Guest Poster – Tara te Heke

August 9th, 2009 at 8:13 am by Tara te Heke

Kia ora koutou

When David asked me to write a few posts while he was away I was surprised. I’ve only known DPF a few years and it was trusting of him.

What? A Maori solo mum of 3 children, write of thousands of you angry white middle aged male computer geekoids on Kiwiblog? But you know, needs must and I have a tonne of time on my hands because said so.

Anyway I have promised to put on my best and write to you whiteys about some Maaaaori issues and first up being a solo Mum.

So what’s it like? Pretty choice actually. In between rorting the taxpayer of heaps of dollars, raising my kiddies without their father and surviving without any trips to Ozzie or even struggling sometimes to get a ride into town when the car has blown up it’s really awesome.

Like when I left school at 16 I went to work in the local freezing works. It was seductively a great job as I was earning more pingers than anyone I knew and even more than University graduates. At 19 I found the man of my dreams there. Big, strong and brown. To start with it was like a fairytale. Then he got angry easily and gave me the bash. Often. I thought if I gave him some children it would be better, that he would grow up and be a great Dad.

I had the first one at 20 when is topped working. My man had a good job and we were getting by okay. I didn’t have to work, in fact he liked it that way as it made him feel like the hunter gatherer, the provider. Just me and the baby. Our little team. But the worst happened and he lost his job. Man that was hard. He hated going to welfare so I would have to go. He got depressed and angry again. And took it all out on me. I’d get the bash for anything. Like the time I cooked dinner and the roast spuds got a little burnt and he enraged and chucked them all over me. The pan smashing my head and I ended up the next day in A&E when my best friend T came to deal with me and wouldn’t accept that I’d walked into the door.

This continued another few months and in that time the sex was brutal. Drunk sex. Not Once were Warriors sex or anything but sex to punish me for spending time with bubs and not him. I got pregnant again and then my heart sank as I found out I was having twins.

My mother was at least helping as the same had happened to her, but she knew something was wrong with me. I knew that twins would mean now 3 times the work, 3 times less income left and more violence when my man worked out he was more useless and couldn’t afford to keep us together without help from welfare. Mum had to help my sister as well. And our brother who has a handicap and can’t work so gets a sickness benefit.

When my Man started to bash up the little ones I knew I had to leave. To get out and not go back. It was my fault if I didn’t and I had all the power. I had 3 kids and went to welfare, sitting in the office and crying. I was a number but they were okay, there was worse than me in the waiting room.

Then I got angry. What made it worse was I knew he was getting away with it. I had three kiddies to feed and he had none now. He could divorce our family and pay nothing, have no responsibility and do it all again. He would find another woman and repeat it all on her.

So when you all get down on solo Mums you have to remember there are solo Dads as well. We haven’t left them by choice, none of my friends have, most of us have had to leave like me with the violence, friends of mine who have been cheated on and had to leave, and some others whose men have just walked out and never bothered to come home, let alone send a cheque.

There are some awesome Dads out there who spend every last cent they have on their kids. They take the time to look after them and be a part of their lives. But they are few and far between. I haven’t been blessed meeting one. My man is a deadbeat.

Still no job, hooked up with a girl I went to school with. I only hope she’s not getting the bash like I did. Other than that, she’s welcome to him.

Tags: , ,

35 Responses to “Guest Poster – Tara te Heke”

  1. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Hey! I resemble that statement! “white (yep) middle aged male (not quite) computer geekoids (ok, got me)”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Cerium (23,561 comments) says:

    An inspired and timely choice for guest. Sad but real.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Funny thing is being called a whitey makes me feel very good.

    Strange that. Why would that be?

    By the way, I have plenty of Coloured mates. Of all persuasions.

    But I am white, with grey hair. Monk styley.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. starboard (2,536 comments) says:

    Hmm..interesting reading…thank you.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    Welcome to Kiwiblog Tara, from one mum to another
    Enjoying your posts and perspective.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Seán (397 comments) says:

    To quote George Costanza – “I’m without speech.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. lilman (959 comments) says:

    Guess you needed to grow up.Sounds like things are going better ,so good luck.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Inventory2 (10,339 comments) says:

    Thanks for the wake-up call Tara – kia kaha

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. William J (44 comments) says:

    Tara – that is very courageous of you to share your life with a bunch of strangers. It must have been very difficult writing that and feeling the pain come back again while you revisit those memories. You have a lot of strength and I really admire you for that and for sharing your story. It is a real privilege when someone opens up to others so honestly – so thank you. I think your life is going to be a whole lot different now and you’re going to be just fine. I wish you all the best. Here’s to a new life for you and your kids! Kia Kaha.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    Ok, this reading should be enlightning for a lot of readers. The timing is perfect with telethon raising for under priviliged kids, many with welfare parents and solo’s.

    First of all, I have to say I have become very enlightened myself about David Farrar. Who would believe he would even know someone of your back ground. He has been a great education to me that right wing does not have to mean snobsville. Although, this higher attitude may be peculiar only to NZ.

    Secondly, I’m not suprised David entrusted you with his blog. Again his choice is inspiring. You are a very good writer. You also describe profoundly why many Maori woman avoid Maori men like the plague. THat’s why I’m never concerned about prejudiced Maori women. There are too many out there who will jump to a guy with a stable attitude and drug free.

    I’m going to marry one shortly.

    Paula Bennett has gone from being the successful solo to the politician very quickly. Her forebears thrived on free education to deprive the next generation of that opportunity and she has predictably kowtowed to the agenda.

    No politician is original or individually performance based. They are all lackeys to higher unseen forces pulling the strings. What happens anywhere happens here. Sometimes vice versa. President Kennedy described those forces vividly before he was asssassinated. the excuse is they’re al part of a team and cannot act independently. That means they can’t be visionary.

    And guess what, Paula has shown her lack of vision appalingly.

    She’ll just have to hope she can remain independent after her political stint ends. Find a socialist overseas posting no doubt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Interesting how you disparagingly imply that us “middle aged whiteys” (at 23, I don’t feel particularly middle-aged) wouldn’t know anything about hardship, or anything about broken homes. Let me give you a heads-up: I bet you can’t find one white, right wing “deadbeat dad” here at Kiwiblog. Why? Because the Right advocate personal responsibility. If I had my way, I’d have every man who leaves his kiddies indentured for the cost of their upbringing and education. If he can’t pay, have him arrested and forced to work. Not only would it stop you and your kids from having to rely on welfare, but it might deter arseholes like ‘your man’ from knocking women up and then knocking them about.

    For the record, there is a DPB solo mum down the road from me who I help with domestic chores on tuesdays, thursdays and saturdays.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Tara, where is your father and why isn’t he helping?

    No use blaming your man. You chose him.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    Hi Tara, welcome. I enjoyed your first post, looking forward to more.

    I’d like to ask you a question. What, if anything, would you change about welfare to make things better? More money? Less money? Withhold funds from deadbeat dads? Food vouchers? What do you think might make a difference?

    Perhaps a post on your experiecne with welfare and how it could be better – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    The tone of your post is that you have been a victim of bad things beyond your control. In fact, you ought to have foreseen all of this and acted responsibly, initially by staying in school and later by making sure you didn’t get pregnant to a man who was clearly unsuitable as a partner or father.

    As for what you should do now, there are plenty of people out there who will take care of your children 24/7, feed them, clothe them, and love them as if they were their own. You can then go out and work, get off welfare, and even have time and money left over for yourself.

    It’s called adoption.

    This would require putting the interests of your children ahead of your own interest in seeing your kids every day. I don’t know if you are strong enough to make that difficult choice, but please think about it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Ben, I think your questions are irrelevant compared with the big one: what are you going to do to ensure your children are good fathers or marry good fathers?

    Nigel, that’s a ridiculous suggestion. Responsibility starts with looking after your own children properly. If you can’t do that you can’t do anything else and claim you are being responsible.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    Thanks Tara for the post – very open and frank.

    I’m not sure if you are responding to questions – it’d be great to hear you opinion on a few things. Please understand that I don’t mean these to be judgemental in any way – more to hear your thoughts on society and influences in general

    – If you could go back to when you were 20 – what would you do differently? Did you have any dreams or goals in life before kids?
    – What would you tell 20 year olds in the position you were in?
    – What was family life like for you growing up? Do you think your own family or peers had any influence on your life decisions?
    – For the partner – what is his story? Has he done any soul searching? Anger Management? What does being a father mean to him?
    – What was his father or male role models like growing up?
    – Does he have any peers who are also fathers that would or could influence him? Or are his peers similarly “deadbeat”?

    And most importantly:

    – What are you teaching your children differently compared to the way you were taught or brought up?

    As mentioned – please do not take these as judgemental. I value your opinions and thoughts as someone who has lived and suffered through harsh circumstances, and would like to know what you think could be or should be changed in society

    Thanks,

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    You should be able to make out okay with your $700 a week plus assistance from the Treaty money payouts. Some assistance is no doubt available from your local Marae Officials and Kohanga Reo in caring for and educating your children.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    What worries me is that there is a man out there who could (and should) have been prosecuted for his actions who has not been (based on the story) nor has been made to account for his actions financially.

    So now I’m paying twice for those actions.

    Oh, and I was a single parent, completely broke and living in a caravan for a while.

    I found a job.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. MaxPower (41 comments) says:

    Tara, I resent the anti-white male tone in your post. It’s no different from having an anti-Maori solo mother tone, which I’m sure you’d resent.

    I’m sorry to hear about the hard times you’ve been through in your life. I truly find it sad and wish the best for you and your kids.

    I have no problem with you being a solo mother who isn’t working. And I certainly don’t think it’s easy for you. One thing I do have a problem with is the large number of women who get pregnant just so they can claim the DPB, and then don’t care for their kids. The other problem I have isn’t about whether or not you’re working, but from where you get your income. There are plenty of women who also don’t work because their husbands provide for the family. There’s nothing wrong with that because they don’t rely on the taxpayer.

    The children that women claim the DPB for also have fathers. Why aren’t we making these fathers pay child support for the kids they helped create? As someone earlier said, they should be forced to pay child support, and if they don’t, be jailed and forced to work to pay it. That way fathers would be paying what they should be paying, taxpayers would be paying less in DPB payments, and guys would think twice before getting a woman pregnant.

    In your case Tara, you shouldn’t have to be on the DPB. The father of your children should be paying you. He should actually be in jail for what he did to you and your kids, but he should be forced to work while in there, and the income he creates should go to you.

    As for a training allowance, there is no need for it. Anyone, including solo mothers, can get an interest free student loan now. Unless you intend to not work after your training (in which case you shouldn’t get the training in the first place), then you can repay the loan when you get a job, just like everyone else.

    And as for awesome dads being few and far between, I disagree. I don’t know where you live, but where I live I see awesome dads everywhere, who clearly love and care about their kids.

    The deadbeat dads should be the ones paying for their kids, not the taxpayer.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Tara te Heke (9 comments) says:

    Awesome. Thanks guys for all your support. tim G_oz will get my response as his questions will help assist you where I am coming from

    If I was 20 again, well if I was 10 again I wish I was brainy and able to stay in school. I wasn’t but I had a good job at the freezing works and as I said was paid well.

    I’d tell 20 year olds to get the hell back to training and get educated. Forget the fella. but that is easier said than done isn’t it?

    My mother was great, she did her best. My father was pretty useless and left. I don’t speak to him anymore.

    The father? Well you would have to ask him those questions. As I said, he was great to start with. Shit at the end. All his mates are deadbeats also as was his father and I guess mine.

    What am I teaching my kids? That they have to do better.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    Interesting story Tara.

    Reminded me a little of Wairoa (I’m also Ngati Kahungunu, so am middle-aged if not entirely a ‘whitey’). Most of the local boys in the 1980s just wanted to drop-out of school and get a job in the Freezing Works. The economic reasoning was easy to see. The money was very good, and an education (in the days of 66% top marginal tax rates) was a dumb choice. You never got those years studying (i.e. not working) back.

    As it stood, it turned out to be a brutally bad choice once the SMPs came off and the sheep numbers dwindled.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    “No politician is original or individually performance based. They are all lackeys to higher unseen forces pulling the strings.”

    so it sems many of you didn’t like this statement.

    check out Socialist International

    http://www.thebriefingroom.com/archives/2009/07/global_governan.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Sorry to hear your story Tara seems your life has not been a barrel of laughs. But as you say there is always someone in a worst position, not that is of much comfort at the moment Don’t give up !!. I once had only fifty cents to my name but have worked hard and now have assets of a few million dollars, a beautiful, extremely hard working wife (Maori) and three great kids. There is no real secret, except self belief, treat others as you would be wished to be treated and hope that tomorrow will be a better day. I wish you the best.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. wikiriwhis business (3,998 comments) says:

    “If I was 20 again, well if I was 10 again I wish I was brainy and able to stay in school.”

    wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to ourselves as 10 y o’s and tell ourself everything is going to work out in the long run.

    Guess that’s what we have to do with our kids.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    Of one should be wary of generalisations – but what is it with ‘Brown’ guys and why are their partners so easy on them? I worked briefly with a young Tongan guy – educated and working as a Policy Analyst – but he had got four different girls pregnant and apparently they were all too nice to make him pay child support.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    See phule, THAT is what the DPB is for.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    “If I was 20 again, well if I was 10 again I wish I was brainy and able to stay in school.”

    I would totally own the rugby field.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    Thanks for answering my questions Tara. It really helps give me a better understanding of where you ae coming from. It’s a shocking situation, and one that is probably really difficult for other people (like me) to fully understand if they haven’t experienced it

    Regarding the good Dads being few and far between – I have to say I know lots. Although I’ve moved over to Australia and the into a larger community and network of people that recognise the importance of family.

    Being good Dad’s does mean even though we are doofus’s and forget to do the dishes sometimes or work too hard to bring in $ to pay the bills, but the family is still top priority. I know a couple of guys who were real lads when they were single or before kids (some grew up in broken homes), but are now great Dad’s – I think being surrounded by peers who are family oriented has set them straight

    I’m sure that there are similar networks in New Zealand – I’ve just found one that works for me. I had a Maori friend when I was in my teens and he taught me that family always comes first and made sure I never forgot it.

    Anyway – thanks again and look forward to following more posts this week.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    Gee, your kids life sounds like mine when I was that young. Can’t say anything about the drunk sex, the old’s always had the door closed! LOL

    But you have got it right about being “middle aged male computer geekoids”…..only I’m a fellow brownie & not angry except when the dinners not on time! Haven’t tried to chuck the roast spuds at the wife though…ooooooh that would be bad & I’d come off second best even though I’m nearly twice her weight & half a foot taller. Me & the couch are well acquainted.

    Welcome sistah!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    Gee, your kids life sounds like mine when I was that young. Can’t say anything about the drunk sex, the old’s always had the door closed! LOL

    But you have got it right about being “middle aged male computer geekoids”…..only I’m a fellow brownie & not angry except when the dinners not on time! Haven’t tried to chuck the roast spuds at the wife though…ooooooh that would be bad & I’d come off second best even though I’m nearly twice her weight & over half a foot taller. Me & the couch are well acquainted.

    Welcome sistah!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    There is no real secret, except..”

    ..that i have made my money from brutalising/exploiting animals..

    ..that i own/run an animal concentration-camp..

    and my money is soaked in blood..

    ..and the suffering of animals..

    signed:..sideshow bob a.k.a…’bloody-hands-bob’..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    philu

    There is no real secret, except..”

    ..that i have made my money from brutalising/exploiting animals..

    ..that i own/run an animal concentration-camp..

    and my money is soaked in blood..

    ..and the suffering of animals..

    signed:..sideshow bob a.k.a…’bloody-hands-bob’..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    In the words of Buzz Lightyear (go figure, I’m a father & watch kids movies!), “You are a strange little man!”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Isn’t life interesting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Yeah, there are PLENTY of good dads out there. You just dont see them. Because they just get the job done. Not very interesting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    “write of thousands of you angry white middle aged male computer geekoids”

    Hi Tara, in reverse, perhaps me posting about ‘angry (insert colour) male computer geekoids’ might cause some raised eyebrows.

    My own experience of Maori folk is very positive. But there again, I think it may be easier for Poms. We have come from a very diverse background. And I believe are more tolerant than Euro predominant Kiwis.

    Some of the entrenched views about violent Maori males do seem however to be backed up when one reads the papers, or
    watch the news, police crime programmes.

    It takes all sorts, but my real concern is that everyone is equal before the law and their peers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote