Cry Baby of the Day

Cry Bay of the Day: Tony Hunt and daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt

Photo / Sarah Ivey NZ Herald

Photo / Sarah Ivey NZ Herald

The incident: Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt attends Avondale College and has bought a ticket to the school ball. The school however has said that she can’t go because her father hasn’t paid the school fees of $175. The NZ Herald deems this to be a front page story far more important that feeding poor children in school. The school has had this policy in place for many years.

The appropriate response: Pay the school fees, the school is subsidising the ball from fees collected for extra-curricular activities. Failing to pay the fee just means that Tony Hunt wants his daughter’s attendence to be subsidised by all the other parents who have paid their fees. If Tony Hunt pays the school fees Jazcinta can go to the ball.

The actual response: Tony Hunt and daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt run off to the media, cry a river of tears and manage to convince the “decent journalists, trained and skilled” at the NZ Herald that this is an issue of major importance for New Zealand’s largest paper to run on the front page.

Complete with a sad looking photo thy tell their story to the world about the mean old school.

One of New Zealand’s largest schools has banned from its ball any students whose parents don’t pay annual school fees – a move one father says verges on extortion.

Avondale College says if the donation is not paid, students cannot attend the school ball on June 15 as it is an “extra-curricular activity” and ticket prices do not cover the cost.

Most schools ask for donations, and tens of millions are paid by parents each year. But schools cannot legally force parents to pay.

Tony Hunt, whose daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt is in Year 13 at Avondale College, bought a $110 ball ticket for her, but does not want to pay the $175 donation.

“Every dollar counts. But more to the point is that they advertise it as a donation. Therefore, it is voluntary. And the school ball is an important event for the kids.

“There are a lot of parents who feel obligated to pay the fee, even though they may be struggling.”

Avondale College board of trustees chairman Kevin Glubb said the long-standing position on ball attendance was made because ticket sales did not cover the cost of the event.

School donations were voluntary, but because they heavily subsidised the school ball – an extra-curricular activity – only those who paid were allowed to attend.

“It has been a historical approach – it predates my time on the board, and I don’t think any student at the school is unaware of it.”

Well, except for these two free-loaders. Perhaps he could pawn that expensive gold necklace he is wearing?


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  • tarkwin

    Just her name and how they spell it is enough for me.

    • Justsayn

      Stones and glass houses and all Tarkwin

      • tarkwin

        Not my fault my parents were, to put it mildly alternative. Only a chav would spell a kids name like that. Also explains the gold chain which is probably fake.

        • Bad__Cat

          Ha, I missed the gold chain.

    • flashman

      Yep, she can look forward to a lifetime of having her first name mis-spelled. But handy for google searches if they spell it right.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      She looks much better than the socialist cindy Jacinda.

  • Donovan Jackson

    Must have shaved that chest; gold chains without the pelt are very unusual….

  • The other Neil
    • redeye

      So the Herald runs with a non-story, LATE! Ha ha ha

      • On the front page no less

        • tarkwin

          I wonder what award they gave themselves for that trick?

  • In Vino Veritas

    It may well be that having a z in the middle of your name is one of the issues. Other than the fact that there is a stench of wanting to bludge amongst this.
    I applaud Avondale College for having this policy, there are too many parents whose children get the benefit of extra cirricular activities whilst not having paid a cent.

  • Big-Inja

    sell the gold chain….pay your daughters school fees

    • Chris Fleming

      My thoughts too.

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        May be you can pay an additional 3% tax to restore social justice? Help poor families?

  • BJ

    It never ceases to amaze me how dumb whingers are to have their photo taken with possessions on or around them that makes a total joke of their ‘poor me’ complaint. This father wearing a hunk of gold around his neck needs to pawn it for his daughters happiness or STFU. The lesson here for the daughter is – if your parents don’t pull their weight and contribute you can’t expect for others to subsidise you for extra-curricular activities.

  • cruiseyman

    I’m actually speechless that there are people this sad and pathetic out there and the photo makes me nauseous. But if he can’t afford the fees surely he can’t afford a dress for her anyway?

    • Harroputza

      Or nails or hair or makeup or a limo or preball drinks or afterball drinks or myriad other things that girls “need” for their balls.

      • cruiseyman

        Well I guess she was going to be borrowing her dad’s jewellery tho

    • Bunswalla

      It isn’t that he can’t afford it; it’s that he doesn’t want to pay it. Says it’s a donation and fair point he doesn’t have to pay it if he doesn’t want to.

      Welcome to the law of unintended consequences.

      • cruiseyman

        I was being facetious :) I’m sure he’s got plenty of money to buy poor wee Jaz everything her heart desires…as long as it’s not school donations.

  • Justsayn

    Why do parents think it is okay to publicly humiliate their childrens for the sake of political point scoring! Irresponsible, selfish, unthinking bastard.

    Much like the kids in Christchurch you see on telly crying because their school is being closed down or marching with angry signs – which teacher or parent is telling them how bad the future might be? Bastards – kids don’t need that shit and adults should behave like adults whichever political party they support.

    • Sponge

      Just you wait for the “news” tonight after the Christchurch school announcements.

    • unsol

      All this woe is me bullshit is just getting out of control & this story is just one in a very long line that the media keep throwing at us.

      I said it below, but 2 points seem to have been missed here: $110 ph for a school that size is mega bucks in terms of revenue vs expenses. They are making a bloody tidy profit. Yet they as a poor school get funding than your average. Seems to me this is classic poor budgeting & not living within your means stuff – whether school or parents.

      But the real crime is that poor kids at a poor school can even apparently afford such pricey tickets plus the outfits etc

      That is indicative of everything that is wrong with our fucked up country.

      That and the fact that John Campbell keeps giving sperm/egg donors who have multiple kids they can’t afford are apparently doing everything right. Including a family of 5 on part-time wage & includes an 8 month old baby. God give me STRENGTH. Such bullshit.

  • LabTested

    Now the daughter is going to be the laughing stock of the school. – Well done dad, great parenting.

    What do people like this think they are achieving by going public with their ‘poor me’ stories. Don’t they realise that the internet is a permanent record. What is a potential employer going to think when he Googles her name & finds out what a moaner she is

    • Justsayn

      Agree, I have sympathy for her. Not because she ain’t going to the ball but because she seems to have a complete plonker for a dad – struck out on the parental lottery.

      • Bad__Cat

        Poor girl has a murky gene pool.

  • Andy

    You shall go to the ball! Lets have a whip round for the poor afflicted little soul

  • ratesarerevolting

    Schools shouldn’t be bothering subsidising balls at all complete waste of money and a pain in the arse for the school.

    The man’s obviously a complete cock as all he should be concerned about is the education his daughter is receiving at Avondale.

    …… and he knew this was what was going to happen as he and his daughter are serial offenders

    • Andy

      Article by a certain “Ciara Pratt”
      Ar we sure this isn’t a massive send-up?

    • LabTested

      So the Herald ran a front page story that had already been run in a free suburban paper the day before. and the Herald expects people to buy their paper why??

      • Bunswalla

        And in Stuff the day before too… decent churnalists, trained and skilled.

    • metalnwood

      Absolutely, schools say they rely on this for their education budget and we pay our fees but I am really surprised to hear that school fees ‘heavily subsidise’ the school ball. This isn’t what I expect a heavy proportion of my fees to go towards.

  • It’s an alcohol free event, the attendees pay for their own outfits and transport and it costs more than $110 a head?!

    A venue, a DJ & bulk order of rubber chicken could surely be had for that sort of money, yet the event is “heavily subsidised” at that price.

    Just how extravagant are these events nowadays?!

    • In Vino Veritas

      Plus they’ll need security Rex….

    • Bunswalla

      Good point Rex, my daughter attended her first ball this year, the tickets were $85 and that included a three-course dinner at one of the better restaurants in town.

      Although perhaps having butter chicken on the menu was not the best idea…

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        Was there any Sheep on the menu?!

        • Dave

          Sheeps off mate, no one wants tough old rancid sheep anymore, unfortunately they are all going Vegan, chasing the greens.

  • Rangi

    Hang on a minute – $110ball ticket x say, 500 plus partners = $110K, that’s not enough to put a ball on?? I call bullshit on that one Im afraid.

    Leveraging the ball to get “donations” is crap. Compelling others to pay because you voluntarily pay is crap. If we are not funding schools sufficiently through our taxes, then lets do something about that. School fees to me, appear to be quite arbitrary.

    But yes, I do agree this sad story thoroughly needs the piss taken out of it for being such a piss take.

    • 4077th

      What have you done with the real Rangi?

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Rangi bro – Why can’t John Key fund this?

    • unsol

      Very good point – $110 is a rip off when they are not providing food of alcohol & it more than covers any ball related costs. The pretense with which they use this to extract the donation is nothing more than extortion.

      They would be better saying if you don’t pay your activity fee then you can’t attend school activities – trips or this ball. This is what our school does. They never place any pressure on us to pay donations so most do -mind you the average family income in our area would be a tad higher than shitty old Avondale.

      But the father is a freeloader & should pay fees so more fool him for running to he media & making an idiot out of himself & his daughter. Really sick of seeing stupid people pimp their children out to MSM so they can claim the poor md card. Such people are not fit to be called parents.

      • cruiseyman

        Maybe a bit harsh at the end there Unsol, school balls just shouldn’t be for the rich kids. But I agree $110 does seem a bit steep and the father is just being a tight arse git.

        • unsol

          Not harsh, the truth.

          10% of the country fund this school, the benefits & WFF that get paid to the parents.

          School balls – like all other wants such as dance lessons, etc are a luxury.

          If they want luxuries they should be paying for them on their own merit.

          WFF is not designed to fund balls, ball outfits & the usual drinking that goes along with it. It is meant to assist with the basic necessities. Anything left over should be given back to the State.

          • cruiseyman

            When I was at high school my mother was on a widow’s benefit as my father had died of cancer. Should I have not been able to go to my 6th form ball? We did it on a tight budget, mum made my dress, the neighbour did my hair and I bought $20 shoes at the warehouse. I worked on the weekends and I had my own spending money and we never asked anyone for anything extra. Was it not ok that I went?

          • unsol

            If you had to buy a ticket then no. Until there is a balance whereby welfare corrected back to its original purpose, most net taxpayers will continue to object to low income people buying even the smallest luxury item – whether because you are in that situation based on circumstances beyond your control (the issue of life insurance aside) or not.

            When you are paying the taxes that others often spend at whim there is very little difference between a school ball, dance lessons, music lessons, movies, DVD, computers, any kind of lessons (bar swimming) & I want technology like smart phones etc.

            Luxuries are exactly that.

            Before welfare if you didn’t have the money you had to miss out. It should be no different now. $110 for a low income school’s ball ticket is taking the piss.

          • cruiseyman

            First of all in this story the father hasn’t said he can’t afford it, just that he shouldn’t have to pay as it is a donation and I don’t agree with him. I also think it’s embarassing for his daughter that they have gone running to the media. I knew you would bring up life insurance but I have no idea if my father had any, I was 14 at the time. Regardless though, both my parents worked hard and paid taxes as long as they both could, neither of them drank or smoked and if someone is going to then begrude my mother and myself carrying on as well as we could while maintaining some normality in our lives with some welfare support for a couple of years, then they are very sad. I have no idea if we had to pay for tickets but the material for my dress probably cost $30. Would you like me to write you a cheque?
            Yes the welfare system is out of hand now but you need to remember that while there are some that abuse it (lots probably) there are some that have a genuine need that are honest hard working people who are only using what has been made available to them when they have hit some hard times and if they can budget a school ball out of that, then good on them. And I’m certainly not going to be knocking on the door asking for change provided of course they don’t go crying to the media next week about how they can’t afford their power bill. And yes I am a net taxpayer.

          • Random66

            I for one have no issue with both you and your mother receiving financial support once your dad passed away – if we as a society begrudge assistance to widows and orphans then we should collectively hang our heads in shame. I lost my father when I was young to cancer (I was a little bit older than you) and he also never drank or smoke, and I would stand toe to toe with anyone who dared to judge a mans worth by the value of his bank account rather than the goodness within.

          • cruiseyman

            If standing up for our principles of hard work and self responsiblity means we are incapable of being humble and compassionate then we have a real problem.

  • Magoo

    Some parents refuse to pay because it’s called a ‘donation’, which they feel is voluntary. The fact is that it’s a fee under the guise of a donation so it can be tax deductible for the parents at tax time. This guy is a bludging dumb ass, and his daughter can’t go to the ball because he’s too tight to pay for it & expects someone else to do so for him.

  • BOB

    Its a Donation not a Fee – You want to enforce payment then call it as such do not keep swapping terms as you see fit.

    • Magoo

      It’s called a donation for the sake of the parents, so they can claim it back on their tax return. If it’s called a fee then it’s not tax deductible. The school could call it a fee but that would be pretty stupid wouldn’t it.

      • BOB

        I stand corrected. I still fail to see why the school should force the payment of this.

        • Magoo

          Because they won’t have the money for school balls, class trips, class camps, etc without it.

        • James

          They aren’t forcing payment though – they are just saying that it covers activities that aren’t funded by the taxpayer. So if you want to take part in those activities then you need to pay it. But you don’t have to go to the ball – nobody is forcing anybody to go.

  • Red

    Just pay the freaking fee…. free loader. Voluntary or otherwise, if he fucks up her School Ball his name is shit forever and a day

  • Gazzaw

    What amazed me was that this was the lead story in the Horrid online this morning. Just finished watching the Beeb TV News which does a whipround of the worlds major dailies’ headlines – “Worst recorded massacre of Syrian civilians”, “$6 billion money laundering offenders arraigned” etc. You don’t have to wonder why BBC doesnt feature the Horrid when this is the best story that NZ’s finest daily can come up with.

  • out2lunch

    Why do the MSM continue to run stories like this? They publish sook stories accompanied by solemn looking photos of the ‘victims’ on a near weekly basis.

    • Donovan Jackson

      Mainstream audiences are shockingly vapid. This explains the preponderance of (dare I say women’s?) gossip rags on supermarket shelves.

  • Harroputza

    Perhaps next year the school can lower the voluntary donation and not subsidise the ball. “Ball tickets are now $280 thanks to Jaczczczinta and her dad stiffing us last year. Sorry, kids.”

  • steve and monique

    Everyone else’s fault but their own. He(dad) must belong to the Labour party. Pay the $175 for all our sakes.

  • rouppe

    Or…. The school could charge the component of the $175 that goes to the school ball.

    That’s one of my bugbears. A request is made for money to cover “non core activities” but they aren’t itemised. Surely they’ve done some budgeting in order to come up with the figure? Next year I’ll be demanding a statement from my son’s school detailing what goes where

    • Bunswalla

      Good luck with that

    • unsol

      $110 ph for a school that size is mega bucks

      But the real crime is that poor kids at a poor school can even apparently afford such pricey tickets plus the outfits eye.

      That is indicative of everything that is wrong with our fucked up country.

      That and the fact that John Campbell keeps giving sperm/egg donors who have multiple kids they can’t afford are apparently doing everything right. Such bullshit.

  • Ronnie Chow

    Abbreviate that surname!

    • Donovan Jackson

      Yes, to CHunt.

  • jedmo

    Dad says “And the school ball is an important event for the kids”. No, it is a social event; nothing to do with their core education, which IS important, and which is free. If the Dad doesn’t want / is unable, to pay fees so be it, but the school’s stance is fair, in limiting attendance at the “fees/donations subsidised” ball to those who have actually paid the donation.

  • Peterkar

    But isn’t the big story here in the level of subsidy for the ball, and in who pays it? Does the Board of Trustees allocate money – taxpayers’ money – to support this event?

    • jcpry

      They’d better not be! This is just a social event and our tax dollars had better be going nowhere near it!

  • Jack

    What a tool for a Dad. Fucking loser.

  • Mr_Blobby

    At $110 dollars I don’t see the school subsidizing anything here except maybe free tickets for teachers and hangeroners. How about showing us the costings.

    That said the policy is and has been for a while so STFU and move on loser dad and daughter.

  • Harvey Wilson

    So don’t go to the fkin ball, what’s the big deal ? I never went to no school ball and I turned out alright.

  • Rodger T

    OMG, first world problems.
    This guy is spewing that he`s missed out on sending his daughter to school when the taxpayer could feed her brekky also, the poor bugger has got a terminal dose of entitlitis .

  • Jonathan Pull

    Depending on the wording aren’t some school fees optional?
    Sure the base curriculum ones are not but other are. If they haven’t paid the base ones then fine deal with it, but if they’re saying no because they didnt pay the donations then the school can GTFO

  • Young and Dumb

    This is possibly the worst thing he could have done to his daughter.

    So many people are going to be making fun of her now, which is a bit unfortunate…