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If you remember the 60s you weren’t there

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, December 12th, 2010 - 92 comments
Categories: benefits, making shit up - Tags: ,

Deborah Coddington, trying to justify leaving solo mums and their kids with no state support, says: “I’m nearly 60 and my generation were at it like rabbits when we were teenagers but there weren’t masses of teenage pregnancies because there was no DPB. You couldn’t raise a child on your own, therefore few women got pregnant.”

Approximate period when Coddington was a teenager: 1966 to 1972

Period of highest birth-rate for women under 20: 1966 to 1972

Births per 1,000 women under 20 in 1972: 172

DPB introduced: 1973

Births per 1,000 women under 20 in 2009: 73

Time for Coddington to write and fact check this article, including this passage, which is the crux of her argument that the DPB encourages women to have kids: one week

My time to fact check her claim using Statistics NZ Infoshare: 5 minutes (and I work on Sundays)

Coddington’s fee for her article: $500 to $1,000 a column is the going rate

My fee: A pat on the head from Irish if I’m lucky

92 comments on “If you remember the 60s you weren’t there ”

  1. big bruv 1

    Coddington also said this..

    “DPB locks young mums in vicious cycle of poverty”

    She might have said that the DPB locks middle NZ into a cycle of poverty as well such is the huge cost to the tax payer given the number of slappers producing kids for no other reason than it keeps them on the DPB.

    The answer is not to increase benefit payments, the answer is to remove the DPB altogether, thousands of single working parents manage to raise kids on their own and that is the way it should be.

    • Zorr 1.1

      There is no reason to respond to your blatantly moronic comment other than to say go fuck yourself.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      thousands of single working parents manage to raise kids on their own and that is the way it should be.

      Firstly, where are the 200,000 new jobs paying between $20/hr and $25/hr that NZ needs.

      Secondly, why has the Govt dramatically reduced ECE subsidies to make the job of single working parents even harder?

      Only conclusion – this Govt is both cruel and callous in its treatment of its citizens and the country’s children. But at least the rich are getting richer.

      • big bruv 1.2.1


        So, you do not believe that an unemployed person should be forced to take a job that pays less than $25 an hour?

        Only conclusion- the left are more than happy for people to sit on their backsides at home all day, abusing their kids and stealing from their neighbours just as long as we pay them enough to vote Labour or Green.

        You people have no desire to fix the problem at all.

        • Marty G

          there are no jobs. BB

          Viper is talking about the jobs this country needs.

          There aren’t even lower paying ones going.

          It’s all very well to say ‘the lazy buggers should find work’ but, guess what, there are 50,000 more people on the dole than when National came to power and that’s not because they all got lazy, it’s because their jobs disappeared.

        • prism


          You people have no desire to fix the problem at all.

          Reverse that – apply it to yourself and your kind. You don’t want a society that enables all NZ people to make a good life. You like the old British one that early colonists tried to escape from. The social welfare systems we have are a response to the desire to improve social conditions. But these change over time so requiring different measures. And if the social policy introduced to provide assistance is not shaped for good outcomes either in its scope, its implementation, or because of an inadequate budget, then it will not achieve the high levels of effect wished for.

          The DPB was introduced to assist women who otherwise lived in grinding poverty trying to raise children and earn for them at the same time, or stop forced adoption which was a sort of baby snatching from mothers sometimes not even allowed to hold their new-born infant before it was passed over to ‘the authorities’. The attitude was uncaring to the mothers on a par with farmers separating ewes and cows from their young, harsh but necessary.

          The effectiveness of the policy has been hostage to the mean and malicious in society, including workers in the social welfare business influenced by whatever government and ‘cold charity’ attitudes that prevail. The helping hand and support, including child care and education for life as well as work, that are needed by a single mother have been run on a grudging pilot or limited targeting system instead of becoming a fully embraced and nationally implemented practice.

          If we had better and longer assistance to single parents on all their personal concerns, our bad health and crime stats would go down and our achievement rates and renown for happy, clever achievers would go up. But not with the attitudes and slick comments from Deborah Coddington, who doesn’t appear to actually live in this country, just reside here. The difference being that she never seems to know or understand the true nature of NZ, just the distorted view of a visitor with a different world understanding. Sort of Darwin criticising the native people at the end of South America who coped with life differently to the visiting Europeans.

          • Swampy

            The DPB is primarily a benefit paid to mothers who have no work skills to stay at home, yet mums not eligible for it put their kids into childcare and go out and work. The presmise for having a DPB is pretty thin.

            • QoT

              In Swampy’s world children should be put into childcare straight after birth. Free childcare. Which is accessible in all neighbourhoods and of a universal high quality. And secure well-paying jobs roam the steppes in bountiful herds.

              • Swampy

                I live in the real world where mums who don’t qualify for the DPB go out and work to pay the bills. Often times they don’t make a lot of money from doing that.

                • QoT

                  That would, again, be the “real” world with jobs and free accessible childcare for all? Nup, still sounds like you’re in privileged dreamland, Swampy.

            • Vicky32

              Trust me, Swampy, no one not eligible for it gets it!
              It started as a benefit for all single mothers to stay home, as their time is better spent raising their children than bunging them in day care or making them into latchkey kids.
              But people like you didn’t like that idea, and now it’s considered that no one deserves it!

    • Marty G 1.3

      and you would just leave those women and their kids to destitution, eh BB?

      no use saying ‘they shouldn’t have kids in the first place’. this is a post facto question – the kid exists, the mother is alone, there’s no work, what do you do as a last resort? let them live under a bridge or give them at least something to get by on?

      • rainman 1.3.1

        You’re an optimist expecting the right to think their ideological spew all the way through to the end… good luck with that.

      • Swampy 1.3.2

        Give them the dole while they look for work, adjusted for family costs.

        • QoT

          This would be “adjusted for family costs” by the same people who decided benefit levels should be below that needed for basic necessities because beneficiaries needed an “incentive” to work? Oh but you’re fine with that, Swampy, because of course if we just take away all benefits people will find ways to survive (it’s like survival is a basic human drive or something).

    • Bored 1.4

      “given the number of slappers producing kids for no other reason than it keeps them on the DPB”.

      BB, it is great to have you on this site to remind us how deeply disgusting and antisocial the right really is. As an example of ill informed nastiness you are right up there with your champions, like the whale. Why not start your own site as a testament to cretinous behavoir?

    • millsy 1.5

      If you (and Debbie) want to abolish the DPB thats fine. Just be willing to accept that doing so will ensure that a lot of mothers and babies will end up living under bridges and in cardboard boxes.

      It will also more an likely push down wages and conditions across the board as well, because I cannot for the life of me see Debbie advocate stronger workers protections from things like unfair dismissial, or higher wages.

      So we are going to have a whole lot single mothers having to work low paid insecure jobs being treated like shit by their bosses who will have the threat of destitution held over them.

      Why dont you piss off to the USA where the streets are teeming with poor people. And take your girlfriend Lindsay Mitchell, who has made it her mission to have every single mother lose what little secuity and living standards they have.

      • Bored 1.5.1

        Hey Millsy, just Googled Mitchell, she is a foul soundiing fiend….who the hell is big bruv? Another right wing pollly / jorno / blogger? Any other alias / pseudonym / blog site?

        • millsy

          She comments on this site, under the name Lindsay – I am picking that this column will be awakening her from her slumber to post here by the end of the day.

          Her comments are: DPB bad, homelessness good

        • lprent

          Last time I looked he was spitting his bile of ignorance on Clint Heines site – in the blogroll under right blogs. Of course given that the right bloggers can’t seem to stand each other, that may not be where he writes now (No Minister being the only exception I know of where they do cooperate in NZ).

      • prism 1.5.2

        millsy I think that Lindsay Mitchell belief and feelings about solo mothers is that she is on a mission from god – like the Blues Brothers without the good music.

        Ha – the captcha is ‘records’ (It’s an attitude that goes way back to when we got our music through records!)

        • swordfish

          I remember reading somewhere (possibly a DomPost interview a decade or so back) that Lindsay Mitchell “worked” as an “artist”. She was apparently being paid by her wealthy businessman husband to sit at home (in Wellington’s Eastbourne or Lowry Bay) and paint.

          Clearly there was little interest from patrons or the art world in her gumption-covered acrylics, so she had to rely entirely on her husband’s patronage. For someone of her extreme Libertarian Right political outlook, this inability to make a living from her skills / to pay her own way / to be of any real use to the world, obviously led to a degree of self-hatred.

          Hence, her constant attacks against the most vulnerable sections of society really need to be seen as a cry for help, symbolic acts of self-harm.

          That’s my pop-psychology reading of Mitchell, for what it’s worth.

          1. Artists can actually make money. I know a number that make a living off it.
          2. That was a rather pointless exercise in character assassination – unfortunately
          not enough for me to exert some myself despite how much I feel like it.
          It was more in qualified bad taste than actual abuse.
          3. However it was unpleasant to read, and exposes more about your character
          than I really cared to know about.
          4. I have no real idea how much is reality or not. But I guess LM will tell us.

          • swordfish

            Fair enough 1prent. Bad judgement on my part.

            Into art myself, almost did the graphic design course at Polytech. Wasn’t suggesting in any way that what artists do can’t be considered work. Simply that Lindsay was being paid by her husband – rather than art buyers – to do it.

            Based on recollection of article, meant to be amusing, clearly wasn’t.

            • swordfish

              Should also add that I was trying to use Lindsay’s own far Right Libertarian views (for instance, supposedly being a “bludger” if one isn’t in productive work and so on) to critique her own situation. These are NOT views that I personally hold. I felt justified given the viciousness of her frequent attacks on the most vulnerable in society.

              I will certainly concede, though, that, in retrospect, the “self-harm” aspect of my comment was ill-judged, not even remotely funny and, in fact, could rightly be seen as quite nasty. I regret it.

          • Lindsay

            Currently I have a shop in Eastbourne where I sketch 7 days a week. Come and have a look. Or check my blog mitchelllindsayartist.blogspot.com

            When not sketching in Eastbourne you could find me sketching in Tawa or Khandallah at local framers.

            In April I had an exhibition at the Academy Galleries at Queen’s Wharf where I sold 5 of 11 works. Considered a reasonable result in the current climate.

            I don’t make enough to “earn a living” yet. My husband is the main income earner in our family. He supports me because I am the mother of our kids and that’s what families do.

            Oh and I work in oil or pastel, not acrylics.

            Lprent, many of the artists who do “make a living” from art receive state funding in one form or another. Thanks for the opportunity to respond.

            • BLiP

              I don’t make enough to “earn a living” yet. My husband is the main income earner in our family. He supports me because I am the mother of our kids and that’s what families do.

              Circa 1950.

            • Marty G

              and I suppose if a woman in your situation had a husband who beat her and the kids she should be stuck living with him, the “main income earner”. She shouldn’t have state support in the form of the DPB to help her get out of an abusive relationship.

            • swordfish

              OK, Lindsay.

              While I fundamentally disagree with your politics, I apologise wholeheartedly for what was, in retrospect, a rather moronic and unpleasant personal attack. Uncharacteristic, I can assure you.

              • The Voice of Reason

                Don’t beat yourself up too much, Swordfish. As a beneficiary of welfare, Lindsay knows only too well that she is not worthy of any consideration at all and is just a non-contributing drain on the economy of the Mitchell household.

                Put her in boot camp, it’s the only language these bludgers understand.

    • Daveo 1.6

      Bruv’s got some serious mother issues going on right there.

      • Vicky32 1.6.1

        Either his mother, or his ex-wife. (My theory is that she’s the one who got away, perhaps with what he thinks of as “his” son (men like that don’t take a lot of interest in daughters.) They want custody and hope that the end of the DPB would mean that the ex would give “his son” back, rather than see the child starve…

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Coddington’s fee for her article: $500 to $1,000 a column is the going rate

    My fee: A pat on the head from Irish if I’m lucky

    Your fee from Irish is the most valuable Marty. Karmically, anyways.

    Looks like Deborah Coddington has fallen for the old retrospective memory fallacy in a big way.

    Now what will really mess people’s heads around: put in a line and a scale describing the number of terminations per thousand women aged under 20 over this same time period.

    • Marty G 2.1

      can’t be arsed but what it would show is what you’re suggesting – that young women are in fact terminating pregnancies at a higher rate than in earlier times, further disproving the idea that the DPB encourages them to have kids

      • jcuknz 2.1.1

        That is a good point Marty G … when did the abortion bill go through?

        • Colonial Viper

          The last data I saw is that while teenage births have been decreasing, teenage fertility overall has been climbing strongly. We just do not see it because numbers of terminations have been climbing strongly.

    • Bored 2.2

      Actually Coddington appears to me to be the archetypal 60/70s chick, back to nature hippy type for appearances, seeking out the edgy types doing the things that the prosperity and relative freedom of the time allowed. Then as the age unfolded becoming part of the new right establishment, as did a large chunk of the 60s hippy drippy dippy generation. Now pontificating from a position of power and privelege. Sickening really.

      • prism 2.2.1

        Bored – Think you have hit the nail! Interesting that some USA people with wealthy backgrounds came here to live the simple life while being bankrolled from back home. Courtney Love, who partnered Kurt Cobain was one of this group, going to secondary school here. Claims that it warped her for life!
        The children of the wealthy must be able to sow their wild oats, that’s how they can argue it’s their right in mid-life to turn on the poor for doing similar and bare their teeth.

        • Bored

          I came a little late for hippy and a little early for punk…uni in the 70s was interesting because we had the usual establishment squatocracy plus a large chunk of working class kids new to the system. The guys and girls from school who did not go to uni went to work as apprentices or cadets, stuff all were hippies. No hard faast rule but to me hippies were generally the wealthier parents kids making fun from “dropping out and tuning out”…I rarely saw them at demos etc. In retrospect Coddingtons attitude is entirely predictable.

          • RedLogix


            Yup..I’,m from the same age cohort myself, but not quite rich enough to be a proper hippy, and yet not working class either. What you’re saying makes sense, because looking back I never quite felt at home in either group and more or less hung out on the margins of both.

            As for that failed excuse for a human Coddington…. I’ve written up several comments and deleted them because none of them were fit to publish.

            • Rosy

              Yep, I’m from a similar cohort – would ahve ben uni in the 70s, but working class and with a dysfuctional family it was entirely predictable that one of the family would be out of school, unmarried & pregnant – it was me – at 15. In fact there are a lot of people, if they stop and think about it, who could have been in my position. The hypocrites. And I kept the baby otherwise alcoholic mother would have had first dibs. And had 2 more before I was 21.
              With The DPB I moved out of the cycle of dysfuction. Got an education and got a career – firmly middle-class now, except to those who do that math. For them – and there are many even now – my stock answer is that my kids can all read, all have jobs and none have been to prison – touch wood.

              • Vicky32

                Me also! I would have been at Uni in the 70s, but from a working class family – school guidance counsellors tried to steer me to shop work.
                I ran away from home, and had a son in 1972 – my own mother shrieked until he was adopted.
                I married, had another – got divorced and finally went to Uni! Had my 3rd in the 80s, and finally experienced the hell of the DPB.
                Doing it all bass ackwards, and with a great big “I should have known better” tattooed all over my head.
                I am still angry that back in the 60s, when I was at school because I was the daughter of an English working class man, – I was never even told that student allowances existed! I could have gone to University, I just didn’t know it. How different things could have been, I will never know.

                • Rosy

                  I didn’t even know universities existed. Makes me laugh… now. For me it was factory work (pays better than shops, but). Factory work is pretty scarce now.

                  • Carol

                    I’m a boomer from a middleclass home. At school in the 60s, middleclass girls were mostly just encouraged to teach or nurse…. and I wasn’t inspired by the approach to education at my school. We weren’t told about student allowances either. Unis were pretty male dominated, and only a small %age of the population went there – about 1%-3%. I went to work straight from school because I wanted to be independent. Went to teachers’ college a couple of years later, (because I wanted a more interesting & satisfying job) and started Uni parttime.

                    I have spent a lot of my life protesting, on the streets, and in other ways, and have never stopped being a leftie, favouring funding for all to get an education, and a good social welfare system. That’s true of many of my boomer friends also, especially the ones I made in London. I was kindof a hippie – I always have favoured the anti-materialistic stance of hippies, but never really dropped out. I also lived through the punk era (in London) and liked that style too.

                    I have seen other fellow boomers who were left and radical when young, become more MOR and less politically active…. getting the home, the promotions etc.

                    Basically, there’s great diversity within a generation, and I don’t like painting a whole generation with the same brush.

                    • Vicky32

                      “At school in the 60s, middleclass girls were mostly just encouraged to teach or nurse…. and I wasn’t inspired by the approach to education at my school. We weren’t told about student allowances either. Unis were pretty male dominated, and only a small %age of the population went there”
                      In my case, I went to a prestigious girls’ only school, which had a huge academic focus. However, this was only for girls from a “professional” background – in those days, as my Mum used to say “Doctors, lawyers and clergy”, those were the only things my Mum would call professions. (Business owner included themselves as well, and were included by the School Board.)
                      Every girl in the Professional (ironically that included me) and the General strea,s (my sister) was included in mass interviews for teaching and nursing, these mass interviews being held at the school! My congenital health issues meant that I failed both…
                      That’s when I learned that NZ was not a classless society. I did very well, As and B+s, School Cert and UE etc, but that didn’t mean a thing. My father’s class, occupation and national origin were all that mattered – I was steered off towards the kind of jobs girls in the “Home” stream were expected to get.
                      I ended up working as a trainee librarian, which would have been a back-door to Uni, had not the family dysfunction intervened!

                    • Vicky32

                      “At school in the 60s, middleclass girls were mostly just encouraged to teach or nurse…. and I wasn’t inspired by the approach to education at my school. We weren’t told about student allowances either. Unis were pretty male dominated, and only a small %age of the population went there”
                      In my case, I went to a prestigious girls’ only school, which had a huge academic focus. However, this was only for girls from a “professional” background – in those days, as my Mum used to say “Doctors, lawyers and clergy”, those were the only things my Mum would call professions. (Business owner included themselves as well, and were included by the School Board.)
                      Every girl in the Professional (ironically that included me) and the General streams (my sister) was included in mass interviews for teaching and nursing, these mass interviews being held at the school! My congenital health issues meant that I failed both…
                      That’s when I learned that NZ was not a classless society. I did very well, As and B+s, School Cert and UE etc, but that didn’t mean a thing. My father’s class, occupation and national origin were all that mattered – I was steered off towards the kind of jobs girls in the “Home” stream were expected to get.
                      I ended up working as a trainee librarian, which would have been a back-door to Uni, had not the family dysfunction intervened!

                    • Bored

                      Rosy / Vicky / Carol, I have really enjoyed what you have said on growing up and what happened to you because of things like societal preconceptions. Polly says more of the same below, you are all to be applauded for surviving the whole thing seemingly (from what I have read) sane and able to put the whole thing in context. Good stuff, your experience is worth thousands of Coddington words. It really puts your opinions in context with some huge validity.

                • RobertM

                  Where angels fear to tread. I was from a well off middle class professional family-but there were not generous student allowances before the Russell Marshall student tertiary bursary was introduced in l976. In l975 my first year at Otago I think the student bursary was about $200 plus about $60 more if you had a B bursary and $100 for a A bursary. You got the basic bursary for attendance in the seventh form which is all Higher SC meant and getting UE which was 4 passes in UE accrediting or exam or four 40% grades in Bursary.
                  But it all seemed to change about the time I started Uni. In l970 there would only have been a handful of girls in any of the law school while by l975 at least 40% of the Otago legal system class was female. It was the same with female attitudes to going to varsity it all changed about that point at least for middle class families.
                  But the STBursary probably did give many people a chance and I think those people who started university in 75 are an entirely different generation from those who started in 70 or 72 who came from a much more closed and restrictive society.

                  • Carol

                    I think those people who started university in 75 are an entirely different generation from those who started in 70 or 72 who came from a much more closed and restrictive society.

                    And there lies another problem in treating baby boomers as an amorphous mass. I left school at the end of 1966. And, yes, the 60s were pretty restrictive…. especially if you weren’t a conventional, white, middleclass, heterosexual male…. there were many closed minds all around. And I remember a friend who was a single parent around the time I left school. Some people still looked down on her for not having a husband, though others were more open-minded. She relied on her mother to look after her child while she was working.

                    There had already been big changes in many areas of life by the mid 70s. And yet, John Key is probably considered a boomer (usually defined as those born between 1946 & 61 – Key was born in 61). Wasn’t he a student during the 81 SpringBoks tour & protests? Even more changes by that time.

                    Ah, but the early 70s did provide hope for a more egalitarian and caring society…. until the neoliberals took off in the 80s…..

  3. So Deborah admits to being a skanky ho in her youth!

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    How silly of Coddington, (she who has had the benefit of ‘welfare’ when she got a ‘study’ trip when she was a MP.)

    In the sixties women were more or less forced into early marriage against their will, or the Catholic Church pulled the baby from their arms to give to someone else.

    • Marty G 4.1

      yeah but she never saw those girls, if they went to schools like hers they just mysteriously disappeared, so to her they never existed.

  5. Treetop 5

    I am not going to discriminate against anyone who has children as every child born will be looking after those born decades before them, (physically, financially and socially). This is evolution.

    What concerns me is that every child born has good quality education, good health care, good housing, good nutrition, are protected from physical, sexual and psychological abuse and good job prospects when they enter their working life.

    This is what prevents poverty and being dependent on a WINZ payment.

    I have been a single mum and a benefit rights advocate.

  6. Another 60s skank was John’s mum, and I think he is proud of it?

  7. Peter Martin 7

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that having a child whilst a teenager locks one into a cycle of poverty, given that this appears to be the outcome internationally.
    Nice post. I have found myself kinda agreeing with a couple of Coddington’s more recent articles but I see that was but a temporary aberration.

    • QoT 7.1

      I disagree with the idea that the “cycle of poverty” is an inevitability, Peter.

      Speaking only from my own anecdata, when a young woman has a child and has the support of a strong family network, financial aid to go into tertiary education, and accessible, affordable childcare to enable her to study and get into work? You get some damn good non-poverty-cycle outcomes.

      Unfortunately people like Deborah Coddington simultaneously want us to believe that the DPB affords a luxurious hassle-free lifestyle, AND that it’s so terrible and deameaning we should scrap it just to save its recipients from tragic Dickensian poverty.

  8. Hilary 8

    She obviously has never come across someone from that era who was a young woman forced to give their baby up for adoption, and told to forget them, nor a child grown up in a family they felt different from, desperate to find their mother and their genetic inheritance. Such unnecesary pain. And such ignorance from Deborah Coddington. The DPB was a wonderful invention, but several decades of smug and cruel politicians from Bert Walker onwards, have done their best to denigrate and devalue single mothers and the hard work they do.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      And such ignorance from Deborah Coddington.

      That’s about all you can expect from an Actoid – ignorance fuelled bigotry.

    • Swampy 8.2

      Who needs a DPB? Pay the dole instead.

      Adoption may not be ideal but a lot of things in life are not – like step parenting.

      • QoT 8.2.1

        Wow, personal issues much, Swampy?

        We need a DPB because we are not supporting (predominantly) women for being unemployed, we are supporting their children who are New Zealanders and have the right to be fed and sheltered and clothed even if they are being raised by a solo parent whose existence you scorn.

  9. rocky 9

    I’m terribly confused.

    And we pay mothers miserably. Surviving on the DPB is humiliating – nobody should have to do that. For young mothers there’s the added frustration of curtailed freedom – they watch their friends go out each night while for them, a carefree youth has gone forever.

    How can a welfare cheque take the place of a father surprising the kids at Christmas with a puppy?

    Where’s the minister of social services at 4am when the washing machine’s overflowing from a sink blocked with dirty nappies, the last clean sheets have been vomited all over and mum needs someone to take her in their arms while she has a good howl?

    So young women get pregnant to live a hard and humiliating life on the DPB. Yeah that makes sense!

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Yes, living on the DPB is tough if you are a parent focussed on spending it in ways whats best for your children – and especially tough if you do not have relatives or friends who cannot help you out with a few hundred dollars a year just to cover unexpected bills and expenses.

      And that’s the point rocky isn’t it, the vast vast majority of young women who find themselves with a child do not wish to live on the DPB as a first choice in life, at most as a brief stepping stone forwards.

      Not sure what kind of lavish life style some think these women can live on trying to raise a family on $15K-$25K p.a. of benefit money.

    • Swampy 9.2

      This scenario makes sense: irresponsible young women go out and party, get pregnant, then they have to bring up their kid but in a dysfunctional or disadvantaged situation in large part due to their lack of parenting skills or commitment. It is this scenario that perpetuates the cycle of disadvantage and is the one that we need to work hardest to prevent.

      I live in the poorest part of my city and I see the young mums get on the buses with their pushchairs. You soon notice the difference with those who just leave the baby to its own amusement in the pushchair and the ones that talk and play with them the whole trip.

      • QoT 9.2.1

        Hear ye, hear ye, Mothers of New Zealand! If you don’t have the superhuman energy to pay your child 100% of your attention at all times, you are clearly an evil bludging slut! SO SAYETH SWAMPY.

    • jcuknz 9.3

      They get pregnant because both or either they or the males don’t take sensible precautions.
      We need the DPB … AND … Education about sex, alchohol and being a responsible citizen. To themselves, their country, and the world which doesn’t need more children for the time being.

  10. deemac 10

    reference to Key’s mum reminds us that of course there are many reasons why women end up as solo parents – the idea that DPB is a huge incentive is just nuts.
    I am old enough to remember one of the 1970s women’s lib demands was free 24 hour childcare; provide that and you can start talking about who “wants to work”.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 11

    Lets see, Coddington , who lives on lifestyle farm/vineyard in the Wairarapa, has homes in Auckland and Wellington is horrified about those single mothers ‘locked’ into poverty.
    Yes it does seem awful from her perpsective.
    For many mothers without a partner its the first time they have an income that they totally control. Its having control over what you spend that makes it bearable , no matter how inadequate.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    All this ‘dpb is sapping the morals of our nation and causing us to be weak and people should be morals just like in the old days’ stuff is just PR from the churches who want to get back into the ‘orphanage’ game. They sure do love them some foundlings.

    • Vicky32 12.1

      I have to disagree there, Pascal’s Bookie. When I got pregnant at 18, with my first child, I ended up in a “church” home, the Salvation Army one, Bethany in Grey Lynn.
      They didn’t apply any pressure at all regarding adoption – I left with my son, as did about half of the girls who were there. All the SA did was provide somewhere to live, education for those who were young enough to have had theirs interrupted and breathing space.
      He was adopted 6 weeks later, largely due to my own mother, who pointed out that she and my Dad were old, (they weren’t that old, but they were both ill, and in fact died within a few years.) Because the DPB didn’t exist, I would have had to work and have my Mum take care of Chris. Mum refused – understandably, I realise now, because of the illness she had which had not then been diagnosed…
      Long story short – the SA applied no pressure at all for me to make Chris a “foundling”. It was circumstances that did that.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

        Fair enough. I’m just sayin that we don’t seem to have many ‘orphanages’ about since the dpb came on. Funny that, and I can’t say it’s a bad thing.

    • prism 12.2

      PB The film the Magdalen Sisters showed another approach that the religious, self righteous and human hating have taken and until recently too. (It being human to act towards making relationships with the other gender and being influenced by hormones to become aware of sex and act on that awareness.)

      The good church people would put some young woman away in an institution because she had a baby or even, because she was too pretty and might be tempted into a sexual relationship. Then they worked in the laundry doing by hand washing that saved on buying expensive machinery and tended not to get out into the sinful world again.

  13. i solo dadded it with my first 3 littlies for a while until i met my current lady.

    it was tough and without the support of my family to babysit every now and then so i could go find some extra work we woulda struggled.

    as it was i gave up my best years for them and had a few enterprises go belly up just cos i couldn’t dedicate fulltime efforts to business matters.

    FWIW my kids sure as hell arent gonna be locked into the poverty cycle cos of the DPB. Maybe from being excluded by greedy fatcats not wanting to share the wealth around, if they turn out dumber/stubborner and more hard core/no sellout than me, but even then that doesnt appear to be the case

    i guess i musta done/be doing something right. it’s still early days though.

    i dunno what the answer is but cutting single parents money to survive isn’t it

    • KJT 13.1

      Those who are parenting as a couple need to realise that bringing up children on your own is much harder than when there are two of you to share the load.
      Even if you both work there are two to share chores and childcare as well as two incomes to pay for daycare.

      Those parents on the DPB, both men and women, need extra support to bring up their children and to have a decent job when the kids leave home.

      What is the point of forcing a parent into work just to put their child into paid daycare?

  14. Carol 14

    Anti-spam: “differences”…

    And it’s hard from the 21st century to remember or be aware of just how different things were in the 60s compared with now. It was a decade of big changes, and the early 60s were vastly different from the late 60s. the biggest change relevant to this thread, was the one that came more in the late 60s-early 70s: the widespread, easy availability of the “pill”. Even in the late 60s, it was pretty much only given to married women as I recall.

    There was a lot of stigma for a woman being a single parent. or even divorced or separated, especially in the early 60s. Attitudes became more liberal twoards then end of the 60s.

    Also, this was a time before the equal pay laws. Men were expected to earn enough to support their wife and children. Women with children were expected to NOT work (unlike now where NAct want women to go back to work as soon as….) Women’s wages were meant to be “pin money”, if they were married. Single women were expected to work until they got married (in the middleclasses, at least). I think women couldn’t get a mortgage without their husband’s aggreement, or a bank account, as I recall….?

    The 60s were becoming more consumerist, but nowhere near as much as since the 80s. Now more women need to work to enable a family to buy the stuff many families expect to have.

    We didn’t spend money on that much stuff – the movies once a week, socialising, dancing at the weekend, maybe save up to buy an LP record. Pubs still closed at 6pm, and mostly only men went to them, until about 67. TV didn’t come to NZ til 1961 (with restricted hours & 1 channel), & my family didn’t get one until a few years later. Until then, we just had one small radio for the whole family, and later in the 60s a record player. (And I grew up with a father in a professional job). Mass produced clothes off the rack, didn’t really come in til later in the 60s (Mary Quant et al)…. My mother made most of my clothes when I was young.

    Totally different lifestyle from today, so really hard to compare.

    Has Coddington forgotten???? or did she come from an ultra rich background?

    • QoT 14.1

      Often I find people who do end up filthy rich after having a hard/deprived upbringing are the quickest to forget! Smile and Wave being a prime example.

  15. Swampy 15

    What is the substance of Coddingtons article.

    “Do you support inter-generational welfare? Is it a good thing that teenage mums on welfare are more likely to have no educational qualifications, mental health problems and be drug and alcohol dependent?

    Is it okay that children raised below the poverty line are raised by parents on welfare? And do you honestly believe this is not connected to our appalling child abuse problem?”

    Now do you suppose becoming a teenage mum means you are less likely to get qualifiations or is it the other way around. Is a girl more likely to become a teenage mum if she is already a dropout from the education sytem. Are they already candidtaes for mental health drugs etc before they became mothers.

    The more likely scenario is the kind of girl that is likely to become a teenage mum is a no hoper. a school dropout and probably comes from a home where they don’t get on with their parents.

    By the time they get to the welfare ambulance at the bottom of the cliff it is too late. We need the fence at the top. Promoting strong families is what is needed so that means all influences that drive kids out of their families need to be addressed.

    • QoT 15.1

      Who do you even imagine you’re arguing with, Swampy? Right, a strawperson who exists only in your head.

      No one objects to giving teenage girls good educations and the skills to make good life choices (and challenging our society’s bullshit ideas around sex, femininity, and women’s lives existing to please men would be a nice fucking start too).

      Where people like you and Coddington come up against the righteous fury of human beings who feel basic empathy is where you say, “We should have a fence at the top of the cliff! And also scrap the ambulance completely, even for those people who have already fallen and need help because we don’t like their “choices”.”

      • jcuknz 15.1.1

        They never suggest the ‘grandfathering’ of any changes which is an essential part of any change in a responsible society. But RWNJ are not interested in a responsible society for all their bull … it is me me ME! and the devil take the hindmost.

  16. MrSmith 16

    I would suggest after reading some of her posts on pundit (This one almost made me puke) http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/would-it-be-ok-if-god-was-a-capitalist-then : that she is nothing but an idea-less ranting cheerleader.

  17. Deadly_NZ 17

    Hey Carol you ask Has Coddington forgotten I would say yes and then you have paula bloody bennet Now if someone has forgotten where they came from it’s her,

    Why is it that the Nats seem to grab the one beneficiary that is willing to forget and to literally screw the same people that she used to be one of.. Must be the power of the nats table or is it the Bloody BIG paypacket that gives them Amnesia.. And you can add Sue bradford to the list of sellouts too..

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Basic undergrad psychology. Hindsight bias. If Bennett made it out of tough times as a beneficiary, it was purely up to her own hard work, no support from those around her (or the state), and anyone who was worth a dime would be able to do the same.

      Probably sells herself in Cabinet as being the example which proves the Nat’s right wing rule.

  18. Deborah Coddington 18

    Anyone with half a brain would have realised, because of the context of the remainder of the paragraph, I was writing about teenage solo mothers. If 90 per cent of my readers “got it”, I can’t understand why you didn’t. Then again, maybe I do….

    • Armchair Critic 18.1

      I have no doubt you mean what you say, but have you considered saying what you mean? Your paragraph refers to “women”, not “teenage solo mothers”.
      I know why I rarely bother reading your columns – they are not worth my time to read.

      • QoT 18.1.1

        It’s classic ACToid bull, AC. Say “MOST beneficiaries are evil bludgers” or evil “SOME young women on the DPB are slappers”, taint the rest by association, only ever talk about the bad ones and never the deserving and then, when called on bigotry, whinge because “I said MOST! And I was only talking about SOME!”

        Mind you, I suppose we should merely be thankful Coddington hasn’t declared this entire thread to be like a “gang-rape”- her usual response to being called on her bullshit.

        • Colonial Viper

          ACT and NAT need an underclass to wail on, to blame the problems of the country on. An age old strategy.

  19. M 19

    Spiteful tripe from Coddington.

    Maybe she was a rabbit in her day but was lucky she didn’t get caught out, anyway only abstinence is 100% effective. Shotgun marriages and adoptions were good ways to fudge figures and make everything appear respectable.

    I always feel very sorry for any woman caught out, pregnant when she doesn’t want to be, but is hurting children something Coddington wants to be famed for? Wouldn’t programmes in schools advocating delaying sexual activity and the benefits of establishing themselves in the workforce, having some time to enjoy their young lives before the responsibility of children and not taking the first cab off the rank where men are concerned be better ways to lower DPB rates? In the Netherlands programmes have been developed for young women along these lines and most will not dip their toe in the water before 17 or 18.

    ‘My experiences in the Netherlands, Germany and France show that young people can act responsibly if they have the information and skills to either delay sexual intercourse or protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and STDs. The average age of first intercourse in the United States is 15.8. In the Netherlands, it’s 17.7. ‘


    I have a friend whose husband has been very frank with his teenage daughters about young men and has told them that male teenagers have only one thing on their minds and will say and do anything to get sex. To that list I would add for young women any time he makes you feel worthless, swears at you, can’t control his anger/alcohol intake/ driving etc – leave, as I’m always amazed at the crap that some young women will take from men.

  20. Lindsay 20

    swordfish, apology accepted.

    Marty G, I see a role for the state in providing temporary assistance as a last resort but the DPB has gone well beyond that. (If I fail to reply to further comments it is because I do not have access to the internet during the day.)

  21. Gina 21

    The idea that what the far right call immorality as a new phenomenon is crazy. In Victorian England 1 in 5 women living in London was a prostitute due to the fact that there was no safety net. They hads no choice.

    In Russia there is grinding poverty and the vast majority of children are aborted. Men there all have at least one partner in addition to their wives becuase of the grinding poverty. I mentioned all this recently on the net and the right wing commenter’s admitted this set up would be to their liking.

    And we know high numbers of prostitutes would affect marriages. Women here would find their husband could play the field based on the desperation of impoverished women. And husband stealing would become rampant. So those high and mighty women who imagine themselves respectable might be in for a shock. Lindsay needs to realise that Texas the state in the US with the highest number of prostitutes is also home to a high number of staunchly religious right wing men. So what does this say about these men’s reasons for conservative views regarding women and marriage. The object of many of these men is not morality but complete control of women so they can exploit them while their marriage’s stay intact because of the resulting poverty of their wives and children if they leave.
    Lindsay needs to study her history. I wonder too who buys Lindsay’s art. Could it be right wing men who adore her ideas on harming women? I’d say Lindsay won’t change her mind for fear of alienating her clientele.

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