An indictment on society

NZ Herald

Our society is ill…and unfortunately there is no one to administer some medicine.

A growing minority of women who go on the DPB keep on having more children and receiving more money while on the benefit. The numbers of babies born to women already on the DPB have trended upwards from 3300 in 1997 to 4800 in 2010, when they made up 7.5 per cent of all babies born in New Zealand that year.

The Government says 29 per cent of women on the DPB last November had included new babies in their existing benefits at least once since 1993. Three-fifths (59 per cent) of the women who had new babies on the DPB last year were Maori, although Maori made up only 22 per cent of all women who gave birth in the year to March.

Melanie Hoto, 33, worked in a lunch bar on the North Shore and then at a fish market in Tauranga but eventually ended up on the DPB.

“I came back to Auckland and lost interest [in work]. It was so hard trying to find work. I even applied to work here at McDonald’s,” she says over a hot chocolate at McDonald’s in Glen Innes.

“In the end I fell pregnant with my daughter and I thought, ‘I get a good amount of money on the benefit, why bother working?”‘

Her partner “was never in the picture”.

“It was a one-night stand,” she says. “He’s in jail now for robbing a shop. He was into drugs – a lot of people are into it, it’s easy cash.”

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