Question Replies From Hon Todd McClay

buzz from the beehive

On the 15th May one of our community put forward 3 important questions to Hon Todd McClay. The information was requested under the Official Information Act (1982).

These are the replies that have been received back.

1.8.1 Provide what the true cost is to raise a child in New Zealand that the government and IRD have used and refer to in this bill, not the income based % cost model.


This answer doesn’t really leave us any the wiser than when we started however this part is interesting….

..the desire to align the child support system with that of Australia

Links mentioned in the article

Supporting Children
Costs of raising children – ( Once on the parliament page you need to click on the link on the right that says full advice text )
Child expenditure table

1.8.2 Justification on how the cost to raise similar children in a blended family can vary so much if the calculations are in fact based on the cost to raise children in New Zealand.


Many of our case studies have highlighted the fact that children appear to be worth significantly different amounts, even when living under the same roof.

The reply points again to this study.

This is not anything new.

1.8.3 The list of the 700 goods and services Statistics New Zealand reviewed to evaluate the cost to raise children in New Zealand.

This one has been referred to the NZ department of statistics, apparently they have this information and we will update you all when we receive it.

For those of us that hoped to get some meaningful answers to these questions, it has left us feeling very deflated.

From here the next step, should we wish to keep heading down this path, is onto the Ombudsman to investigate and review.

What do you think of the answers given? Do we as New Zealand tax payers deserve a better explanation than what has been given?

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  1. A good question would be “Why is the alleged cost of raising a child for so-called ‘child support’ purposes much greater than the difference between a single person’s benefit and a benefit for someone raising a child?” The government already calculates what a person needs to look after a child and pays this to beneficiaries who are raising a child, so the government should simply use that amount as a maximum for so-called ‘child support’.

    The ‘Costs of Raising Children study’ performed highly complex mathematical manipulation on its measures to come up with its ridiculously high figures. I challenge anyone to explain that manipulation and how it contributed to their final figures.

    1. That would be a great question. It is very complicated, and most people are at a loss trying to make sense out of it. Thanks heaps for stopping by.

  2. It would be very interesting to see the results from the Department of Statistics. The Hon Todd Mcclay or one of his minions have not answered the correctly.
    We need to know where the figure comes from and how that figure is factor justified. Pretty simple really not rocket science. We know as parents the cost but what is the national medium?
    The amount that we pay in child support should not be depended how much we earn, but by the figure that it costs to raise a child by both parents.

  3. Politicians don’t answer questions and never have.(its foolish)
    Child Support payments are definitely case by case and I dont think its worth the expense of doing it that way from their perspective.
    The fact that they are ruining good people that breed the futures tax payers (if they can afford more kids) isnt going to be their problem when they are fat on a massive pension is it?
    Dont give up though, this support team is doing great work.

  4. what a whole lot of political trollop. they havent explained anything, i agree there should be a standard table to work out the cost of raising a child. Even to say that it be worked out on a year to year basis, as childrens needs change as they get older..

    1. We think that as well, a base rate that covers the necessary items for a child. That’s if 50/50 shared care is not an option, and if a private arrangement is not an option. Simplify things.

      1. Exactly. The problem New Zealand has with fathers is they are disposable. No funding for promoting fatherhood. No social messages about how important a father is within a child’s life. First, start getting the idea across that fathers are needed. Then have 50/50 shared care arrangements as the default situation and no child support is required. Each parent can look after the expenses in their own time. Suddenly the whole problem becomes simple. You are left with only a small amount of separated parents who can not have this arrangement due to other factors and this is where the family court would intervene. But it would need to take into account the financial situation if one parent is preventing the other from having time with the children. Eg, no child support given to those parents who are preventing their children from having a relationship with the other parent.
        Finally, NO government claw back of child support when one parent is on a benefit. It is supposed to be a child support not a government support.

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