When to stop having kids?

December 12th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Alana Jones is not your typical foodbank client.

Her husband has a good income, she was employed until the birth of her 5-month-old baby and she is not eligible for a benefit.

But with up to eight mouths to feed, constant rent increases and only about $200 for bills and food each week, she needs help.

This is the second time in two weeks Jones has visited the Christchurch City Mission for a food parcel.

Between Jones and her partner they have six children. They live in a “cold, damp” three-bedroom rental in Avondale. Two children have asthma and one has a heart defect.

She is $25 over the threshold to be eligible for a Housing New Zealand property, and her husband earns “just” too much for them to qualify for a benefit.

After rent, bills and petrol are paid from her partner’s $700 weekly income and their $420 Working for Families supplement, Jones estimated they had $200 to spend on food “if we’ve got it”.

Making ends meet was now getting “harder and harder”.

“We look back at what we used get and you can’t get that any more.

“We’ve lost internet, phone, TVs – so you can imagine it’s like camping. We can’t afford the bills.”

As well as having six children, Jones has five cats she rescued after the earthquakes and “can’t part with”.

She said she had “no money to free up anything” for her children. They could not afford school shoes, so they bought $5 pairs of canvas shoes each week to compensate.

It was her daughter’s birthday last week, but there were no presents.

“They don’t understand [our situation].”

To earn extra money on the side, Jones’s partner has been buying things off Trade Me, doing them up and reselling them, and they have been selling eggs from their chickens.

But they are still in the red.

I have huge sympathy for Mrs Jones. Raising six kids on what is now a single income must be incredibly difficult. The kids looks delightful and well cared for, and the sacrifices they are making to make ends meet is commendable.

According to the calculator they should be getting $494 a week, but that is based on assuming all six kids are young. Without the ages of each kid, hard to know.

But regardless of how much WFF is, the reality is that caring for six children on a single salary of $700 a week is, I am sure, incredibly hard.

The question I have is why they decided to have a sixth child, when presumably their finances were already stretched to the maximum. I don’t want to sound critical of what seem to be a great hard working family. It may be that the pregnancy was unplanned. But I think there is a general principle that the vast majority of families decide to limit the number of children they have to the lower of how many they want and how many they can afford.

I think we should have a welfare system that helps families with one or two kids, as I think you want every couple that wants children to have them. But whether we should be using limited taxpayer money to fund families than have four, five, six, seven kids etc – there I am less convinced. We do of course provide WFF for additional kids, but that is not a substitute for a couple deciding if their own incomes can support further children.

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80 Responses to “When to stop having kids?”

  1. Manolo (12,644 comments) says:

    We do of course provide WFF for additional kids,…

    I thought Labour Lite opposed WFF. What a surprise to read National is now in favour of it.
    Times and (political positions) change, of course. The chameleon rules!

    [DPF: Why the fuck do you take what I blog as being a statement on behalf of National. It isn't.

    And as it happens you are talking shit. Family tax credits (which make up WFF) have been with us since at least the 90s when National was last in Govt. Labour increased the amounts, bu National has never ever said that there should be no family tax credits]

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  2. Longknives (4,051 comments) says:

    Those poor people- clearly they were forced at gunpoint to spit out SIX fucking children!
    Cry me a river….

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  3. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    Clearly you people missed the memo – National was only against WFF when it’s popularity was helping Labour.

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  4. smttc (638 comments) says:

    Six children in 2013. Fucking adsurb.

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  5. Alan (922 comments) says:

    The probably had the 6th kid because the man in the sky advised them, via his local representative (see man of the year thread) that he wasn’t cool with contraception.

    Simples.

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  6. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    smttc

    But why wouldn’t you have lots in a country where other peoples money feeds em ?

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  7. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    Five cats and enough chickens to sell the eggs, why not use the eggs to feed the kids and the chickypoo to grow a few veg. The kids incidentally seem plump and healthy rather than malnourished.must be the good food from the foodbank and the free brekky at school. How does she get her house cold and damp, with all the global warming going on at the moment I am having trouble keeping mine cool.

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  8. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Yeah, the five cats is a bit dubious. I don’t have enough money to feed my 6 children, but I can’t possibly give up my 5 cats. Note to self: need ability to prioritise.

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  9. Yoza (1,361 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  10. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    Using DPF’s number, and assuming the $700 is nett income, they get $1194 a week. Assuming his salary is paid through the holiday, that’s $62,088 a year. I’m sorry, but that’s not a bad number. Maybe not good, but if you can’t afford the cats, don’t have them. That’ll save at least $20 a week.

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  11. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    They could not afford school shoes, so they bought $5 pairs of canvas shoes each week to compensate

    That’s $260 a year for shoes per child. I don’t think we spend that on our son for shoes. I guess getting the capital together for a good $150 pair of shoes might be difficult but still… Doesn’t meridian or something have a shoes for kids programme?

    She’s already getting a large whack of WFF so saying ‘doesn’t qualify’ is a bit off

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  12. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    And the cats sound like they’d provide 5 very good meals. I’m sure it’ll taste like chicken. Everything does. Add bacon. That’ll make it even better.

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  13. kowtow (6,734 comments) says:

    Curried cat with home brew.

    Yum.

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  14. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    @Yoza. I think you have it wrong. All families have a level of entitlement in the NZ benefit system. I think some kiwibloggers are just pointing out that it’s not a bottomless commitment that entitles someone to have others pay for you to have income well beyond the median income. In other words, that they don’t think it fair nor reasonable that someone on $40K per annum who chooses not to have 6 children (due to not being able to afford them) pays taxes that at least in part go to provide income to someone who chose to have 6 children even though they couldn’t pay for them. It seems inherently unfair that we would set things up that way, and it seems to create some very bad incentives. Can you really not see that?

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  15. edhunter (435 comments) says:

    Yay, go Kiwibloggers! Kick those kids!

    No Yoza that what happens when there’s no consequences, cool I can pop out as many kids as I want & the govt will take care of it all. I’d liked to kick the husband in the nuts & give mum a slap & tell to keep her fucking legs closed.

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  16. Rightandleft (574 comments) says:

    The shoe calculation does look like an exaggeration. But they would probably only be buying them in the winter months. Secondary aged kids can wear sandals in the summer and I see lots of primary aged kids walking to school barefoot or in cheap jandals in the summer months and I live in a relatively nice section of the North Shore.

    As for their having 6 kids the article made it sound like they might be a blended family, so perhaps that explains the high number. I would hope number 6 was not planned though, otherwise that’s really irresponsible.

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  17. Chuck Bird (4,415 comments) says:

    “Six children in 2013. Fucking adsurb.”

    Bullshit. I think Bill English has six. I am happy for people to have a dozen if they can afford them.

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  18. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    NZ – One of the only places in the world where “you breed em – you feed em” only applies to rich pricks.

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  19. cha (3,547 comments) says:

    But..but this is supposed to be a good thing when us white people do it, see – we’re being out-bred by all those other people..
    /

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  20. Manolo (12,644 comments) says:

    And the father will get extended parental leave (to be approved by Labour Lite in 2015) when their seventh child is born. Procreation is the name of the game (at someone else’s expense.)

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  21. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    So it just goes to show having a job doesn’t mean financial security.

    Next we’ll hear the husband has become laid off then KiwiBloggers will call him a dead beat dad.

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  22. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    ‘Using DPF’s number, and assuming the $700 is nett income, they get $1194 a week. Assuming his salary is paid through the holiday, that’s $62,088 a year. ‘

    You’re right. you’re assuming

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  23. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    “I don’t want to sound critical” why not DPF? These children are living their lives in miserable conditions because the parents decided to bring them into ther world when they couldn’t afford it. Yes they may be loving parents but it doesn’t change the fact that these children suffer because of their reckless decision to keep having more and more children. These kind of stories really piss me off as I think of the poor children who have to endure the stupid decisions made by their parents.

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  24. Alan (922 comments) says:

    Of course National supports WFF; they’ve been in office for 5 years and not scrapped it.

    Judge people by actions, not by words.

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  25. RightNow (6,350 comments) says:

    “Next we’ll hear the husband has become laid off then KiwiBloggers will call him a dead beat dad.”

    Ha, that’s funny coming from one of the most prolific kiwibloggers.

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  26. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    Yoza (980 comments) says:

    “So the youngest children of large families should be subjected to some sort of socially orchestrated collective punishment for the actions of their parents. ”

    How about instead of stupid fucking statements like this which contribute nothing you give us your opinion.

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  27. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    ‘Ha, that’s funny coming from one of the most prolific kiwibloggers.’

    Wow, I’m prolific. That’s almost icon status hahaa.

    Except I disagree with most Kiwibloggers.

    As I’ve explained I deeply believe in capitalism and fiscal conservatism/responsibilty.

    I also explained I receive an education here I would not on left blogs.

    But I oppose the arrogance of the business/middle class trivialists who would have us believe we still in the economy of 1985 and anyone who is not experiencing this nirvana must be thick as two bricks.

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  28. Honeybadger (145 comments) says:

    plus child support if both parents are getting it from their respective ex’s? They must be drowning in debt if they cant live reasonably with ‘extra’s on $1100 per week

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  29. RightNow (6,350 comments) says:

    You iconic kiwiblogger you.

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  30. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    ‘plus child support if both parents are getting it from their respective ex’s? They must be drowning in debt if they cant live reasonably with ‘extra’s on $1100 per week’

    You would think so but I don’t know. Water meter bills, fuel prices, rising rents/rates/power bills, bank fees……

    How does anyone save ?

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  31. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    Nice black leather lounge suite…

    There’s always a nice black leather lounge suite and/or a massive flat screen TV in the background of these stories.

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  32. flipper (3,277 comments) says:

    There is another story here…
    Who inspired this total load of crap ???

    I do not buy for one moment DPF’s sympathetic presentation.
    DPF has been much too kind.

    Welfare is not a right to a life style of one’s choosing at the expense of taxpayers.
    The reality is that this family pay only GST, pay NO income tax, and makes a dam sight more from the state than they contribute.

    They sit on a leather settee, and present well dressed, well fed and healthy. NOT below the bullshit poverty line.

    But they are MSM presented as part of the financial underclass.

    The silly woman should get out and work if she/they want more. There are ample employment opportunities in Christchurch ….. and generous day care/child minding subsidies , also paid by the state.

    I repeat, for the benefit of skullnuts like Haminda/Yoza/Rossie69 et al…….. This is bullshit, and you destroy your case by arguing otherwise.

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  33. thor42 (781 comments) says:

    I agree with flipper.
    These people are BLUDGERS. It is *that* simple.
    No-one held a gun to the parents’ heads and forced them to have six children.

    *Why* is it SO HARD for people like this to understand that if you have lots of kids you will struggle to make ends meet?
    I can NOT believe that these people are so ignorant that they don’t understand that.

    ZERO sympathy from this neck of the woods.
    The *government* makes things *worse* by paying people to have babies.
    FFS – we need someone to come along, stage a coup and axe the welfare state.
    That will make bludgers like these see the error of their ways.

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  34. greybeard (46 comments) says:

    I would like to know just how this family came to be the subject of such an article. Did they themsleves contact the press? Did the Christchurch City Mission contact the press? A government department perhaps ? Did Telecom contact the press when they relinquished their phone and internet ? A neighbour? A cat-lover ?

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  35. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    ‘The *government* makes things *worse* by paying people to have babies.’

    Paula Bennett has already announced sterilisation of beneficiaries.

    That initiative may move to the low income thresh hold as time goes on

    That’s how Socialism rolls.

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  36. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    ‘I would like to know just how this family came to be the subject of such an article.’

    Five eyes TSA info sharing I should think.

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  37. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    So…. they want more?

    Net contribution by these people to society per annum after public schooling, healthcare, and WFF for 6 kids….

    I’m going to go with -$100,000?

    I bet these people votes for MPs who would like another pound of my flesh, too, so they can get a bigger slice.

    I have huge sympathy for Mrs Jones.

    I don’t. What she is doing can only really be classed as child abuse IMHO. My partner and I both earn well above the median wage but want to make sure we are financially secure and owning a good house before we have our FIRST child.

    How much do we have to take before we CAN start criticising?

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  38. radvad (621 comments) says:

    We are continually told that what happens in the bedroom is nobody elses business. Fair enough but why is it that when the consequences of bedroom activity start costing we are suddenly forced to be involved, whether it is disease, abortion or kids?

    If it really is nobody elses business it should stay that way regardless of consequence.

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  39. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business (2,624 comments) says:

    “How does anyone save ?”

    They do what I did. I was careful on my spending, got educated, worked in NZ and then went overseas and saved as much pound as I could to bring home. When I got back I bought a house (not in the main cities as too expensive) and knuckled down as hard as I could to pay it off for a few years and then once I had got the debt to a good level I had children. Now I have 2 kids, a free hold house and I am only 35 and saving good money. It is difficult but then you get ahead early and you reap the rewards later on. What I did wasn’t rocket science! Just took a bit of commitment which is sadly lacking in a lot of people nowadays. Yeah I was a bit lucky with jobs but you make your own luck in life.

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  40. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    She is $25 over the threshold to be eligible for a Housing New Zealand property, and her husband earns “just” too much for them to qualify for a benefit.

    This is the problem really. Why doesn’t he just reduce his hours so they can get a benefit?

    Labour’s WFF policy has really made families like this bludgers who could otherwise be out working more hours with a lower tax burden without the horrific economic cost of a 70%+ marginal tax rate due to welfare abatement.

    Manolo called it really. National’s singular failure to make NZ’s middle class more self reliant and move away from a welfare mentality is their biggest failure. They desperately needed to drive change in the minds of NZers that WFF, interest free student loans and universal super at age 65 will bankrupt us. Yet they have embraced communism (their words, not mine).

    The most important question is why would our high earners stay in NZ earning low wages and supporting these types of irresponsible people.

    I hear the shouts of “go then, we don’t need you”… and people are. Why would people not go when they can earn twice as much and pay half as much tax somewhere?

    But already it is 20-30% of the top earners supporting the bottom 70-80. What happens when the 20-30% steadily emigrate to find better financial conditions elsewhere? Families like this will have it much harder if a Greek-style collapse comes.

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  41. thor42 (781 comments) says:

    @radvad (12:46) – Well said! I couldn’t agree more.

    What peeves me off is that the MMP electoral system makes it bloody hard for the government to take the bold action that is needed against welfare.

    If we still had FPP, it would be much easier. Once a government gets in with a good majority under FPP, they can almost guarantee that they’ll have 3 terms. That’s no longer the case under MMP.

    FPP would mean that they could axe the useless WFF, phase out the solo parent benefit and put time-limits on all benefits.
    WINZ also need to be a LOT more harsh on forcing people to work. They are far too namby-pamby at the moment.

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  42. big bruv (12,388 comments) says:

    “I have huge sympathy for Mrs Jones”

    Really DPF?

    I could not care less. She should have stopped having kids if she could not afford them.

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  43. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    ‘WINZ also need to be a LOT more harsh on forcing people to work. They are far too namby-pamby at the moment.’

    Considering they ask 60 y o’s what their plans for the future are WINZ namby pamby days are over their shoulders.

    Though we have yet to learn when Paula Bennetts steriliastion of beneficiaries begin.

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  44. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    Cunningham

    You got your timing right.

    Now with the Reserve bank adjusted housing deposit lifted your plan has become somewhat antiquated in the present time.

    Plus…..you probably weren’t hounded for your student debt at that time.

    The clock has moved forward and time honoured strategies for forward thinking are being stymied more and more by govt.

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  45. srylands (302 comments) says:

    “Considering they ask 60 y o’s what their plans for the future are”

    So what? What planet do you live on? A close friend of mine is 62. She is completing a post grad degree and has just started a new business, which is doing well.

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  46. edhunter (435 comments) says:

    wiki @ 12:08
    I definitely don’t live in a 1985 like Utopia, I have 1 child who was brought up without any assistance from any govt hand-out, & why only 1? Because it was decided that was all we could bloody afford at the time & both his mother & I aren’t bloody bludgers, or maybe we’re the stupid ones? It seems more & more likely that was case.

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  47. dime (8,790 comments) says:

    why on earth would anyone whos “struggling to eat” (the usual catch cry) bring yet another kid into the world?

    fuckin sociopaths

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  48. Spoon (99 comments) says:

    DPF, your WFF calculation is wrong. You’re basing it on weekly income, not annual. She was working until she had her 5 month old, so we’ll assume the start of July. This means April/May/June (a quarter of the year) she was working. Add $10k odd to their annual income and it’ll bring their WFF entitlement down a chunk. She could also be planning to go back to work (or pre-empting a payrise/bonus for her partner) before 31/3/2014 which again brings the entitlement down (or risks a huge bill come the end of the year).

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  49. srylands (302 comments) says:

    “The clock has moved forward and time honoured strategies for forward thinking are being stymied more and more by govt.”

    You are either:

    (a) winding us up,

    (b) you live in another country and know nothing about NZ, or

    (c) your life experience is confined to brain damaged people on the outskirts of Levin.

    I am frequently in contact with young people who are completing, or who have recently conmpleted university study in New Zealand. Most of them are brilliant and will lead successful lives. Their lives will be more successful to the extent that the Government gets OUT of their lives. Fortunately the current Government is heading in that direction. Could it do better? Yes. But we are way better off than I fear we will be come November 2014.

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  50. Andrei (2,431 comments) says:

    Before we lived in a Nation that had gone insane we recognized that people who raised children well were an asset to the nation and those children were its future.

    Now we have a elite often childless, who whine about the growing burden the aging population is and will continue to place upon the working age population, an elite so confused about human biology that they have created gay “marriage” to encourage non fecund sterile couplings rather than the fecund ones we need if this nation is to prosper into the future.

    These people are the salt of the earth and we need to encourage more people like them!

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  51. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    I don’t think this couple are gay Andrei…

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  52. Longknives (4,051 comments) says:

    For Andrei

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  53. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business (2,629 comments) says:

    “You got your timing right.”

    Yes it has become tougher but it is still absolutely possible.

    “Now with the Reserve bank adjusted housing deposit lifted your plan has become somewhat antiquated in the present time. ”

    Since when has getting into big amounts of debt been a good idea? I chose to live in a city outside the main ones. Yes I probably earn less but overall I am well and truly better off financially then if I was in Dorkland. And a 20% deposit is absolutely possible here. Its about the choices you make.

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  54. dime (8,790 comments) says:

    Andrei – maybe people are having less kids cause they cant afford them.. cause they are too busy paying for the shit bags who have kids they cant afford

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  55. wikiriwhis business (3,309 comments) says:

    ‘Their lives will be more successful to the extent that the Government gets OUT of their lives.’

    Well, my point exactly.

    All will be revealed after TPP

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  56. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ Andrei

    I agree with most of what you say. Children are our future. Whilst I would not be advocating everyone go out and have six of them, the fact is that there are an increasing number of people not having any. We are at risk of not being able to support an aging population if we do not have the numbers in the future (and by numbers I mean work capable people).

    It makes every sense in the world to start focusing on ensuring we bring up our children to be self-sufficient, work capable, sound people – if for no other reasons than selfish ones.

    The children mentioned in this article are here now – we can either assist the family, lay some strict boundaries and goals for the family to achieve, and ensure they are able to be self-sufficient in the future, or we can treat them harsh, let them suffer, and have six future adults that have no work capacity and are a drain on the system for years to come.

    Like it or not government policy (historical) has created this problem, if we don’t start getting it right (and that will mean spending some money), it is going to get far worse.

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  57. hj (5,720 comments) says:

    Yoza says that while it is the parents choice to have more children than they can afford , the children shouldn’t be punished.
    I don’t agree: the children represent the parents (selfish) genes and to function as a society we must punish rule breakers.

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  58. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    hj (5,220 comments) says:

    “I don’t agree: the children represent the parents (selfish) genes and to function ad a society we must punish rule breakers.”

    You’re a pretty cold bastard if you think these children should be punished in any way. As much their reckless decision to have children infuriates me, the children should in no way be punished for it. How is it their fault?

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  59. hj (5,720 comments) says:

    “Children are our fture ” good/ bad/ indifferent” citizens.?

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  60. Meatloaf (62 comments) says:

    Hi, when I looked at the WFF calculator a year and a half ago, what I found was that if somebody has 3 children, they get about $70 per child. But once, they have a fourth, they get no extra money, until the oldest turns 18, and that oldest child is no longer the responsibility of the parent.

    This would explain, how when I went out with somebody in a family of 6, their was absolute poverty, the place looked like an absolute dump, as after the third child, no extra money.

    However after looking at the recent WFF site, this is not the case anymore, it seems like it stops at 6 children. It all comes down to how much money someone is making on their own, and how much the government is willing to subsidise. It also all comes down to one’s personal worldview. If someone isn’t making a good amount of money, why should the taxpayer, subsidise it? But then if that person has been paying plenty in tax, why shouldn’t they get something back?

    Oh, I forgot the Maori Party wanted Whanau Ora, which means assistance to the whole family based on the family’s income. So perhaps, this is when the system changed from $70 a week per child up to 3 children, to what it is now.

    And the government wouldn’t have this program if in some way the child wouldn’t grow up and contribute. Currently I have no children, so I’m not using this system. I would be in favour of having an alternative to working for families, where for those earning $500 per week or more if they so choose they have the first $200 in earnings tax free, but they receive no accommodation supplement. And the child tax credit system would stay as it is for the time being.

    Also for me personally I think the old system of 3 children at $70 per child was very generous as it was. For those with more than 3 children, they should be earning some money. But that’s because I don’t have any children. Ultimately if people know ahead of time to what point the government will subsidise they can’t complain, when the government says no more. But again I think 3 children at $70 per child was very generous. And also, I think those having more than 3 children owe society themselves having a good paying job.

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  61. Weihana (4,475 comments) says:

    DPF,

    I have huge sympathy for Mrs Jones.

    Strange, I don’t. I’m with the heartless right-wing on this one. :)

    Six children is unreasonable. Children aren’t always planned but six is enough to see a pattern. I think we have it about right. They get extra support in WFF. The kids aren’t “suffering”. They look to be in reasonable accomodation. Nice looking couch with Xmas tree in the background. It must be tough on the parents to manage this but so it should be to some extent. When are they going to stop breeding?

    Of course children shouldn’t suffer for their parents choices, and they aren’t. But should everyone be silent about the choice to have six children? If people don’t express their opinion then the story stands unchallenged and becomes the basis for policy reform.

    I’m as lefty as the next person and I don’t think the poor need to be punished in order to motivate them to be rich. But having six children is just taking the piss. There has to be some disincentive towards fucktardery.

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  62. nasska (9,576 comments) says:

    While I agree that, in the absence of predations by sabre tooth tigers, having six children is no longer necessary I would point out one amazing stand out feature of these over fecund parents.

    The father actually works.

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  63. hj (5,720 comments) says:

    Cunningham (665 comments) says:
    You’re a pretty cold bastard if you think these children should be punished in any way. As much their reckless decision to have children infuriates me, the children should in no way be punished for it. How is it their fault?
    ………………….
    As I said they represent their parents genes gaining advantage. The problem is that a percentage behave that way in the context of a greater society and so society takes the punishment or they do. All I’m saying is get the message out and make it rock solid that after two children support is reduced or cut off.
    The alternative is what we have = welfare on demand and children as a form of currency. The rules exist for every species.

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  64. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    RRM is also a caring leftie soul, and has the following advice for Mr & Mrs Jones:

    She said she had “no money to free up anything” for her children. They could not afford school shoes, so they bought $5 pairs of canvas shoes each week to compensate.

    Stop doing that! That is a false economy.
    We get much longer than 7 weeks out of $25-$35 Shoe Warehouse type shoes.

    Jones estimated they had $200 to spend on food “if we’ve got it”.

    If you’re not already cooking at least 3-4 vegetarian meals per week based on beans, lentils and chickpeas, LEARN HOW TO DO THIS NOW.
    5 years ago RRM was single and eating meat + 3 vege every night, and would be the last guy in the world who would contemplate vegetarian cooking! Today I have a wife & 3 kids, I’d hate to think what our grocery bills would be if we were eating meat all the time.

    Are you allowed to keep chickens in Christchurch?
    A pullet costs about $35, 3 or 4 chooks will get through a $20 bale of chook food in about a month but in that time they will lay about two dozen eggs a week… about $60 worth of eggs a month.

    You would need to keep your 5 stray cats away from the chickens while they are small. Adult chickens are afraid of cats but are seldom harmed by them.

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  65. Scott Chris (5,688 comments) says:

    I think Bill English has six. I am happy for people to have a dozen if they can afford them.

    Any couple with a reasonably developed social conscience wouldn’t have more than two kids in this day and age.

    Time too lionize the childless imo. Fuck Mums and Dads.

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  66. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    PS: And buy your lentils, chickpeas and beans dry in big bags from a wholesaler, not the BS little $2 tiny cans supermarkets carry…

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  67. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    :oops: I just remembered they don’t have a phone line or the internet at their place… d’oh…

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  68. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    I’m not sure, Andrei, that there is a shortage of people in the world. Yes, we need to continue the species, but I see little evidence that the species is in threat, other than perhaps through there being too many people. I don’t think we should stop people having children, but I also don’t see any logic in subsidising it either. I’d be much happier if only those who could afford to have children had them.

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  69. DJP6-25 (1,236 comments) says:

    I bet stuffed wouldn’t be running these sob stories if David Cunliffe was PM. Then there would be no ‘poverty’.

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  70. Harriet (4,013 comments) says:

    LOL: The DPB was introduced when women DID bear 4+ Children – DPF somehow happened to miss that. :cool:

    What DPF is REALLY SAYING IS:

    Women should only have as many children as Labour’s unions and half useless NZ businesses can cater for – after they have been taxed and regulated to the brink of existance by the Labour/National Monolith. Staff can live off the crumbs of the ‘economy’!

    Population control by government is therefor a consequence of large busy body government.
    The less well-off then become further victims of further busy body government. ‘Child affordability’ is on the minds of all young women, and women do put off birth to the point that they then have difficulty with their fertility!

    But National and Labour at the same time will tell you that having babies is a ‘choice’. LOL: A ‘choice’ based upon National and Labour’s performance of ‘running’ most of the country! Fuck that!

    But funnily enough – it is Labour and National who will then also say that poor people do make ‘good parents’. That’s what WFF is for – to support parents!!!!

    Half the government should fuck off to the dole or the private sector. Starting with the ‘Justice’ Minister. Abortion is a stain on both Labour and National – as it’s now a performance based statistic of their’s. They own it.

    And it’s now becoming apparent that they are trying to deflect ownership of it!

    The Conservatives can link NZ’s low birth and high abortion rates to the poor performance of the National/Labour Monolith.

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  71. david@tokyo (262 comments) says:

    “We aren’t poor, poor, but we’re nowhere near up there. For that middle bracket of people there’s nothing.”

    I know it is Christmas, but the government is not Santa Claus.

    New Zealand is not some communist republic where everyone’s money gets divided up and redistributed proportionately per numbers of kids per family.

    Where did this lady get the idea that the government should be about dishing up other people’s goodies for people in the “middle bracket”?

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  72. tuisong (1 comment) says:

    I just don’t get this article. I did a bit of detective work and as far as I can make out, the guy must be making between $761-$788 gross per week, so that means $653 net. Add to that $331 Family Tax Credit and $90 In Work Tax Credit and they have $1074 NET per week.

    I looked up 3 BR rentals in Avondale, Christchurch and they vary in price, but I went for what I thought was a high guess of $450 pw rent. Add on maybe $50 for power (it IS summer so bills should be lower), and say, $60 for petrol. OK, that uses up $560 so far.

    It says they have no phone or internet, so I am left wondering what on earth they have so many bills for?? Is it hire purchases or what?

    It says they may have UP to 6 kids with them, but it seems like most of the time it would be the 4 younger ones. I know I am making a lot of guesses here, but the article was so useless, it gave no info at all. Little kids don’t eat that much food, and the baby, at 5 months will hopefully still be being breast fed. So I don’t get it. And believe me, I am one who has struggled very much on a low income, with kids, but we always got by. Have a look at their facebook pages and take note of the guy’s motorcycle and car photos. Hmmmm….

    I feel that this type of article does a disservice to people in *real* poverty in that it really turns people off.

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  73. OneTrack (1,988 comments) says:

    “New Zealand is not some communist republic where everyone’s money gets divided up and redistributed proportionately per numbers of kids per family”

    Are you sure?

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  74. jcuk (512 comments) says:

    If when this couple came together they had two and three children with previous partners? So it is unfortunately quite posssible if quite silly that they should want to cement their union with THEIR child. They are somewhat different from the Porirua mother with six children who as said above should have kept her legs together or taken precautions against eventualities of opening them.

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  75. david@tokyo (262 comments) says:

    OneTrack – I like to offer a little positive reinforcement, just in case!

    But unlike the USA the NZ government does not (yet?) mandate young healthy people to buy health insurance so, I think NZ is not all that bad, comparatively speaking.

    Always room for improvement of course, but with a democracy things will never be perfect.

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  76. david@tokyo (262 comments) says:

    jcuk, that may be the case, but excuses are like assholes – everyone has their own, but no one else really wants to see or hear about it.

    She herself recognises their family as being in the “middle bracket” but still longs for a government handout (e.g. money from other tax payers, whom many of are also in the “middle bracket”). That’s just selfish, wrong-headed thinking, especially when she has 5 cats adding to the burden. I’m no Gareth Morgan, I love cats, but if things are so tough I’d like to see her help her family a little more first by finding loving homes for the little nippers so she is better able to look after her kids.

    This is just a matter of prioritization. Hell I’d love to have a cat but realities and priorities prevent me from owning one at the current time.

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  77. Duxton (547 comments) says:

    Good work, tuisong :)

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  78. drizzleseal (3 comments) says:

    Please forgive me for being so judgmental but this is clearly the couple’s fault. Their negligence brought this upon them and the sad part is the children are being drag along. To answer the question “When to stop having kids?” – When you can no longer put food on your own plate.

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  79. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    That story stinks like all seven kinds of shit.

    Are they doing it hard ? Doesn’t seem like it on the very limited info. That’s the instinctive reaction.

    These stories are full of bullshit half the time.

    (Wording of ‘between them’, got to mean children from different relationships surely).

    Five cats is a joke when whining about being poor. Do they give out pet food too ?

    Are we talking $1 120 weekly readies ? How the fuck is that not enough to feed the breeders ? 3 room house.

    We all know that if you delved into their spending line by line – you’d see something wrong somewhere that you don’t agree with.

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  80. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    You’d love to know if these idiots had another child after this latest one. That would take the fucking cake Jake.

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