Poverty has been labelled the key driver

Stuff Close to 500 Kiwi kids on charity waiting list for basic needs:

Every winter Sarah* and Mike make the choice between groceries, or clothes for their children.

Born 14 weeks early, Destiny has a weakened immune system and gets sick easily. Last winter, she missed a whole term of school due to sickness.

Poverty has been labelled the key driver for respiratory illnesses that are weighing on New Zealand’s economy to the tune of $6 billion each year, according to figures from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation.

But with a family of eight, the $500-odd they get from Work and Income and Mark’s part-time job as a teacher aide only goes so far, Sarah said.

David Farrar  makes an obvious point: Maybe have fewer kids?

Maybe have fewer kids. I am all for a welfare system that allows a couple, no matter their income, to support say a couple of kids. But six kids? Surely there should be some personal responsibility about having more kids than you can afford.

That’s a fair point.

But the couple already have eight kids, and those kids didn’t chose to be in large family. The State has no choice but to help support them.

But perhaps the State could also do more to educate and encourage people to be sensible and responsible about how many babies they have before they become such a problem.

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63 Comments

  1. Pete, “the State has no choice but to help support them”? Or is it more truthfully, we taxpayers are presented with a fait accompli and have to pay through the nose? It is not just Maori who have large families, a lot of migrants have big families as well. The other fallacy is that large families equals poverty. I know of a number of large families who have maximised the utility of the assets they have, to feed, heat and clothe their families. There is no shame in wearing hand me down clothes that have been carefully washed, ironed and mended. Look at the backyards and see how many have great year round gardens, chooks and ducks and a line full of washing, and I bet the kids are well fed and contented. Look for the uncared for front yard with the rusting cars on a un-mown lawn and no flower beds of shrubbery, and then look for the signs of bottles and I will bet you alcohol and drug taking is here the money is at. Thanks mum and dad!

    Reply
    • ” a lot of migrants have big families as well”

      Stats on that?

      Reply
    • ” Look at the backyards and see how many have great year round gardens, chooks and ducks and a line full of washing”

      A taxi driver told me once (quite a while ago) that he went to pick someone up from a state house and had to go knock on the door to tell them he was there.

      Some of the kitchen cupboards had netting in the place of door, with a few chooks handy for having fresh eggs.

      Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  April 9, 2017

    BUT.. many ‘RIGHTIES’ still support the discredited ‘trickle-down theory’.. keep feeding the money to the wealthy & it will ‘magically’ trickle down to the rest of us !
    TOTAL B-S, they grab it & hang on with all their strength, then whinge about having to fund those, at the bottom with ‘their tax money’.

    “Mind the gap folks.. its still getting wider” 😦

    Reply
    • Who believes the “trickle down” theory? And what has been discredited about it?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  April 9, 2017

        Not many believe it anymore,it was a good sell though.It has been discredited because …nothing trickled down.

        Reply
      • Zedd

         /  April 10, 2017

        I didn’t say ‘believe it’ I said ‘support it’ !!
        Just wait until the Natz.. release their ‘election master plan’ TAX-CUTS to the wealthy, even though they say to the ‘middle & lower deciles’ (B-S sez I&I) 😀

        Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  April 9, 2017

    Six kids is kind of overdoing it these days Zedd. Eight is really getting silly. Especially when they’re to several different dads & none of them is still in the picture or contributing – like seemed to be the case in one or two of those cases on the teev
    last year. Just saying.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 9, 2017

      There is a good chance that some of Sarah’s and Mike’s have been born since the family’s troubles began, I fear. Eight kids is a lot for anyone, they have surely worked out what’s causing it.

      I agree about hand-me-downs. Or even opshop clothes. I am about to donate some clothes, inc. a skirt that has never been worn & still has the label on it. On Friday I was wearing a little lace jacket that I saw on my way out of the Sallies when I had dropped a bag of donations off. It had had little or no wear & cost $4-I love it and wear it all the time. . One sees well-dressed people in opshops, and children’s clothes seem very cheap and usually little worn.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  April 9, 2017

        I knew a blended family of 8 – the wife had four girls and the husband had four boys and both had custody after divorces. However both were working professionals and able to support them.

        So big families can happen without irresponsibility but who knows the circumstances of this one.

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  April 9, 2017

          “I knew a blended family of 8 – the wife had four girls and the husband had four boys…”

          Wasn’t that a TV programme? 😉

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 9, 2017

            No, it was real life. I think it was a quite stressful because the relationship didn’t last – the kids were teenagers anyway.

            Reply
            • Missy

               /  April 9, 2017

              Well, my Sunday morning has started badly, I make a Brady Bunch joke / reference and have it taken seriously….

              *sigh*

              Alan, I do realise you were referring to real life, my comment was a joke using a cultural reference that you obviously did not know.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2017

              Alan is inclined to take things literally sometimes, whereas, living by a stream I am often probably more littoral than he is.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  April 10, 2017

              I did know, Missy. I was just pointing out real life isn’t as cute and sugary as American TV likes to pretend.

    • Missy

       /  April 9, 2017

      “Six kids is kind of overdoing it these days Zedd. Eight is really getting silly. ”

      What about 20?

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/sue-radford-pregnant-the-radford-family_uk_58dcbb2ae4b0e6ac70925824

      The parents of Britain’s largest family is pregnant with her 20th child, and there are no twins.

      To be fair to these guys they don’t complain about not having enough, they work, and the kids seem happy and healthy – and despite the first being a teen pregnancy (the mum was 14) the kids all have the same parents who are still together.

      As well as 19 kids and one on the way they also have 3 grandchildren.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4361092/Britain-s-biggest-brood-growing-AGAIN.html

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  April 9, 2017

        That’s not a family that’s a population. 😃

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  April 9, 2017

          I shared a hospital ward with an old Maori guy once who told me he had 108 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I guess that’s nearly an iwi.

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  April 9, 2017

      [Use politicians names – PG] has 8 or 9.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  April 9, 2017

        not sure how many Angry Andy…has.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  April 9, 2017

          Wife Leigh, son Cam, & (unspecified) pets.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  April 9, 2017

          (use politicians names please)…..Labour or National..I like to be ..consistent..;)

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 10, 2017

            I know an old Maori man who had 99 descendants some years ago, so the 100 must have been passed by now. Nobody had enormous families, and they all seem to have professions….I think that he and his wife had 7. So if each of those had 3, that’s 28, and if each of those had 3, that’s 91 (inc. the original 7 each time, of course)

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 10, 2017

              They must have to wear name badges at family dos.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 9, 2017

    WTF!!!! That’s about all you can say about this kind of media beat up.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 9, 2017

      Anyone would think they were trying to show that stupidity is the key driver. There might be a good explanation for such a big family with so little support but if they don’t give one people will assume there isn’t.

      Reply
  5. I also posted a comment on this at The Standard. Some fairly predictable responses.

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-09042017/#comment-1318704

    With some there if you’re not totally no questions asked socialist you’re an evil cretin.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 9, 2017

      Sabine certainly put you in your place :-/

      How dare you not consider that someone might want to have more children in the future ? or suggest that people not have more children than they can afford ?

      Sabine could well approve of the budget advisor who was telling women on the DPB to have a new child every 18 months ! She was sacked, I believe, and deserved to be.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 10, 2017

        The PDT must think that that was good advice…nobody else did..

        Reply
  6. And hammered from the other side of the fence at Kiwiblog.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2017/04/maybe_have_fewer_kids.html#comment-1907413

    Such is the nature of polarised political debate.

    Reply
  7. Bill Brown

     /  April 9, 2017

    Perhaps they just lay around shagging all day and the kids just keep rolling along!

    Who knows – but I struggle to see how anyone can’t see that having more & more kids when you can’t afford it is stupidity

    I have 4 – 2 of my own and 2 that my partner has and it’s a great mixed family dynamic – we would love to have one more so we have a child together but the reality of needing a 6 bedroom home says the answer is no! We both work hard and have a great dual income and at times it’s still tough so god knows how 6,7,8 etc work when your on the bones of your ass

    Reply
  8. Children are a choice, especially number 3 and 4 etc. Sorry I have zero sympathy. you want a large family do it on your own dime.

    Its got zero to do with politics its all about personal responsibility and making decisions as an adult.

    Having 8 then complaining we don’t get enough help is just bullshit of the highest order.

    Reply
    • Bill Brown

       /  April 9, 2017

      Agree Dave1924 – spot on

      Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  April 9, 2017

      As someone who does have a large family Dave, ‘on my own dime’, I sort of agree. But on the other hand, these kids didn’t ask to be born, and shouldn’t be made to suffer, due to their parent’s stupidity.
      IMHO, sterilization should be free, for everyone. Currently the cost is around $400-$500 for men, and $3500-$5000 for a tubal ligation (unless it is performed during a cesarean, in a public hospital), which is prohibitive to someone on a benefit, and to many others who aren’t.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 9, 2017

        Free for everyone means that everyone else is paying for it.

        Contraception can be had cheaply enough, and I think that there are other things for the health budget to pay for-it’s already stretched. I have just googled condoms in Countdown-not the cheapest supermarket-and some are less than 50c each, Durex brand. This seems a reasonable price for pleasure. If you can’t afford it-don’t do it. It’s voluntary.

        The cheapest of all is an aspirin tablet, 100% reliable-the woman keeps it between her knees the whole time. (sorry, old joke)

        Reply
        • patupaiarehe

           /  April 9, 2017

          Interestingly enough Kitty, one can get a prescription for ‘3 months’ worth of condoms from one’s GP, which costs $5 at the pharmacy. They gave me 6 boxes of them last time! If only… 😀

          Reply
          • PP ,did you hear about that at school before you got your first period? I know its a very personal question, but if you think you might (like most of us), no protection, no sex. Saves exposing yourself and any future children from STDs. Talk to your kids factually before they achieve puberty. They have total control over their bodies is the real message!

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  April 9, 2017

              totally inappropriate Col…can’t believe it passed mod.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2017

              You’re just not good at mod-reading.

            • Blazer

               /  April 9, 2017

              @G quite clearly I am not..cannot see a post from PP….and my understanding is Patu does not have periods.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  April 9, 2017

              Your powers of observation continue to serve you well Blazer. Although over 40, I am yet to have a period. Guess I’m a ‘late bloomer’… 😉

            • Blazer

               /  April 9, 2017

              @Patu…well I guess you’re not looking forward to…menopause….maybe our Col,has been on the ..single..malt..tonite.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2017

            • Blazer

               /  April 9, 2017

              @G ..don’t show off your new underwear….people will think you’re just ..a big girls..blouse.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2017

              “PP ,did you hear about that at school before you got your first…etc.”

              @ Blazer. I see your point. Does, at first blush, look like a spot of target misidentification.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  April 9, 2017

              I’m not sure Blazer, but it isnt the first time he’s made that mistake. Must be the pretty flowers next to my name 😀

            • Apologies profuse, PP.!! Senior moments are difficult to explain so I can’t tell you why. Just grovelling.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2017
            • Blazer

               /  April 9, 2017

              @G…wonderful to see you do have a kindred SOH..its best not to be subjective as far as that goes..I’m sure you’ll agree.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 9, 2017

            Too much information, Patu, I don’t want to hear about your, er…..

            I seemed to remember hearing about that-other forms of contraception are on prescription-but couldn’t remember any details. But then, of course, people like these two would need to go to a GP. How do they estimate 3 months worth ? I suppose that sex maniacs would whinge that this isn’t enough.

            I was really angry to hear that a Christian group was telling people that condoms don’t work-you can imagine why they don’t, they are porous-let viruses in & sperm out etc etc etc….how irresponsible is that ? I am NOT in favour of promiscuous sex, but this sort of lying misinformation is crassly irresponsible !!!

            You know the old one about the grafitti on the condom machine;
            ‘Don’t buy this chewing gum, it tastes like rubber’ I suppose 😀

            Reply
            • Nelly Smickers

               /  April 10, 2017

              After I left school, Wayne taught me all about the *Rhythm Method*. Whenever he came over to my flat, he’d put on *You Sexy Thing* by Hot Chocolate

              I can hardly wait till he gets home now Catkin….so I can tell him your joke 😛

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  April 10, 2017

              Just showed Wayne your little joke Catkin – didn’t even raise a smile.
              He said “….tell ‘er it’s so old it’s perished” 😡

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 11, 2017

              Tell him that there’s a useful little punctuation mark called an apostrophe.

      • Patu – Unfortunately the kids do suffer but if the state says no more and offers FREE sterilisation or even FREE birth control like an implant the nutters all cry eugenics…or freedom or some other misplaced bs call.

        And frankly I am kind of sick of it – especially the cynical and manipulative press pushing this crap in an election year…

        Reply
        • patupaiarehe

           /  April 9, 2017

          It is crap Dave. The parents just prove how thick they are, by appearing in a national newspaper, complaining about their own self inflicted misfortune. I don’t feel sorry for the parents, I feel sorry for the kids. CYFS should be taking a good hard look at those two, seeing as how they seem incapable of doing it themselves.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 10, 2017

            I remember sex education films at intermediate school when I was 11 or 12, about the time that we girls began having periods, more or less-but at that age, contraception was not really relevant…I do remember something about unprotected sex, but, er, it was a few years ago.

            Reply
  9. Sing along every one “I didn’t know the gun was loaded (repeated) and I’ll never do it again.” Too late , failed!

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  April 9, 2017

      its only..’collateral ..damage’..isn’t the English language wonderful..torture=..enhanced ..interrogation’..roll on..

      Reply
  10. State educate? As in teaching targeted sexual responsibility? I hope that’s all – otherwise the “eugenics” call would be all over the left wing blogs. 🙄

    What’s an optimum family size? Ethnic and cultural drivers there. Many cultures will keep on breeding until they get that magic son, if there is an ethnic responsibility for parents factor dominant and they need to redress the dowry debit side. Fair to say most Kiwis wait until they have the job, the house that allows them to have kids, but I have never understood why they should pay one red cent to families who choose the quantity option. 8 is most unreasonable and unnecessary unless you’re a multi millionaire and you can provide them with the resources to be fully functional and independent.

    Reply
  11. Blazer

     /  April 10, 2017

    ‘ the house that allows them to have kids,’…most will be waiting a long time then eh Trav,as speculators and foreigners hog all the housing.

    Reply
  12. And now the Waitangi Tribunal have come out today and claimed that the Crown has to take responsibility for the high rates of Maori in prison and for their continuing reoffending! The Crown? HM Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand? The Governments elected by all New Zealanders?
    Until Maori find the true cause – and I know what it is – we will continue the racist blame game! So what is the point ,no one is actually listening who can do anything effective about it.

    Reply
  1. Poverty has been labelled the key driver – NZ Conservative Coalition

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