It’s Absolutely Ridiculous, a Huge Overhaul is Needed – Case 129


This is case study number 129

This is John’s Story:

John – Tell us about what is going on with your situation?

We are a sole income family as well but in our situation we think what we pay is not enough.

In saying that we believe in 50/50 care rights (or in our case we should have 100% care).

My daughters mother passed away when she was a baby and her maternal grandmother asked for guardianship and temporary shared care which I agreed to.

Since then shes slowly received more care to the point where Im reduced to every 2nd weekend and half the holidays, only its worse because of 11 years of fighting for her, Ive had to move to Australia, away from her, my family and home country as its cheaper living here to support my other children and wife, the alternative not being able to afford rent, feed my children etc.

I earn $98,000 gross, and I know they earn $1000 net a week between them, plus they get my $119 a week child support and now they have managed to get the unsupported childs benefit of $182 per week.

Somehow also entitled to a state house for over 12 years ($170 rent) with one dependent and a high income, whereas we were not when we had a time of need with 8 dependents!

If I knew my money was going on my daughter I would want to pay more if I could afford it.

When in my care we had to buy all her clothes as hers were always too small, we paid for Christmas every year, we send her pocket money now and her grandmother spends that too.

This system is unjust, high earners allowed state house, are allowed orphans benefit when I want my daughter and still support her, her income is not included in assessment as shes a carer not a parent even though a legal guardian is considered to be “”just like a parent”” while we struggle, not entitled to anything and are punished as I’m denied access to my daughter.

Now we have moved I’m not allowed to see my daughter unless she says so either, we can no longer afford a lawyer.

Worse thing ever I’m told my children are capped at 4 kids!!!

My son (who is actually my stepson but has no father) cannot be included as i’m not a legal guardian or adopted dad (sorry been in family court last 11 years wasn’t allowed apparently)!!

So we are not mad about the amount, we just think the system is disgusting and we know of a few other parents who are in the same situation.

My wife has a private arrangement with her oldest son, and if he had been with IRD still, they would of made him pay $600 more a month, in this case it would of been a huge excess, he would of not been able to pay off his bills comfortably, look to his future with his fiance, buy a house or anything…

My current living allowance is $17000 per year my rent is $26500 a year HAHA….IRD is a joke.

My current living allowance is $17000 per year my rent is $26500 a year HAHA….IRD is a joke.


How much did you pay on the old formula?


On the NEW formula what will that amount be per month?


Has anything (outside of the new formula) changed that may have contributed to the change in amounts that you will recieve/pay?

They think we have 0 dependents (even though weve had dependents listed the last 10 years). Since rung them up they will change it to 4 dependents (not 8) but must show birth certificates (what???) So I THINK it will work out to be only a little more than the old formula, but have to pay the new in the mean time.

Are you happy with the new formula?


What are your main reasons for being not happy with it?

-Punishes fathers who cannot get access

-Does not take into account non biological children when its necessary (like in our case or others where the father refuses to pay their child support)

-Does not support wives who cannot work/should be allowed to stay home/where daycare outweighs any potential earnings etc

-Does not take into account carers income even though a legal guardian and forced herself to be called mother.

-Taken from my gross earnings/working for families is based on net when we were in NZ

-Does not take into account all the little extra costs I pay on top to my daughter over the last 11 years (especially as I’m not allowed to help out so its not enough to put on record but its enough that it hurts our family budget.)

-Although we cannot afford much being a large family, lets say if my daughter was actually benefiting from my money, then I do not think she gets enough (If her grandparents were earning alot less than they do Id be seriously worried) $450 a month is not much for a 12 year old girl approaching high school, my step son costs alot more than that and hes the same age.

-Have been told (do not know if its true) that my child support money is currently going straight to WINZ as grandparents are receiving unsupported childs benefit (more than my child support every week) Benefits are paid for with our taxes, this is double taxing as well as the fact they should be not entitled to this benefit!

If child support was a set amount per child split between both parents for the basic necessities, what do you think is a fair amount per month per child?


What else would you like to say?

This is a case where the government has failed in all aspects for our family, Housing New Zealand, Family Court, Legal Aid, IRD, WINZ.

Its absolutely ridiculous, a huge overhaul is needed.

I should have 100% care of my daughter and pay nothing instead I’ve had to move to Australia with my family, have 0% care after 11 years of fighting for every 2nd weekend! A whole waste!

John – Thanks for sharing with us.

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