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How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Old Oct 21st 2011, 11:39 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
She's already preggers though so not much she can do except make it work somehow.
Is she? I thought she said 'if we have a baby'.

I think it's great that you are working through the options this early (assuming I have assumed right that you are not pregnant yet). Lots of good advice here. If your boyfriend can't contribute much more than sperm to this event, then perhaps he can do the majority of the caring while you go back to work. I know you really want to stay home yourself, but to be honest you have to be a bit more selective in a mate to guarantee that. Do I sound cynical there?.

Nothing wrong in choosing someone with no money, but there are consequences to that choice.

Don't forget too, that the UK maternity provision used to be pretty poor too, and is still seen so by other European countries. Depends whose standards you want to compare your situation too. No doubt there are many countries that offer less than NZ as well.
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Old Oct 22nd 2011, 12:30 am
  #17  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
She's already preggers though so not much she can do except make it work somehow.
Sorry my mistake. If not pregnant already as I thought then planning in advance is the way and saving up beforehand. I was worried about taking the plunge and living just on OH's salary when we did it but it worked out fine probably because we kept the mortgage low. (This was in UK).

Last edited by luvwelly; Oct 22nd 2011 at 12:32 am.
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Old Oct 22nd 2011, 10:24 am
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Simple dont have any! I'm sure I wouldn't be living in new zealand now if I stayed childless
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 8:33 am
  #19  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

We've just had a baby (May) in NZ and also found the Maternity arrangements to be, erm, frustrating, difficult and confusing.

My wife is a teacher and though our experiences may well be exclusive to the teaching profession, I figured it's worth me pointing them out here still.

Firstly, we'd heard a rumour that there was a Maternity Grant that she was able to apply for which was the equivalent of six weeks pay. I think I'm right in saying that this was something to do with her Union. Upon checking this out it turned out to be true! You can though only apply for it once the baby has been born (birth certificate required).

If you're a member of a union, you should check if there's any such grant available to you. If you're not a member of a union, personally I'd be checking to see if there is one you can join, whether they have such a grant available and if so, the eligibility criteria. Then weigh up the membership fee(s) against the potential benefit of any such Maternity Grant and figure this in to your pregnancy plans.

The statutory maternity pay is very low. My wife is the main earner in our house and the fact is that if it wasn't for the maternity grant I don't know what we would have done - dropping down to to between 25% and 33% of her normal salary without any other income would have crippled us. As it is, we stretched the money out for 9 weeks and then she went back to work.

But only after it became clear that the school office staff (who amazingly claimed never to have seen an application form for paid parental leave before) had made errors in their paperwork resulting in her Maternity Leave being started too soon, then being stopped, then being re-started and the frustration/stress of not knowing how much money was coming in for sure on almost any week.

We've now found out that the maternity leave is technically classed as "Leave without pay". The letter she received states, "Under Clause 3.26 of the Primary Teacher's Collective Agreement, teachers who take leave without pay in excess of five school days in any one year incur a proportionate reduction of holiday pay".

The upshot, is they're deducting 5 days pay from her next wage.

If these are the rules, so be it, but it'd have been helpful to know beforehand.

In summary, as a young, hard-working, professional family, we found virtually no support whatsoever, information rediculously hard to come by (Maternity rights etc) and repeated, unnecessary, frustrating & stressful hurdles put in our way at just about every turn.

Having read the above to her and asked my wife if she wanted to add anything, she said her advice would be to have your kids in the UK. She says that in her opinion NZ doesn't support or encourage young professional families.

She then had a rant about the lack of hot school dinners, free school dinners for the financially disadvantaged, the kids having to sit on the floor to eat and plenty of other stuff too which I'm sure can wait for another thread!
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 11:33 am
  #20  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by Ozzidoc View Post
It's actually not about what "you" earn, it's about what "you" spend.........
kids = hole in the pocket
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 11:56 am
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by lardyl View Post
kids = hole in the pocket
Kids = the future
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 12:12 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by sheene View Post
Kids = the future
yep

was listening to a doco on population control the other night and how it was harming demographics

was just warning that if the costs of childcare are high the actual costs of kids are astronomical

wouldn't give em back though
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by lardyl View Post
yep

was listening to a doco on population control the other night and how it was harming demographics

was just warning that if the costs of childcare are high the actual costs of kids are astronomical

wouldn't give em back though
I know you wouldn't.

Sorry if that offended - we are all anti-youth at times, not helped by the media, but they are our future and people like you have a huge part to play. Hats off to you.
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 4:34 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Yup, sounds about right. My sister is about to have a baby. She's a journalist with a major paper so you'd think would have decent mat leave right? wrong. A paltry few months and then back to work. I was shocked - I'd have thought NZ with it's cradle-to-grave social welfare mentality would have been more supportive than that.

I'm curious but do they have decent childcare for kids that young? I would be worried about leaving my very young child with a carer unless I knew them to be very good. There's very little decent childcare for babies here, (Vancouver) but maybe it's different in NZ.

Compared to Canada (1 year mat leave, paid, though not at full wage unless topped up by employer) it's bloody dreadful.

Last edited by ExKiwilass; Oct 23rd 2011 at 4:50 pm.
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 7:11 pm
  #25  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

If you have a country with a low population, and a govenment who likes to cut taxes, then you will have to accept that you won't be getting many hand outs..

Apparently once you have kids you forget about everything else, me, i have a dog.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 6:41 am
  #26  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by jmh View Post
Don't forget too, that the UK maternity provision used to be pretty poor too, and is still seen so by other European countries.
True! I only just qualified for the 26 weeks SMP, my due date was a day or two after the cut-off. Prior to that it was 18 weeks and not long before it was only 14 weeks. I know people who quit work 6 weeks before their due date due to high BP, only to have their baby over 2 weeks late, meaning they had to return to work with a 6 week old baby.....the minimum age most UK nurseries would take. They really struggled to function at work all day after getting up several times at night with such a young baby.

NZ is a small country with a small tax base. It's not third world, but is pretty poor as far as western countries go. Social care, benefits, healthcare cover etc is far less comprehensive than many countries, and the means-tested thresholds for things like child-related tax credits are comparatively low too, meaning even the lower paid semi-professional or skilled workers don't qualify for much.

You need to be creative with childcare. There are plenty of stay-at-home dads at my youngest kids kindy, simply because they were the lower earners and it was easier for them to give up work. Some of them work part time evening jobs and of course, they can't breastfeed. There are a few other mums who work part time and have an arrangement to take care of each others babies/toddlers. I guess the drop in income is not quite so painful when you have no childcare costs to fork out, and you are entitled to claim slightly more in benefits to offset the loss of earnings to some extent. But ultimately, you have to live within your means and at times it's bloody difficult, but not impossible.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 8:53 am
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
There are plenty of stay-at-home dads at my youngest kids kindy, simply because they were the lower earners and it was easier for them to give up work. Some of them work part time evening jobs and of course, they can't breastfeed.
I'm a stay-at-home-Dad and whilst I can't breastfeed, my wife expresses, then stores milk, periodically throughout the day at work. Which I then give to our baby in his bottles the day after, "topping up" if/when necessary with additional bottles of formula and more recently baby-food too.

The expressing and prompt storing of milk etc is a hassle, and requires some efficient planning (stock rotation etc) but we strongly believe "breast-is-best" and all that, and wanted this one to be breast-fed just as the other two were.

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
...you have to live within your means and at times it's bloody difficult, but not impossible.
Indeed!!
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 8:59 am
  #28  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

I'm gunna get one from Harvey Normans, pay nothing for one year then 48 interest free monthly payments.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 11:24 am
  #29  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

When we had our child ten years ago in NZ there was no such thing as paid parental leave. There was parental leave for up to one year - you just didn't get paid for it.
So we lived on one income
One small income (36k)
We earned just over the threshold for any benefits or support so that 36k was everything for the first year.
You know, it wasn't the end of the world. No where near.
We rented a small unit, used cloth nappies and shopped frugally. We didn't have a car for the first three months either.
I don't have rose tinted glasses but those days were great. No car to worry about fixing, no house repairs, I had a great time at home with our baby until I went to do my degree when she was 16 months.
Essentially we were on one income for the best part of five years although I did some part time every now and again.

you can't worry too much about it. just enjoy being a young family, enjoy your kids and the trappings will come later. This is what people have always done and you won't be alone in it
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Old Oct 28th 2011, 8:41 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: How does anyone afford to have a baby in NZ?

Trust me - you will NEVER have any money once you have children ( I have 2 teens !) BUT they are worth it XX
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