Support ( the capped Labour government replacement for uncapped Supplementary Benefit).

      I’d guess that a very large minority of beneficiaries get TAS due to the inadequate levels of main benefits. So no gain there

      • JAS 35.2.1

        I would love to know if that $100 is extended further by $20pw for those paying childcare as it has been for years, if not, then that change has no effect for most. Currently those paying childcare can already earn $100pw.

        I just spoke to a sole parent who just today was made redundant from a fulltime permanent monday to friday position purely because she could not work weekends regularly at the whim of her employer.

      • SPC 35.2.2

        8 hours work and then its abatement and the highest tax rates in the country.

        The $20 extra is merely an adjustment for inflation across the years and no step change.

        How many new jobs are there between 9 and 3, enough to make this government effort cost effective?

        The only way to impact on beneficiary job prospects is to improve education (TIA/adult education) and to provide a wage subsidy. This government is too cheap to do either. But they will spend money to hassle people to little effect. Meanness as the new madness?

        • B

          Exactly, everything National comes up with seems to make it harder for parents to upskill in order to find work eg cutting tertiary education funding resulting in universities possibly scrapping open entry for over 20s to uni, cutting tia, cutting adult education, limiting access to student loans the list goes on.

          On the other hand they are now threatening to cut benefits in half for parents who don’t find work!

  35. Ianmac 36

    TSM: Excellent ideas there. (Am pleasantly surprised.) However we need some mechanism for identifying the at risk people. The Bennet proposals will not do it. Like strapping the whole class because some kid broke the window.

  36. JAS 37

    Are Work and Income staff numbers to be increased? Currently the wait for an appointment is weeks rather than days, how are the staff to fit in the intensive case management that the minister is proposing?

    • pollywog 37.1

      Are Work and Income staff numbers to be increased? Currently the wait for an appointment is weeks rather than days, how are the staff to fit in the intensive case management that the minister is proposing?

      I’m pretty sure they just got rid of individual case managers hence the wait time being longer as you now make appointments with the first free hump behind the desk ?

      Maybe ‘basher’ and co thought your individual case manager was to symapthetic/empathetic and would actually inform you of all your rights and benefits from knowing your situation.

      I think the deal now is, you have to know what you qualify for and apply for it specifically cos they wont tell you ?…so if you dont fit the criteria or miss an appointment, the WINZ hump can dock your benny without the guilt of feeling they’re dealing with a person they might know. It’s easier that way, now that they’re just dealing with numbers and files.

      Basher and co are living in a past long since gone when it was cool to be a bludger and could ‘live the dream’. Of those hardcore ‘stick it to the man’ bludgers holding on to the dream, there’d be fuck all left in NZ. They all shot through Oz to get on their dole years ago or became recidivist crims to get into places like the Milton Hilton jail in Sth otago where all your needs are catered for.

      In as much as women ‘choose’ a career on the benny so to do men ‘choose’ a life behind bars ? and where can i find some stats on age related pasifikan solo mums on the benny and age related pasifikan men on 2 strikes for misdemeanours ?

      Would love to hear what the maori party policy/advise is on young solo maori women getting knocked up and what sort of iwi assistance is available to them, either within their rohe or outside of it ? I’d also like to know how the traditions governed the welfare of young mothers and the tribal reponsibilites of young men to provide for them if it were their offspring back in the days of pre colonial initiated gov’t welfare dependency ?

      The thing is, if a young woman gets pregnant, tells the father and he says ‘nah you’re only gonna fuck up your life and mine if you have the child’ but she decides to have it anyway…whats a bro to do…man up and resign himself to a life of hand to mouth poverty in trying to provide for 3 ?

      There is definitely a need to disincetivise young pasifikan women from using the safety net of the DPB as a soft out for easy money and in not challenging their aspirations to succeed in a career, same for young men in using drugs as escapism and hustling bullshit crime to get by.

      I can’t wait for the big ‘whanau ora’ pilot programme reveal to see how much scope and resources they have to deal with this, from the much touted traditional and culturally appropriate holistic mind, body and spirit approach…

      captcha : problem

      • logie97 37.1.1

        moderate your language POLLYWOG. Judging by your statements you would seem to have had an issue with the department. The frontline staff at WINZ are doing a job … pressures created by constant restructuring, and they don’t need crap from people like you…

        • prism

          logie 97 pollywog may know a lot more about the variable treatment of beneficiaries by WINZ people than you do. Sure winz do a hard job, but they have to work too at being firm, clear and fair, without being hard, rude, disbelieving and judgmental which happens often enough. I don’t think that the benny can easily complain about such treatment to bring improvement or in the worst cases get the WINZ worker sacked as incompetent, they just have to put up with the humiliation.

          It is no good for WINZ to feel sorry for themselves, they should know it is a difficult job when they take it on. It is a fact though that the manager of the ‘service centre’ I think they call them, like a petrol station, can set hard targets and controls, also the head office interprets the law and how it will operate on the ground, and that could lead to harsh and rigid practices that also make it harder for worker and benny.

        • pollywog

          Oh i gave up giving them crap ages ago. I’m actually quite sympathetic towards them. It must be hard to tell a desperate mum with a sick child she can only get half the money she’s entitled to and now has to come up with the transport costs to get back next week with accounts and reciepts for what she has spent. That sort of pressure on both sides of the desk, no one needs.

          For what its worth, I’ve seen people nut off, get abusive, kick potplants over and scatter brochures everywhere in frustration at the helplessness of the frontline workers at winz and thought, what a waste of time and energy. They’re just doing their jobs and toeing the govt line no matter how sympathetic they might be, they’re bound by protocols and just following the chain of command much like death camp guards doing their job.

          What i’d like to see is clear policy directives and an ad campaign dealing with the root causes of poverty related crime/violence and welfare dependency. How that impacts parental responsibility and aimed at young people thinking of petty crime as a supplement to the dole and pregnancy as a career option. The “it’s not OK” anti violence one is alright and the “never shake a baby” one is a bit off given child abuse is not just a pasifikan problem, but we all need to realise the problems leading to those campaigns are trans generational and cultural and then target the demographic armed with that knowledge, instead of pretending there is this one size fits all cure based on us all being monocultural and living the capitalist dream while saying bullshit like, ‘kick in the pants’ and ‘the dream is over’.

          Why not say, look it’s not OK to have sex and bail on your parental responsibilites. It’s not OK to expect the state to pick up the tab for your mistakes. It’s not OK to escape on drugs and as much as you can acknowledge the system is culturally biased, it doesn’t owe you a living. You have a choice to either continue with the welfare victim mentality or at least try to break the cycle. If not in your time, then educate your kids to so they can, but know that before you have them.

          Honestly, this is not why our ancestors lived and died and came here !… to see us fail and make weak excuses for it. It fails them and it fails our progeny. We as pasifikans need strong traditional cultural role models to base our identity on, fathers and providers, spiritual warriors, not corporate ones, sports stars or rapsingers, business leaders, social workers or politicians. The underpinning common tie in needs to be values, traditional, cultural, religious, personal or whatever. We need to ask ourselves what matters most and if the answer isnt family, inclusive of the wider tribe and if we’re not working for the benefit of that, then we’re failing our culture, our people and our kids, so despite the lip service and posturing it means we dont value ourselves and our cultures enough.

          I may never be rich but if culture were capital, i would be scrooge mcduck in his money bin, only i’d be hooking up donald and his nephews to the days. Oh and heres a link to my piece on personal responsibility…yeah yeah shameless 🙂


      • prism 37.1.2

        pollywog A very thoughtful post and you sound informed, know the background to this social area. Interesting if we could get the stats you are wondering about. But NZ govts don’t like too many social stats, they can cut their prejudices to ribbons.
        They could listen to people like Charles Waldegrave or Salvation Army Major Campbell I think, plus others with good creds but they get to have a say then govt goes its own way anyway. So we fly on the seat of our pants, crash, never learn new ways, repeat – major fail.

        There is something on NatRad this am Katherine Ryan talking about 15 years of educating teenage mothers. It will be interesting and a useful and intelligent way to help such parents to plan for their future while they can get help and advice for their baby caring job.
        I think the attitude of both Nat and Labour is to regard beneficiaries as so much lower in the pecking order and good kicking fodder, difference is that Labour does do a bit to help. Nats variable. Both fail.

  37. freedom 38

    15 hours work at $12.75 per hour gross is $191.25
    the allowed extra earnings limit of $70 nett (approx from $80 gross) leaves
    $110.25 which is taxed at 70% leaving $33.10

    so for 15 hours work the DB parent has earned approximately $110.10

    then take out childcare, travel, food, clothing etc etc etc
    yeah this is gonna really solve all their problems

    • SPC 38.1

      Child care cost should not result – if as one would presume the hours are to be within school hours only, that is the mother is only available during those hours.

      Not having that limitation would mean the policy was totally unfair.

      Of course employers would want people available throughout the year, including school holidays – so the policy is already stupid.

    • JAS 38.2

      I did the 15-20hrs pw with partial benefit while studying towards my degree, (yep I guess I might be opening myself up to abuse by admitting it). My housing nz rent increased, I had childcare and transport costs, my benefit of course substantially reduced, I paid secondary tax on my wages, which were in fact my main source of income as my benefit payment was around $50 pw.

      I declared ALL income, and any changes as they occurred during the year, and at my annual renewal was informed I had been overpaid $2000 that year, which I had to pay back at $20 pw. When you look at it rationally, it actually cost me to work.

      Now okay I was not earning minimum wage, but just goes to show that the system is seriously flawed. The way to encourage people into work is to design a system where it benefits them to do so, rather than one that penalises them for having budgets so tight they cant actually afford to work part time.

    • prism 38.3

      freedom – You will blind government if you shine your glaring stats in their eyes! They will never be able to see them.

      As I suggested before, they don’t like stats and reason and forward-moving ideas to build capability of beneficiaries, they like to dip into their prejudice bag using stuff that ‘everyone knows’ and age-old systems that control the bennies till they can move off to a shelf-filling job (useful work but not a career with a living wage).

      When talking about tax changes before I brought up the matter of the unfairness of secondary tax which is a past system now redundant. Not a thing done about that though because it affects the hardest working on the lower income range. Who fucking cares about them.

  38. Someone in the house really should ask Bennett how she got off the benefit!

  39. B 40

    Just a personal perspective: Part time work while on a benefit is taxed at a secondary rate. If you have a student loan as well thats about 30% tax. Then winz takes a cut -On minimum wage thats $4.95 an hour in the hand after the first $80 which is ok. BUT after subsidised afterschool care for 2 children – it is -$1.05 (yes that is a negative) per hour. After the first $180 earned its down to -$6.05 Yes you lose $6.05 a week by working -The more you work the less you get. That was my situation anyway when I was on the dpb and working part time. I had to turn down extra hours because I would lose money. Also the money I earned during term time was spent saving up for holiday programs – $300 for two weeks after subsidies. It is this much because a) no holiday program will let you enrol children per hour – it must be for a day even if you only work a couple of hours and b)winz will only pay a subsidy for the actual hours you work. There is no other alternative- babysitting is at least $14 per hour and not subsidised.

  40. B 41

    Regardless of the hardship on parents however, the key issue is Nationals stance towards children. Surely they would be violating international agreements on the rights of children by cutting benefits in half as they have threatened to do for parents who do not comply. How can they possibly justify doing this? Children are utterly dependent on their caregiver. At least some parents will not be able or willing to get part time work. So some children will – given that at least half of most benefits go on rent – to put it bluntly starve This will be as a direct result of the National government’s policies.

  41. JAS 42

    Totally agree – Children will certainly (funny tis the capcha) be the ones to loose out here, either by parents having their benefits cut, or by being left home alone while parents work. Okay so the parent miraculously finds one of these many available jobs within school hours (tui anyone?) but what happens when little jenny or johnny gets sick and the parent fears time off will result in lack of income or lost employment?

  42. B 43

    Exactly- this policy encourages parents to leave their children at home alone. Paula Bennet needs to sit down and have a long hard think about how this is going to work in practice for those without a kind old granny down the road to watch the kiddies. Childcare must be fully subsidised for this to work.

  43. JAS 44

    *thumbsup* Fully subsidised childcare is far cheaper than benefits, and an increase in demand for quality childcare could easily create more jobs.

    How about ensuring that ALL primary schools are serviced by an OSCAR/CYFS accredited organisation both before AND after school. Kill two birds with one stone and ensure that the kids have had breakfast before classes begin.

    While my children attend the most amazing afterschool care that IS subsidised, I have had to resort to private arrangements before school (unsubsidised) as there is no before school care available in our area. It seems not all parents are able to do even that, as I still see children arriving at the local primary school from 8am onwards, regardless of the notices from school stating children must not be there prior to 8.30am.

  44. prism 45

    Something that others here don’t seem to have expressed definitely is that raising children is a serious job! Parents, under this government plan are not being ordered to have full-time work. That has been so in the past with them being expected to parent as a sort of hobby while they spend most of their time and energies at paid work to earn enough to survive and the children have the time left perhaps an hour of quality time!! Even though lesser hours are being set at present, parents are not respected in this country, and the work of bringing up children in this complex world with mixed, confusing ways of life.

    Parenting, if not done adequately can lead to lifelong troubles personally or to society. Parents shouldn’t be expected to be perfect, but adequately would give a satisfactory result of stable, well-rounded, self-managing people socially integrated and a delight to know. But more is needed than wash, dress, breakfast in the morning, and dinner, wash, pjs at night with television cartoons to watch in the afternoon. Parents need income but also support and opportunity to learn good parenting behaviour, and achievable plans for their self-supporting future also for their chldren.

    • prism 45.1

      Did anyone else hear the teenage parents school piece this a.m? It was a really good move in the right direction. We need lots more hopeful, helpful, supportive projects like this. That continue. That aren’t just run as pilots and then starved of funds or dropped 2-4 years later.

      There are 18 of these small student-parent-oriented schools in the country. Two successful students talk about how great it was for them, and how it was flexible enough to be able to help and understand when they were tired from nights with a crying child etc. They kept receiving encouragement and got far past just finishing their secondary education. I was stoked hearing about it.

  45. Rob 46

    I had a dream today.

  46. Bored 47

    Im with you Prism, I heard it too and was “stoked”.

    For the record, I am a parent, and thank my lucky stars did not have the struggles of a solo parent. I am employed and reasonably independent of means and thank my lucky stars I am not out of work or poor.

    So Paula, have a bit of circumspection and thank your lucky star that you have a well paid position. You might also want to reflect that you have some power, so show some compassion and use it more wisely.

  47. Di 48


    Chris Finlayson, Attorney General said that the welfare reforms lauded by Key and Bennett breached the Bill of Rights Act on three grounds by discriminating on the basis of sex and family and marital status. Another well thought out scheme!!

    • B 48.1

      Very interesting article – why are widows put in a different category from regular dpb recipients? I would love to see the justification for this – are they seen as more deserving somehow? It can’t be justified by saying widows have not chosen to be single as many many people on the dpb have been left by their husbands wives or partners and have not chosen this either.

  48. B 49

    “Something that others here don’t seem to have expressed definitely is that raising children is a serious job!”

    Thankyou prism for raising that very important point- women have contributed to the economy for years through their unpaid work of caring for children and the home – thus allowing men to go to work. Governments have recognised the importance and necessity of this work by amending laws to do with separation of marital assets etc so why are they now expecting women to do it all?

    • Lanthanide 49.1

      In a science fiction novella I read, there was a planet populated only by men of a strict religious order that considered women to be immoral and evil as they would twist a man’s mind etc etc.

      They procreated by way of artificial wombs and conception, but this was costly and in limited supply on the planet, so parenthood had to be earned through work credits. One of the fastest ways to earn work credits was to be a parent of someone else’s (generally your partner’s) child.

      captcha: boy

  49. Serendipity 50

    @Bill 7:44

    You may well break my face in if I said to your face what I said in my post but I doubt the medical fraternity I mix with would react with the same ‘reasoned’ reaction. How can one possibly debate constructively with people like you whose only repost is to say they would smash your face in , rather than reply with constructive criticisim. Do all your peer group act like this?

    • Descendant Of Smith 50.1

      Elucidate us. Which part of the medical fraternity do you mix with?

      The part that in the 1918 flu pandemic pitched in and helped the victims and mainly died or the part that carried on playing tennis, walking past the soup kitchen that one neighbour had set up, survived the pandemic and made lots of money afterwards.

      Or maybe you are part of the medical fraternity that has come from overseas and has very little understanding of the hard fought for battles that were made in this country to have a more equal and egalitarian society and want to impose their own mores on us.

      Maybe you’re part of the medical fraternity that likes to sleep with lots of nurses partly taking advantage of these women hoping for a good catch.

      I could list little niche medical fraternities forever. I’m unclear how that comment by you is constructive. Given the amount of funding the medical profession gets from the public purse I hardly think they are in a position to criticise others. Of course the medical profession doesn’t see themselves as public servants.

      Please explain to me in a constructive way how catholic women whose husbands refuse to use contraception or allow their wives to do so can take precautions as you suggest.

  50. Serendipity 51

    @Bill 7:44

    My, my, is that really the level of your intellectual discourse when answerering an observation made by another poster? No wonder so many Kiwi women leave their partners if you are an example of the ordinary Kiwi male! And you also think that many other Kiwis would also ‘break my face’ if I said this to their face? By the way, I’m a five foot female weighing 50KG and my face is (I am told) is extremely attractive. Which is why I never had to mix with agressive filthy mouthed males like you – I can pick and choose my friends and situations.

    Divert your thoughts from physical aggression and if you do have some brain cells, to try to find a way to disencourage young females taking the option of becoming new solo mothers. If you can make a major argument against withdrawing the benefit to motivate young girls to use contraception in order to stop the cycle be my guest.

  51. Serendipity 52


    Strangely enough I was born and bred in a country where Catholic men did exactly that!

    In answer to your question, I would have thought that a woman who was intending to marry a Catholic male would have discussed the situation of contraception before marriage. She must then make a choice. Even in Ireland in these days woman are much more in control of their fertility than they were in the past – for many married woman irregular periods are acceptable as a reason to prescribe the pill.

    My bete noir is patriarchal religion but I cannot see how that affects young unmarried women in NZ today. If the Catholic girls were serious about their religion, not only would they not be using contraception, they would not be sleeping around. But as we all know that is not the case.

    As you can probably guess I work in the family planning field and I find it disappointing that there are so many unwanted pregnancies when by getting up off their fat backsides many young girls could avail themselves of the contraceptive services on offer.

  52. Rachael 53

    I think everyone is rather looking at the negative sides of having a job when it is associated with solo parents, maybe this is because it is something the Government is trying to enforce rather than it being an individual decison?

    Has anyone stopped to consider the possible positive effects having a job would occur? Yes, a job is time consuming and yes, the solo parents will have to take time away from their kids in order to do so. But a job can provide a window of opportunities for both the parent and child. Having a job would enable the solo parent to have more independence, they would have some control over what they earn and how they earn it. This is exceptionally good for their self-esteem as well as development. It would also open up other carrer opportunities when their children have grown up and finishing school. Though 15 hours of work, may not be in the feild you would ideally like to work in as a life-time career, skills are skills no matter what and with the increase of graduating students and working expats, competivity has raised. So having any sort of job during the 12 years your child is in school would help account for a better advantage to get a job in the future.

    Though it may seem like the Government is taking a drastistic and direct hit at solo parents, is having an equal opportunity as other competitors really such a horrible incentive? Learning skills is an exhilarting experience, we as humans, become to feel more ‘useful’ to more we learn, because we are able to hold the reigns and pass our knowledge on to others, most importantly, our children. Working part-time will also instill the yearn to work in your children, inspiring them to later help themselves and gain independce, which is an important skill to have when they are 19-20 and moving out of home. As many of the mass media messages embedd in our that “children do as we do” – we smoke; they smoke. we speed; they speed. we drink drive; they drink drive. The same concept applies here, we are a role model to our younger generations.

    But what about the added costs of having a job, not everyone has a supporting whanau or a bundle of friends to look after our kids. I suppose this depends on the type of job you work for, 15 hours can easily be incorporated into a time when your child is at a school or on weekends. Most public schools provide free after school care until 4pm, or even better yet, organise for your child to go around to one of their friends houses in the afternoon. This could even help your child as they would have someone to do their homework, raise their social development.

    All in all, I am trying to say that working 15 hours a week is do-able. My mother was a solo mother at 18, her first child and father to her children had just died in a car accident, and she had fallen out with her parents. My mother looked after me up until I was 18. When I was 4 years old she began to study a masters at Waikato University during the hours I was at school, we could not afford a car and walked home everyday. She picked up two jobs working as a cleaner and also at KFC to help accomodate costs, mostly after my bedtime or while I was at school. We lived a very comfortable life, it was definantly not glamourous and though I didn’t know it then, it was hard work for my mother. I asked her about it now, and she is glad she pushed herself through university even if she did have to work at KFC – her least favourite of the jobs – she graduated in a double masters and now runs her own business. Her satisifaction is within herself, she made it to where she is now by herself and her hard work.

    My mothers determination to be at her best, has also instilled its spirit within myself and I would not have changed my childhood. It made me understand, that you cannot get everything you want handed to you on a platter, you have to earn it. I think it is absolutly wonderful, that our Government helps people who are in need, I also acknowledge that yes, there is more than likely someone who will be taking a benefit they do not need. I acknowledge, that yes, having a job when raising children will not be easy. But it is achieveable, and if there is a chance that it may help children exceed their potential and give mothers, fathers and gaurdians self-actualisation, then shouldn’t we at least consider all aspects of the situation rather than just focusing on our negative shock?

    • prism 53.1

      Rachael – Great post. Just a thought. If a parent leaves a child under 14 alone it is regarded as neglect, whether they have a secure home, are tucked up in bed or whatever. As in the song – I want someone to watch over me – that can’t be overlooked.

      If a couple of responsible solo mums got on well together and could take jobs at different times that might solve it. But I don’t know about WINZ attitude and whether they would cut benefits for some reason. Initiative and the support of parents is not actually their main interest, it is following the rules and ticking off whatever boxes they are ordered to complete. Some women may join up with a male partner, but they can be let down by that, and could reduce their benefit instead of helping to boost their income and help with the bills.

      Good on you for succeeding. It can be done. But it can be made harder by the lack of respect felt for child-rearers, and agreement that it is a job in itself. Parents should not need to feel gratitude for receiving assistance from the government, they should accept it as a proper aid to their work of bringing up children which should be expected by government and assisted by them to be done well to a high standard.

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