This does my head in: dumb parents

Struggling to afford new uniforms and stationery, a leading budgeting service says some parents are having to resort to money lenders to cope.

Mother of Year 9 student Ezra Beach says she recycles to help with the pressure of added costs.

“We’ve been through his pencil case, I save some of the clear files,” Celia Beach told ONE News.

“If I had three or four kids at school that’s a huge expense and that’s only the start. You haven’t got the uniforms or shoes.”

Darryl Evans from Mangere Budgeting Service says pressures on families are forcing them to go to money lenders.

“My next-door neighbour’s girl aged six has to provide a school skipping rope – when I was a child that was part of P.E. On my little boy’s stationery list – five pots of paint.”

“Our families are going to the money lenders,” Mr Evans told ONE News.

It must have come as a total surprise to Celia Beach of Mangere that her child had to go back to school after having been at school for 4 years prior.  As a result, she didn’t know that she had to put money aside for her child’s school uniform and resource fees.

You can’t fix stupidity.   But the media are happy to run your story as if it is a failure of the government.  Oh yes our lovely media.  Pimping the poor, hugging the crims and championing the stupid.


– One News


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  • Momo

    This has made me wild for years! Every year the same stories. I think the media just changes the names.

    • Cadwallader

      Implicit in all of these hard luck stories is the message that it is the government’s fault. If the quoted budgetary chap was truly into budgetting he would not simply resort to claims of visits to moneylenders but counsel the hard-done-bys in how to budget. The msm aren’t interested in this approach as it would be counter to their whine about the government.An annual event.

      • peterwn

        The MSM is ramping up its 2015 smear campaign with astroturfing (sowing ‘grass roots’ opinion) about John Key having no agenda, etc, etc. MSM seem to want John Key’s ideas and policies to fail.

        • R&BAvenger

          In other words, nothing has changed since Key became PM in 2008.

    • R&BAvenger

      Yes you are right. The so-called ‘news’ in this country is like Groundhog Day – year in, year out.

  • George

    Less we forget 260, 000 children live in poverty. Less we forget they have to be fed whilst at school. Less we forget, that makes 520, 000 dropkick parents. You expect them to provide stationery!

    • JustanObserver

      Don’t forget the rain coats and shoes as well

      • Cadwallader

        Shoes??? Luxury sheer luxury!

    • Reaper

      It won’t be 520,000 parents – the same parents are responsible (or not) for more than one. Some are churning out 6-8 or more.

      • Whitey

        Different dads for each kid though, so I’d guess somewhere in the region of 300,000 dropkick “parents”.

  • conwaycaptain

    Places like Warehouse Stationery, Whitcoulls are selling stationery at almost give away prices now. You cannot get much cheaper than that and why don’t they buy through the year???

    • I brought some refil pads and math quad books for my daughter yesterday – 25c and 50c each. A packet of chippies is about a buck fifty now and poor kids seem to chomp through those easily enough.

  • Just a thought …

    Yeah , next thing you know Xmas will sneak up on them again and they won’t have any money for presents and food …………

    • OneTrack

      They just have to remember to go to the Salvation Army for those.

    • Reaper

      Yeah, I hate the way that Xmas just comes out of the blue at random times.

    • Cadwallader

      Not to forget that Easter Eggs have already been on sale for 2-3 weeks…priorities priorities whence will they end?

      • Albert Lane

        And when you see people put these in their shopping trolleys in the supermarket, just have a peep and see how many cartons of beer are in there too.

  • Darryl Evans is an idiot. He goes on National TV to attack the government when in fact it is his organisation that should be providing a service to the community of how to budget and be prepared for this expense that you know is coming. No it is just easier to blame the government! Why does he not tell all that only 1% pay the contribution to school fees?

  • pisces8284 .

    Yesterday he told Breakfast that buying schoolbags was a problem, parents tend to buy cheap ones so have to be replaced soon after, he said. My grandkids got schoolbags for Christmas – $35 each in Kathmandu sale and good quality. So tired of these bleating people on the news, do they really think that it emits sympathy from the viewers?

  • Grant

    Parents will buy paint and skipping ropes for their four year old to entertain them whilst at home then scream blue murder if they have to buy these things for their 5 year olds in school. We need to change the mentality of these people the government is us it is our money not some endless money pit.

    • Albert Lane

      But it is an endless money pit.

  • Rex

    Here we go,again,the dumb ones go on TV saying “woe,is me”! No money for school gear, then it is no money for school,sports, then it is no money for Xmas and the list goes on an on. What these dummies should have done right at the beginning is save up some money for CONDOMS! End of problem!

    • Momo

      No money for the school ball…dress, limo, hair, makeup, manicure, pedicure etc

  • Fox news is certainly smarter than the rest of the liar media, it must be the smart part of the stupid media then.

    • 1951

      They have moved up in the ratings quite significantly lately.

  • Sailor Sam

    This Evans guy is the go-to whinger when the “mainstream media” needs a sob story. It shows us all how poor the “journalists” are. Just ring him, he will give them a story, any story.

  • Chris

    Don’t you find it strange that all these children in so called poverty have been no where to be seen over the holidays, with not one child being reported as dying from lack of food while they have been on holiday, but as soon as the MSM come back from their holidays, the rort starts up again?

    • Sally

      And don’t forget the politicians are back as well so the Labour/Greens will soon be on the bandwagon to feed the MSM frenzy.

    • Albert Lane

      Isn’t a common definition of poverty one where the family hasn’t had an overseas trip in that year? I was flabbergasted when I saw this in print one day. Some people have values that are simply out of this world.

  • Coffee Connoisseur

    Well unfortunately this is what happens when you have a system designed to manage the flow o resources instead of one designed for people that works for them instead of against them.
    What we have now is akin to inventing the automobile yet needing to push it wherever you want to go.
    Under a system designed for people Aucklands Transport woes would have been fixed already. It is ludicrous. But then the powers that be don’t expect you to think beyond the bounds of the current system to what is actually possible and most people are only too willing to comply

    I have the same problem as you fellas, I see stupid people everwhere. Unfortunately I see greater numbers of them than most..

  • Sally

    I remember I had to provide my daughter a skipping rope for school in the 80’s. At the time there was a ‘jump rope’ campaign and everyone had to have a rope.
    No big deal. A skipping rope is much better to own than a lot of the rubbish kids have these days.

    • Arnie

      50c per meter at a DIY store.

  • Steely Man

    I have never paid full price for a uniform. Every school has a second hand option.

  • metalnwood

    She can find the money herself, I already raise four children. Two are mine, the rest belong to beneficiaries and I have never met them.

  • LesleyNZ

    “Been through his pencil case” – stationery is so cheap at the cheap dollar type stores. I think you will find skipping ropes there too.

    • Albert Lane

      Have a look inside the expensive stationery stores. They always seem to be crowded with people. Have a look at the prices they charge.

      • hookerphil

        Warehouse last week had exercise books at .19 cents and notebooks at .05 cents. Think it will still be that price now.

  • Huia

    This does my head in as well. I have raised three kids and we have always paid school fees, bought uniforms, stationary and paid for school trips (which I always supplied our vehical for and took a car load of kids whose parents couldn’t/wouldn’t be there), that was in the 70’s and 80’s. I also managed to feed my kids and send them to school with cut lunches although they did buy a pie and a doughnut every Friday (good wholesome tucker?), Friday they did that because I worked a double shift in a hotel dining room every Friday.
    What is the matter with these people that they don’t budget for these things, just put out the hand and squeal as loud as you can and someone does it all for you.

    • mike

      And these are kids at a decile 10 school, how much are the school fees?

      I’m forking out close to a grand to send my son to PNBHS which is decile 2. Less funding per student so parents have to pay more to cover the short fall.

      My family lives off my income of less than $55k a year. We live within our means and sometimes go without treats but bills are always paid (including mortgage) and fridge and pantry are always full.

      • Bobb

        If you mean Palmerston Nth Boys High you are way out with the Decile number. It was Decile 9 until this year when it has dropped to 8.

        • mike

          Have I got decile around the wrong way? my bad sorry.

          Decile 1 gets more money, decile 10 gets less.

          It should be Equal funding per student!

          • Bobb

            Decile 1 gets the most 10 gets the least theoretically. The problem is that Govt funding is never enough and the wealthy are always better fundraisers and organisers. This gives high decile schools a huge advantage. I don’t personally like the Tomorrow’s Schools system for this reason. B o T’s for poor schools often lack the organisational ability to get the best for the kids. “To each his/her needs’ I think, would be a better way.

          • justhinking

            I dont know that wealthy are necessarily better at fundraising always they just have a wider base to call on eg prizes for raffles etc the community also tends tobe wealthy which means they can spend more

          • mike

            But I’m not wealthy. According to Labour I’m living and raising my 2 kids in poverty.

          • justhinking

            On decile rating the community you live in is betteroff than, for example a decile 4. However within both communities there will be somewithmore money than others or less.

  • R&BAvenger

    There is poverty in the country, a poverty of parenting, coupled with a poverty of common sense and screwed up priorities.
    How about making feeding, clothing and helping your children get an education a priority, instead of blowing out the budget on Christmas presents that they don’t need?
    Instead of having multiple children that you can’t afford, just have the one and do a really, really good job of caring for and bring up your child?

    • Albert Lane

      Instilling this in our population would require a huge cultural shift for a part of our community. How would you do this?

      • R&BAvenger

        Change the benefit/welfare entitlement system to pay for 2 children max. The cultural shift will come later.

        • Albert Lane

          The idea is excellent. But it would be political suicide for any political party to propose such legislation, as the opposition would immediately say they’d repeal any such laws. And that’s the problem with MMP. it’s virtually impossible to make significant changes to NZ society. But if we had FPP (first past the post), which would mean that National would have a clear majority in the House, and wouldn’t require any other support, such legislation could be enacted, and it would make a huge difference.

  • Eiselmann

    This annoys me a lot , there was never a lot of money around when I was growing up yet my father could always afford my school uniform , amazingly enough it wasn’t because he suddenly had a windfall the week before going back to school, it was because my education was important to him and he saved a little bit each week without any of the money the state currently throws at parents to provide for the kids they choose to have.
    Attention Parents who don’t plan for the cost of school uniforms …there a surprise Christmas on the 25th of December bet you’d have never saw that coming

    • metalnwood

      I was the other way around, dad had a good business deal when I was young so this stuff was never an issue but mum grew up with little so habits died hard.

      I still got school uniform bought that was too big in the hopes it would last me longer. I cannot see why a uniform that fit two months ago does not fit your child now?

      • rantykiwi

        When I bought RantyJr’s uniform for high school the lady in the uniform shop even suggested buying the (expensive but very well made) jersey at least a size too big so he wouldn’t grow out of it in the foreseeable future – that worked well and he made it right through his schooling with the one jersey (but looked a little ridiculous in it for the first couple of winters).

        His school was sensible with part of the senior uniform – “white business shirt”. A little stupid because teenage boys are not capable of keeping a white business shirt white for long, but a good move on the price front when they are regularly on sale at The Warehouse et al for $9.99. They also turned a blind eye to non-monogrammed trousers so long as they were a close match to the official item.

    • R&BAvenger

      With school uniforms, they were changed over the 1990s and later to ‘make them cheaper and more affordable. Changing to lightweight tracksuit pants and tops and doing away with the winter/summer uniform mix in some cases, along with blazers for senior students only, although not necessarily compulsory.
      Blazers can be bought second hand, so what’s the problem.
      The problem is people making poor choices on what to spend money on, not prioritising and having discipline on financial matters.

    • Dave

      When i was young, we were lucky we had most things, not a lot, but all the basics covered and holidays at my grandmothers or my aunties. However, dads business went through a bad patch for a year or so and from what mum has said, he didn’t have an income at all for over 12 months. It was a time of character building, this is a few things that changed. Even though i was around 9, baths were shared, my sisters first, then me. Meals got a lot simpler, smaller portions, and the veges were cooked together in one pot to save power. The paper stopped coming, and our TV was not fixed when it broke down. The heater and fire were not used, we got our blankets if we were cold. When we went on walks, we collected fallen branches from the riverbank near our house, it went on the pram so we could light the fire for an hour or so. We didn’t drive nearly as much, we mostly walked, i often took my bike so we could help mum take the groceries home. New clothes were unheard of, we wore what we had already, and had hand me downs. Sunday outings became a walk to the park, or a visit to our other relatives where they would serve cakes and biscuits – WOW. sometimes my grandmother sent us home with some biscuits or cake in a big cake tin, such a treat.

      The thing – no welfare in those days, but a warm family and community spirit, a helping hand, and small appreciations. On occasions, my wife and I still cook the veges in the same pot, we still get a blanket out and cuddle up when its cold (when still living in NZ), and we go without when the budget can’t afford the extras.

  • Michelle

    What is wrong with the children getting some of their stationary for Christmas? We used to get things like that and the parent could start paying off a uniform well before the start of school
    It seems to sneak up on these people every year but l am sure uniform places have a laybuy/payoff scheme that could have started last year and have it all paid off by now but no they have to screech that they have no money to pay for these things
    If you have kids you have to provide for them not expect the taxpayer to do it

    • BassilFawlty

      You can actually buy second hand uniforms on Trade me also, we sold a whole set (summer and winter) when our daughter left primary school to a lady for $100, she saved a packet.

  • metalnwood

    Why does a uniform that fit the kids in December no longer fit the kids in February?

    • Bart67

      Because the poverty stricken children ate too much food while going without breakfast, apparently!

      • Dave

        Yes, RTD’s are fattening

    • Goldfish

      That’s a legit issue – sometimes they grow too damn fast! And of course when they are flat out growing you don’t replace uniform towards the end of the year, you make them suck it up then replace it at the start of the year.

      Of course that doesn’t stop parents from planning and budgeting for it. Some parents will whinge about everything, that woman Celia Beach would have been glad for an audience.

  • Geoff

    We are told one in four families live in poverty, free breakfasts in schools are essential to help support them. Can we therefore expect to see large numbers of malnourished children who have gone without breakfasts during the holidays struggling to make it school.

  • Arnie

    We have been told there are 250 000 kids in poverty and yet this morning it was reported there are 80 000 on the school food program with a waiting list of 6 000 no where near the 250 000 the lefties keep screaming there is.

    • FreeMack

      And who has been feeding those kids through the holidays? Why is the Herald not running photos of their emaciated bodies?

      • Albert Lane

        And their parents’ emaciated bodies.

  • minnie

    Meh, who needs shoes for school, mine came off as soon as i was out of mums sight and stayed off, especially in the rain and frosts, nothing worse than soggy shoes and socks after jumping through all the puddles and stamping on frozen ones!!!

    • PsychoKea

      Yes I never used to wear shoes at primary school, hated them

  • I have 4 young kids. 2 are already at school, and the 3rd starts during the year. My wife did this amazing thing called forward planning and put aside money for a couple of months to be able to buy all the stationary and uniforms needed for the start of the year.

    It’s not like it’s something you don’t know is going to happen.

    • taurangaruru

      The “narrative” will be that these families are living hand to mouth, not a single spare cent to put away for a rainy day. Despite free school lunches & billions spent on welfare these families are just not coping – pity they never thought of whether they could afford kids before they started.

      • ex-JAFA

        Like the start of the school year and Christmas, pregnancy is a completely unpredictable random event.

  • richard.b

    Every year I winge and moan about school fees, uniforms, stationery etc. Why? Because I can. What I don’t do is bleat to the MSM.
    I still pay the fees, send the kids to school in the right uniform with the correct kit.
    What does get me is the donation crap.
    The school sets the donation at a number ($100 or whatever) knowing that only some parents will pay it.
    So, like my taxes, when I pay school fees I subsidise some other person’s kid.

  • Guest

    Has anyone asked whether these “struggling families” went away for a holiday? Is that more important than school supplies?

    Edit: Grammar

    • Albert Lane

      I would like to know what the struggling families spend on things like booze, gambling, drugs, Sky TV, mobile phones, lending sharks and take-away foods. It would be an interesting task for aspiring MPs to get into the community and see what is really happening. Some people genuinely need and deserve help. Others don’t.

  • oldmanNZ

    my daughters shoe has worn a big hole in it….

    she used duct tape to cover the hole last year , so far so good , might last till mid year.

    lucky I did not spend all my money on the Boxing day sales.

  • In Vino Veritas

    I note an article in the Herald on the 23rd around the cost of “free schooling” in NZ. To make it stack up the way the author (Jamie Morton) wanted, he decided to include extra curricular costs. Which just happen to make up a third of the total. As far as I know, extra curricular means outside the curriculum, which means outside that which the Government funds. As it has meant, since time immemorial. There is also the small matter of school uniforms, which are also not in the curriculum funded by the Government. And travel to and from school. So, Jamie blithely claims a state school education will cost you $34,524. Roughly $18K of that is extra curricular, uniforms and travel. All things outside the curriculum that is funded by the Government, and have never been funded by the Government. If you don’t want to pay for the extra’s, your kid(s) can miss out. That’s the parents choice.
    Morton is entirely wrong. Education via the Government curriculum through Primary and Secondary school is free. That’s why its called free. And Morton needs to get his numbers checked as well, clearly math is not his strong point.

    • pak

      I really don’t understand all the complaining about costs of school uniforms. Before children go to school parents need to provide clothing for their kids. They still have that responsibility once they go to school. If parents had to pay the full cost to educate their children they might appreciate more what the State actually does provide via all tax payers who contribute whether they have kids of their own or not.

      • Cowgirl

        A school uniform would be relatively cheap I would think, compared to the cost of buying them all the latest gear all the time. This way you only have to shell out on mufti for the weekends.

      • Reaper

        Absolutely, people should be grateful. It costs me a small fortune to homeschool mine (not that I am complaining), plus we have to live on one income so I can stay at home and do it. Imagine the complaints from these whingers if they had to cover all the costs.

  • FreeMack

    The answer is simple. If you can’t, or won’t pay for your child’s education, pop next door to the neighbors and explain to them why they should pay for it instead. Do not use the government to do it for you.

  • wooted

    If they can’t afford to look after their kids, why did they have them in the first place. Morons!

    • Albert Lane

      Take 100 lines as follows: In NZ, having kids produces free housing, food, and income, all paid for by the taxpayers, and you never have to contribute anything to society nor to the kids, in return.

  • sarah

    I have one kid at college, one on his last year of primary and one at daycare. Since day dot of my kids starting school I started AP’s to the school they attended so throughout the year all school activitiesfees extra curricular stuff is covered without even missing the money and its spread over. My son has a very expensive beginning of the year camp coming up but to no cost to me as I have already paid it through the AP’s. I never stop it so when they move on to the next level school any leftover money (which there usually is) I transfer straight over to their new school. The only expense which isn’t an expense because it is a known thing is uniforms (which you can pre-plan by looking on the school site and find out what is needed and buy it throughout the year) and stationary.

    • Warren Murray

      After my kids were born I opened a savings acc for each of them, $10 per week goes into each one, which with compounding interest will give them something to use when they turn 18, go for an apprenticeship, tertiary study, etc.

  • Cadwallader

    Related: Another year is yet to begin but the students are whining about repaying their student loans…again! While a tertiary education is desirable it is not compulsory.One story of ” woe is me” is a student being forced to go to live in New York or London to get a highly enough paid job to repay her student loan. Her qualification: Museum studies. Now you’d think that before embarking on study and debt creation the sensible thing to do would be to assess job vacancies? Not in this parallel universe, you dive into debt then whine and blame the world when you find you’re not a lot of use on the street. The msm will slant this towards it being JK’s fault I expect.

    • Albert Lane

      Some years ago, I believe that a goodly number of NZ students were studying archaeology. And how many jobs were there in NZ for qualified archaeologists? Next to none. I wonder how many still haven’t paid off their student loans. Some people have all brains and no common-sense.

      • Whitey

        Thinking back to my own student days, I’m not aware of anyone who studied archaeology with the intention of working as an archaeologist in NZ. They all planned to leave the country and work elsewhere.

      • Cadwallader

        It may be an essential qualification if you wish to advance your way through the Labour Party. Labour has an unstoppable ability to dig holes for itself, then keep digging, digging, digging…. I think in digging Cunners was an “A” student.

        • Dave

          True, but his skill laying in digging himself into deeper holes – not out of a hole. Now, i have to say, David who ??

  • Dave

    A message to the compliant Media and Darryl Evans from the budgeting services.

    Before trotting out the poor me, can you please ask your clients

    1) How much was expended on Christmas, what presents were purchased or gifted
    2) When was the child’s birthday
    3) Have you taken out any loans in the last 6 months
    3) How much was the child’s school fees, stationary and uniforms last year.
    4) Now take that number, and divide it by 48, that’s how much you need to save every week from this point for next years uniforms, stationary and school fees.

    Full credit to the budgeting services, but its a classic case of the unskilled, or unprepared not having enough to make ends meet, its poor decisions, poor planning, and poor management, not the governments fault.

    Final point to the parent – do you want your child to be in your current situation, or do you have dreams for them, a tradie, a well paid administrator, an actor or a professional? It’s up to you, not the government.

  • SlightlyStrange

    Some of the things on lists now are ridiculous – honestly, why are parents now having to provide skipping ropes and paints for school?
    My mum picked one up the other week – family lives in Newlands, but they are sending their son to Wellington College, even though there is no spare money in the budget. Because that’s smart, sending your kid all the way across town, at not-insignificant expense, rather than going to the local high school. And then claiming poverty. Stupid.

  • damm good thrashing

    I understand the theory behind school uniforms. But why do they have to cost so much?. Why can’t it be a red T shirt and not the expensive special red T shirt. Why can’t it be a grey jumper and not the very expensive one with the special school colors band on the neck. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

  • Grendel_from_the_dead

    Went through college and never once had a new uniform. It was all 2nd hand from the school uniform shop. stationary is cheaper now than it was in the 90s.

    I do budget advice and i doubt i will get anyone complaining about school costs but i have ahort shrift with the woe is me crowd. There is always something discretionary to cut if its important enough like the kids education.