Let’s not forget the deadbeat dads

May 10th, 2012 at 12:47 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Ms Bennett said there were men in the benefit system who had fathered numerous children, but they escaped much of the criticism. Some had up to eight children to different mothers – and even if they were employed they could not afford child support.

“We talk about teen mums a lot and yes, they are left with the babies. But you hear of older men with multiple children and they actually prey on young women as well,” Ms Bennett said. “I’m not sure we actually identify that as the problem that it is.”

The are the ones who walk away leaving the mothers with the baby, and the taxpayer with the bill. Good on Paula for focusing on them.

Last night, Mr Craig released the international research he based the claim on – including a survey of behaviour such as one-night stands by an academic at Bradley University in which NZ came second to Finland. Another was the 2007 Durex Global Sex Survey of 26,000 people nationwide, which found NZ women had an average of 20.4 sexual partners – well above the global average of 7.3.

The Durex Sex Survey is not a scientific poll, but a self selecting survey.

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54 Responses to “Let’s not forget the deadbeat dads”

  1. thedavincimode (6,117 comments) says:

    A point missed by the media in the course of its hand-wringy story of the NZer who topped himself in Australia because of the debt accumulated with IRD for failing to pay maintenance in respect of his child. We get the understandably distressed parent criticising IRD. Well, sorry for the loss and all that, and it is sad that his children now no longer have a father and his parents a son. But nobody seemed to be interested in the fact that he skipped the country in the normal fashion, no doubt expecting that his departure would see an end to his obligations to his child in NZ, or more particularly, the taxpayers of this country who were picking up the tab. He couldn’t afford it because he had started a new family in Australia. Hmm. Did other family members chip in to share the load? Who knows whether IRD were overly harsh with him, although there was nothing in the violin solo that accompanied this “story” to suggest that he had made any attempt to deal with the matter. Picking up the telephone would have been a good start. But, is that the real issue anyway? He did a bunk and abandoned a legitimate obligation. Left us with the tab, as many before him have done.

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  2. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    Oh dear that judgmental Paula has just alienated all the men in Aotearoa….tsk tsk…..

    That’s what the trendies said about Craig! Goose ,gander.

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  3. YesWeDid (1,002 comments) says:

    ‘Good on Paula for focusing on them.’

    You missed the bit where she said it was too hard to do anything about.

    Just out of interest how many ‘dead beat’ dads with 8 children are there? How big of a problem is this?

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  4. smttc (638 comments) says:

    YWD, she’s right. It’s tough enough trying to get dead beats to wear condoms let alone subject themselves any more permanent or long term solution. Easier to focus on nthe actual potential breeders.

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  5. virtualmark (1,421 comments) says:

    First, how about creating some incentives for the Mums to clearly identify who the Dads are. “We boost your DPB by $10 a week if we know who the Dad is”. If the Dad says “It wasn’t me” then it goes to paternity tests. If it is him then he pays for the test. If it wasn’t him then the state pays for the test.

    Second, divert some benefit money from the Dad to his kids – which is where the $10 a week comes from. And if the Dad has a job then clearly they can move to maintenance payments.

    Third, don’t let anyone out of the country with unpaid maintenance payments. Just like fines.

    Apologies if some or all of these steps are already in force.

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  6. Nick R (443 comments) says:

    Er – How exactly has she focused on them? Does merely mentioning a problem without actually doing anything about it now count as some sort of achievement?

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  7. Rat (377 comments) says:

    I agree Virtual
    Dont let anyone out the country with unpaid Child Support

    Dont let anyone out the country with unpaid fines

    Dont let anyone out the country with unpaid Studend Loans

    Dont let anyone out the country with unpaid tax

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  8. tvb (3,939 comments) says:

    Deadbeat dads are the real problem. The women are heroes in comparison. But we do have a big feckless welfare underclass. They need a rocket up the jackseat.

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  9. smttc (638 comments) says:

    Er Nick. I didn’t say she was. I said it is easier to focus on trying to get young women to avoid further pregnancy than it is to get dead beats to take some responsibility. Clearly Paula Bennett thinks so too. Regardless of what she has or has not done to date.

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  10. wilhelmus7 (15 comments) says:

    It may be a self selecting survey, but unless the self selected group was less than 20 people, 20.4 is still a massive number for an average.

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  11. wikiriwhis business (3,286 comments) says:

    Minster for Social Development Paula Bennett said on TVNZ’s Q&A last June that while she was a fan of long-term reversible contraception for beneficiaries, “I don’t think we’re quite at compulsory sort of stages,”. Basic Eugenics (the “applied science of practices aimed at controlling the genetic composition of a population”)

    This indicates that forced contraception for beneficiaries is on the agenda and is the next stage. This shows the process is a gradual one just like the Nazis did. You start by restricting at a low level the activities of a group of people based of their race or socioeconomic status and build up to imprisoning them in ‘camps’ then progress to killing them. Along the way you broaden the range what is your ‘undesirable’ group.

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  12. Barnsley Bill (929 comments) says:

    So. Bennett equals Hitler. ASSHAT

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  13. thedavincimode (6,117 comments) says:

    wikiwizzythingy.

    Well spotted. My beef in particular, is why pussyfoot around in the meantime? Lets just get right on with your most excellent suggestions.

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  14. slijmbal (1,133 comments) says:

    @wilhemus7

    “It may be a self selecting survey, but unless the self selected group was less than 20 people, 20.4 is still a massive number for an average.”

    I think you are confusing skewed samples with margin of error.

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  15. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Easy answer is to steralise or castrate the suspects at birth. They are easily identified. The under class that begets yet another generation of under class.

    Go ask the social workers how many ‘families” they have on their books of generations of under class.

    Oh And it will also raise the level of IQ in the country. Tax savings all round.

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  16. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    ***it will also raise the level of IQ in the country.***

    That process had kind of may happened through natural selection in the past (explained below by US physics Professor Steve Hsu) – now it’s in reverse :)

    “Could this type of natural selection lead to changes in quantitative, heritable traits over a relatively short period of time?

    Consider the following simple model, where X is a heritable trait such as intelligence or conscientiousness or even height. Suppose that X has narrow sense heritability of one half. Divide the population into 3 groups:

    Group 1 bottom 1/6 in X; 1 SD above average

    Suppose that Group 3 has a reproductive rate which is 10% higher than Group 2, whereas Group 1 reproduces at a 10% lower rate than Group 2. A relatively weak correlation between X and material wealth could produce this effect, given the demographic data above (the rich outreproduced the poor almost 2 to 1!). Now we can calculate the change in population mean for X over a single generation. In units of SDs, the mean changes by roughly 1/6 ( .1 + .1) 1/2 or about .02 SD. (I assumed assortative mating by group.) Thus it would take roughly 50 generations, or 1k years, under such conditions for the population to experience a 1 SD shift in X.”

    http://infoproc.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/demography-and-fast-evolution.html

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  17. MrLimerick (10 comments) says:

    I have 2 nephews and 2 nieces who were fathered by one of these drop-kicks. At last count I heard he has fathered over two dozen kids all over the North Island. He’s now approaching his mid-fifties and still fathering children with young dumb women, then off with another one a few years later… hasn’t been in contact with our kids in many years.
    I just don’t know how he does it, he’s a wizened looking little thing now (used to be stunning guy with thick red hair, high cheekbones and bright blue eyes). Absolutely no interest in any of his kids, even after we tracked him down and drove three hours to let our ones meet him for the first time in many years.

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  18. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Paula Bennett – the woman that can count to 3 but struggles with larger numbers. LMAO

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  19. Chuck Bird (4,406 comments) says:

    Fathers are always an easy target. They have no political clout. We have a situation where a man has been conned in the thinking a child is his that is not his. When he finds out that he is not the father the State who helped some women defraud him will do nothing to help him recover his money. No one knows how common this is but what politician will do anything about this like mandatory DNA testing?

    You get some injustice or perceived injustice done to women and most women are supportive and even some men. However, look at the case in the US years ago where a man had his dick cut off for playing around. Men thought it was a joke.

    I have met many father who say embarrassingly that they had views similair to many on this blog until it happened to them. There is something in men’s DNA that make them want to appear like knights in shining armour

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  20. KevinH (1,128 comments) says:

    The fathers of state dependant children are captured through the taxation system with Inland Revenue collecting tax via their Child Support section. It has been a contentious issue to some fathers resistant to paying and past governments have grappled with the issue with little success,however it is an issue that has to be constantly focussed on to bring non contributing fathers to account.

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  21. Chuck Bird (4,406 comments) says:

    Kevin, I pointed one of the issues I raised was paternity testing. I just thought of another or two. There are case of women illegally taking children out of the country you the IRD takes money from the father and gives it to the mother. Then there are many cases of the mother takes the kids a long distance away in NZ, shacks up with a new partner, alienates the children and encourages them to call her latest boyfriend Dad.

    Can you understand why some men try to avoid child support?

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  22. Bruce Hamilton (59 comments) says:

    Ross69,

    Can she count?. Only three words?.

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  23. KevinH (1,128 comments) says:

    @Chuck Bird
    Yes, I do understand the difficulties of the examples you provided and would agree that there is a bias in the system with regard to responsibilities.
    The examples you provided require legislative attention, especially in the instance where the children are removed from New Zealand, placing the father in the unenviably position of paying for children that he has no access to.
    Also the other example where the mother has entered into a new relationship, defining the responsibility for the childrens care is cloudy and I know how heart wrenching that can be for the jilted father left out in limbo land.

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  24. big bruv (12,351 comments) says:

    Given the topic/title of this thread I thankful that a certain person is banned from Kiwiblog at the moment.

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  25. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    deadbeat dads – does that include the ones that stick around, get sole custody and then stay on the DPB for 18 years???

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  26. big bruv (12,351 comments) says:

    Dime

    Yes it does.

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  27. Northland Wahine (542 comments) says:

    Virtual… Single mums are penalized by $28 a week from their benefit if the father of the child is not named on the birth certificate. The sanction can be exempt in cases of sexual violence. And even if the father is named on a birth certificate and the mother refuses to complete a child maintenance form, her benefit can be sanctioned. Just as a man on the DPB or equivalent of, can have his benefit sanctioned by $28.

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  28. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    “The sanction can be exempt in cases of sexual violence.”

    people have non-violent sex?

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  29. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird said

    Fathers are always an easy target. They have no political clout.

    Some have no political clout Chuck, but not all. Some become TV personalities, bloggers and newspaper columnists.

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  30. Northland Wahine (542 comments) says:

    Thumbs nose @ Dime.

    In all seriousness Dime, it has to be the most awkward silence when a client answers… I was raped…

    Sadly it’s a requirement work and income case managers have to ask when the father isn’t named… “why isn’t the fathers name on the benefit. The rape silenced me.

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  31. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    NW – sorry. didnt know thats what you did for a job. was a bad joke.

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  32. Northland Wahine (542 comments) says:

    No need to apologise, Dime.

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  33. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business –

    if beneficiaries already had access to this service for free, and Bill English said “we can’t afford it, there will now be a charge”, you (and Darien Fenton) would

    (a) sit back and say “oh, that’s okay, it’s better that they have complete control over their fertility, so they should have to pay if they want long term contraception”; or

    (b) scream “beneficiary bashing! Nats are condemning New Zealand’s most vulnerable to bigger families than they can afford!”

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  34. thedavincimode (6,117 comments) says:

    people have non-violent sex?

    It’s all down to funds availability dime. Hopefully you’ll never have to find out. :)

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  35. tvb (3,939 comments) says:

    HOw about cOmpulsory vasectomy for deadbeat fathers who keep fathering children and default on all responsibility

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  36. orewa1 (425 comments) says:

    Yes there are deadbeat dads who father childen sequentially and totally irresponsibly. There is one in my extended family. They are ratbags and deserve to pay, assuming they can be found.

    BUT – very big BUT:

    Also in my extended family is a chick who plays the system to perfection. Find a stud to start a “family” with. When its a year or two old, tell him to fuck off. Rob him through the benefit system so he is too poor to ever get into another relationship, while you enjoy a nice comfortable life without needing to work. Turn the child against him. Play the system. Despite the fact that he very genuinely wants to be a sharing, loving father and share the responsibility, he has no chance against a manipulative woman with a sharp feminist lawyer.

    The societal rules around which children are conceived and brought up have changed massively in the past 20 years. So has the whole issue of contraception – contraception is now easy for a woman ato the point that it can now arguably be seen as a woman’s responsibility rather than a joint one. Easy as.

    Are we at a point where a guy, arguably, is entitled to assume that if a woman doesnt want to get pregnant, she is on the pill – her responsibility, not his?

    These questions are massive. But the welfare system and society’s approach is stuck in the 1970s.

    It needs a genuine national debate . Whose financial responsibility is it to pay to bring up the next generation in this much more complex environment? And how can that be enforced?

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  37. salt (119 comments) says:

    @orewa1 “contraception is now easy for a woman to the point that it can now arguably be seen as a woman’s responsibility rather than a joint one….Are we at a point where a guy, arguably, is entitled to assume that if a woman doesn’t want to get pregnant, she is on the pill – her responsibility, not his?”

    Hang on. So the Pill for women was developed first; and women have more to lose from sex leading to a pregnancy; so the logical conclusion is that preventing pregnancy is solely a female responsibility, and the men f*cking them shouldn’t even have to think about it? FFS.

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  38. Hollyfield (67 comments) says:

    Chuckbird said “….then there are many cases of the mother takes the kids a long distance away in NZ,…”

    I am not arguing or disagreeing with you, but want to point out that the opposite also happens. My ex-husband left the city we both lived in, moved to another city, then moved to the South Island. He returned to our city 5 years ago but still cannot find time for his daughter – in the last 5 years he has managed to come to one sports event, two parent-teacher meetings, one school concert, no assemblies and sees her on average once every 2-3 months. Now he is talking about moving to Australia. In contrast, his mother comes to almost all sports events and school concerts, and visits our home (or invites us to hers) every few weeks so that she can spend time with her granddaughter.

    Several friends have had something similar with their ex-husband, so mine is not the only one. One friend used to have to give her ex-husband money before he would see his own kids – he would say I can’t see the kids this weekend, I don’t have any petrol. So she would give him $50 for petrol and food for the kids! And he was paying no child support at the time.

    Another friend wanted to move to another city approx 1 1/4 hours away, and because her ex-husband didn’t want her to, the court ruled that she had to stay in the same city.

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  39. orewa1 (425 comments) says:

    Salt – I am not passing judgement on these issues. I am just saying the community needs to open the debate, having regard to the reality of 21st century society.

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  40. wat dabney (3,455 comments) says:

    salt,

    Er, if you were a woman wouldn’t you take responsibility for contraception? FFS?

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  41. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    orewa1 7:11. Completely agree.

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  42. Hollyfield (67 comments) says:

    orewa1 said …”contraception is now easy for a woman ato the point that it can now arguably be seen as a woman’s responsibility rather than a joint one….”

    As a woman I take full responsibility for my contraception, I am the only person who is responsible for myself. Similarly, I expect a man to take full responsibility for his contraception, he is the only person who is responsible for himself.

    I will be telling my daughter to always take full precautions, and never rely on the man saying he will wear a condom etc. If I had a son I would advise him to always take full precautions and never rely on what the woman may say about her contraception. (Until they’re in a “proper” relationship and make decisions as a couple.)

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  43. Northland Wahine (542 comments) says:

    Here here Hollyfield.

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  44. salt (119 comments) says:

    @ wat dabney – yes I would – but I don’t like the insinuation that just because women CAN take contraceptive pills (which are pretty reliable but are not 100% failsafe), men are completely absolved of any responsibility. Both men and women willingly take part, so both men and women are responsible for what happens.

    @Hollyfield: exactly.

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  45. wat dabney (3,455 comments) says:

    Both men and women willingly take part, so both men and women are responsible for what happens.

    If I was a woman I would take responsibility for contraception.

    Frankly it seems kinda obvious.

    What’s a gal gonna do? Allow herself to become pregnant through inaction?

    Come on.

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  46. pq (728 comments) says:

    rave on Mr Farrar the centre right is coming at you, like it or not,
    survive here Mr Dave
    who will you have
    NZ First, Conservative party, Maori,
    tick somewhere here Mr Farrar

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  47. salt (119 comments) says:

    Yeah, I’m not saying they shouldn’t take responsibility for themselves – but what YOU seemed to be saying was that the man needn’t bother taking any responsibility for contraception himself. Come on.

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  48. wat dabney (3,455 comments) says:

    A man should only take responsibility in so far as he won’t get trapped into a relationship or responsibility.

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  49. cha (3,534 comments) says:

    What’s a gal gonna do? Allow herself to become pregnant through inaction?

    As the SO said to me.

    You!, WTF would I rely on you!

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  50. salt (119 comments) says:

    well if he doesn’t want to get trapped into anything, he should wear a condom, shouldn’t he?

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  51. wat dabney (3,455 comments) says:

    I think that’s my point.

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  52. Chuck Bird (4,406 comments) says:

    “I am not arguing or disagreeing with you, but want to point out that the opposite also happens.”

    Hollyfield. I do not disagree. I was responding to the term deadbeat dad which when used for any father who does not pay all or any child support regardless of reason.

    There is a review of child support going on right now. Hopefully, this will go someway to helping the problem.

    In regards responsibility one has to look at the most effective means of birth contraception. The sexual revolution only really started after the pill. Just like condoms are unreliable in stooping the spread of HIV and other STDs they are nowhere near as effective as the pill or implants under the skin.

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  53. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Even condoms have a relatively high failure rate – 2% if used perfectly (and how many of us are perfect when stimulated?), but usually a 15% failure rate. And two of my three children are testament to the reality of IUD failure. Which raises the question of culpability of the govenment when its “free” contraception fails.

    But the reference to deadbeat dads (a very good term, nice alliteration) is apt, as the fact that dads are not offered a similar deal means the policy, at its most base level, is sexist. That is, it is aimed purely at women when, in every case, there is an equally culpable man in (at) play.

    Policies the govenment could consider, to level the playing field and to remove the sexist discriminatory aspect of the policy, is offering free vasectomies to men who have fathered a child that is now reliant on a parent who is in receipt of the DPB.

    Or, in the case of those paying child support, a cash incentive to vasectomise.

    Of course, this still leaves firmly in place discrimination against the (undeserving) poor, and discrimination of the grounds of race because brownskinned people are disproportionately affected by this policy.

    The there is the bullying by WINZ staff that will undoubtedly occur, and the children who will come to understand that, actually, their country, in spite of a rather famous poster, neither wants nor needs them.

    All in all, a typical right wing I win-I win-you lose (suckers) situation.

    Of course, the best way to minimise DPB numbers is to lift wage levels so a sole parent can afford to pay for decent childcare.

    But that just wouldn’t do, would it?

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  54. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    The durex survey was always a marketing gimmick I thought.

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