$31m owed to children in Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty Times 21 May 2012
Western Bay of Plenty parents owe $31.1 million in unpaid child-support payments – of which $19.4 million is late-payment penalties. In the last financial year, 5782 parents in the Western Bay had to pay child support to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), which collected payments on behalf of parents. Parents who did not have full custody of their children were paying an average of $1370 per year – about $26 a week per child – for a total of 7785 children.  … Family First NZ national director Bob McCoskrie said the child-support system had to be fair to both parents. He said child support should be targeted at parents who abandoned their responsibility, or who were proved to be unsuitable to care for the children. “Not at those who wish to maintain their responsibilities related to raising their own children,” he said. Mr McCoskrie said there was an issue with parents going overseas and avoiding their responsibilities, and children were the “ultimate losers” in this. Figures from 2008 showed nearly 13,000 liable parents lived overseas, yet this group owed one-third of the total debt.