A great family

May 9th, 2010 at 2:47 pm by David Farrar

A lovely story in the HoS about the Bruntons:

When Michelle tells people about her brood of 17, “their jaws drop”. Then they ask if they have misheard. …

Twelve are at home when we visit: Jethro, 18, Anna-Marie, 16, Leah, 15, Harriet, 13, Deborah, 12, Jacob, 11, Zacharias, 10, Jimmy, 8, Ben 6, Zebulun, 4, Ethan, 3 and Julia, aged just 18 months.

Victoria, 21, was working at the family’s shop, and the other four – Sarah, 26, Joel, 25, Rebekah, 22 and Rachel, 20, – are married and have left home.

17 kids is amazing enough, but with no multiple births it is even more unusual.

Peter runs a hardware store, where several of his children have helped over the years.

“I had three daughters working and one day a guy thought he had been served by one girl – until he saw them all standing together!” he laughs.

The family gets some tax rebates if his store has a bad year, but generally they do okay. He goes fishing in the nearby Kaipara Harbour. The other week he caught 51 snapper “which will do 10 family meals”.

I can’t imagine how much WFF payments they are eligible for, but very impressed that they seem to be largely self sufficient. How many families go fishing to save money on meals?

The weekly grocery bill comes in at about $500, including 40 litres of milk and 20 loaves of bread.

They must need a truck to deliver it!

He says the family “are all caring and watch out for each other” and he credits his wife with being an amazing mother and teacher. She home-schools the children.

Peter says all the older girls can cook and there’s baking every Saturday.

Inside, there is no roster. Children just take up responsibilities as needed. Anna-Marie makes porridge in bulk every morning.

My God. Being a mother to 17 kids would be challenging enough, but to also home school them.

There are so many stories about dysfunctional families, it is nice to read this story about a family that seems to have it very much together, despite its huge size

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27 Responses to “A great family”

  1. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    At a dinner with Groucho Marx:

    ……It was on this occasion that a lady was mentioned who had ten children because she loved her husband. “I love my cigar,” Groucho said ” but I take it out sometimes”

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  2. Tauhei Notts (1,642 comments) says:

    I think it would be $941 per week Working For Families payout, if mum and dad’s joint taxable income was less than $709 per week. It looks like $60 per child; plus $26 Family Tax Credit; and $15 per child plus $15 In Work Tax Credit.
    Cactus Kate had written some time ago about paying people to breed. Once I saw this situation and did the arithmetic I can now see what she was talking about.

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  3. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    are they ideologically opposed to birth control…?

    so…given that w.f.f-formula….bloody hands bob…skims about $250 pw in wff…

    you can understand it when he said:..’i/my family dosen’t need working for families…i just use it to pay my tax-bill..’

    ..but i reckon that is horse-shit…

    ‘cos..as he told us..he has his affairs arranged into a trust…..(with offspring as income-earners..(for tax purposes…

    ..and to ‘qualify’ …. for w.f.f…eh..?

    so..given all those facts he provided…

    i reckon he pays s.f.a.in tax..

    and his $250 pw..from w.f.f…is just ‘cream’…he has ‘skimmed’….

    eh..?

    good on her tho’..producing/homeschooling 17 kids..!

    whoar..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  4. Will de Cleene (485 comments) says:

    Any King Lear or Stephen Hawking in their house?

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  5. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    My Mum is the second youngest of 18. All single births. My grandma was still working well into her seventies and lived with us in the three bedroom house she brought her family up in. She blamed it on the lack of a telly. Although she was rather Victorian I recall her telling me when I was a teenager that she would be buried in the same grave as her husband,who died rather young (no surprise), and that finally she would be on top.

    WWF. Ffffft.

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  6. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts (635) Says: “I think it would be $941 per week Working For Families payout, if mum and dad’s joint taxable income was less than $709 per week.”

    Don’t forget the payment for home schooling. Anybody know how much that is?

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  7. Chicken Little (793 comments) says:

    51 Snapper?

    WTF ocean despoiler?, wait…let me guess, Gods bounty, right?

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  8. Grant Michael McKenna (1,156 comments) says:

    Yitta Schwartz died in January aged 93, having had 15 children, more than 200 grandchildren and so many great- and great-great-grandchildren that, by her family’s count, she could claim perhaps 2,000 living descendants.

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  9. starboard (2,489 comments) says:

    reckon he pays s.f.a.in tax..

    and his $250 pw..from w.f.f…is just ‘cream’…he has ’skimmed’….

    eh..?

    you’re in no position to comment on other people creaming it leech boy..when was the last time you coughed up some paye eh..??..your’re a bludger of the worst kind.

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  10. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so..star-bored..you think it is ‘cool’..that a dairy-farmer..(a sector currently swimming in money…having ‘good-times’..)

    ..puts his wads of cream-cash into a family-trust..so he has to pay s.f.a. in tax…

    ..and is eligble to stick his hand out for a grand a month…

    ..in working for families..welfare..?

    even tho’..in his own words..’i/my family dosen’t need w.f.f…i just use it to pay my tax’..

    ..eh..?

    and that person is especially qualified to sneer at sole-parents..raising children…on a fraction of his ‘earn’…

    ..as ‘bludgers’leeches…

    ..eh..?

    he is the bludger/leech….rorting/scamming the system…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  11. rouppe (938 comments) says:

    The daily catch limit for snapper in Auckland and north is 10 per person. So I bloody well hope he had 5 others in that boat with him, all with rods out fishing.

    Otherwise he is a filthy poacher

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  12. starboard (2,489 comments) says:

    whore…see 5.59pm

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  13. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Ure the ultimate Leech is on full volume again. Why don’t you stay on your own blogarea? Too lonely?

    Bonglips.

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  14. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    This 80s musician Tongan family got 19 (grown up) children. (NB – There is an ad at the begining of the vid before the interview).

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  15. Gavfaemonty (61 comments) says:

    DPF: “largely self sufficient”. Unlikely. Paying all their own healthcare costs? Their share of roading, defence, justice, welfare, and so on? Doubt it. Probably paying little or no tax but happy to keep imposing more costs on the rest of us. And somehow this is a good news story.

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  16. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Gavfaemonty – those 17 kids will be supporting you in your old age.

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  17. Chaucey (43 comments) says:

    Good on them. They seem to be raising well-adjusted children and aren’t afraid of hard work. They are exactly the sort of people who should be having large families.

    Vibenna – The grant for home-schooling is for learning materials, not for other living costs.

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  18. big bruv (13,548 comments) says:

    How on earth do these people qualify for the ‘Great family” tag?

    The article implies that they already have their hands in our pockets “The family gets some tax rebates if his store has a bad year” and I would almost bet my last dollar that they are coining it by way of WFF.

    Unless I am very much mistaken the tax payer is funding the lifestyle choice of these people to a great degree, mind you, we should not be surprised, this is NZ, nobody is expected to take personal responsibility for themselves, their actions, nor does it seem, the size of their family.

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  19. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    17 home-schooled kids in the house, 17 home-schooled kids…
    if four of those kids should happen get married in their early 20s…
    that’s 13 home-schooled kids….

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  20. Bazar (38 comments) says:

    “Otherwise he is a filthy poacher”

    Political correctness at its finest.
    We have a quota to stop people from fishing more than they need, and to help distribute fairly the fish.
    Since his family is larger, its only fair to assume that he should have a larger quota.

    Reality might differ by far, but to categorize him with people who overfish for personal profit, is a low blow.

    I’ll also add, i’d be surprised if he did outright break the quota, as i expect he had a few sons/daughters on board at the time.

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  21. Chicken Little (793 comments) says:

    The other week he caught 51 snapper “which will do 10 family meals

    Since his family is larger, its only fair to assume that he should have a larger quota.

    Bazar, I haven’t got a copy of that other set of rules you seem to be quoting from. Be a good chap and post them up here would you?

    I’ve got 15 family members (well, some of them are friends that are like family), so that must mean I can take 90 crayfish at a time, right? Or how about Paua?, 90 again? Hey and lets get rid of that pesky measurement thing too, eh? I can’t see why I can’t take the small ones too. I mean…it’s for the family.

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  22. Biomag83 (94 comments) says:

    This is a delightful story
    God Bless that family

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  23. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Biomag83 2:50 am,

    This is a delightful story
    God Bless that family

    Amen to that, Biomag.
    If NZ had more large families like this; with the same values and work ethics, then our nation’s future would be a bright one. And there would certainly be no concerns surrounding an aging population, and the associated issue of how to fund retirees. A blessing from God, indeed.

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  24. backster (2,117 comments) says:

    I reckopn our new New Zealander Somalis will soon topple that record.

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  25. scrubone (3,081 comments) says:

    “Don’t forget the payment for home schooling. Anybody know how much that is?”

    No, but it’s a fraction of the cost of state schooling a child, for a (usually) vastly better result. The state is saving a packet.

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  26. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    backster 11:01 am,

    I reckopn our new New Zealander Somalis will soon topple that record.

    And I reckon you’re right, Backster.
    Add the Muslim birthrate to the philosopical base of Islam and you certainly have an explosive (pun intended) mix; a direct threat to the (previously) Judeo-Christian West. As a result of casting off our foundational value base we have little protection against uncontrolled Islamic immigration; those in leadership either cannot or will not recognise where this lack of immigration control will end up taking us. And to even challenge this view is to risk being labelled a zenophobe or Islamophobe – but meanwhile “Rome burns”.

    But don’t worry, soon NZ will have much the same problems as does Islamified Europe and the UK – something to REALLY look forward to!

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  27. Shunda barunda (2,966 comments) says:

    If NZ had more large families like this; with the same values and work ethics, then our nation’s future would be a bright one.

    Absolutely agree Kris.
    The economic benefit to the nation from a family such as this will be many many times the value of any working for families payments they receive.
    You can’t put a price on people with integrity and honesty.

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