One child in four in single-parent home

Reported in the Dominion Post on Saturday 30 April

New Zealand has the third-highest rate of children living in single-parent homes, an OECD study says. This means nearly one in four Kiwi children are growing up in single-parent homes as more marriages break up and single women choose to enter motherhood on their own. Of 27 industrialised countries, New Zealand ranked third in the Doing Better for Families study, with 23.7 per cent of children living in a one-parent household, compared with the 14.9 per cent average across all countries. The United States ranked first with 25.9 per cent and Ireland was second with 24.3 per cent. Children’s Commissioner John Angus said Kiwi children were four times more likely to be living under the poverty line if they were being raised by a single parent.

….Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said children raised by married parents were able to provide the best opportunities for children. “We’ve tried to delude ourselves that family structure doesn’t make a difference, but it does.”


4 comments for “One child in four in single-parent home

  1. 7 May 2011 at 2:24 am

    I was in the background of this article. And I love it.

    Sadly, Bob, you go about this all wrong, but heck, that’s why your opponents fight you soooo much.

    Sadly, sadly, you think you are superior to women and that’s only going to wncourage a gender war. If you win the next election, you’ll lose somewhere again down the line. That’s human nature. 😉

  2. Bob
    7 May 2011 at 12:57 pm


    Gee! We’re definitely not on your christmas card list 🙂

    We can’t win an election – we’re not a political party

    And what makes you think we think we’re superior to women????????

  3. Massoud
    9 May 2011 at 3:42 am

    The difficult part is: how do you structure a society that has the ability to maintain a 90%+ successful marriage rate?I suggest you can’t.

    Everything is created in a context; nothing exists in a vacuum. And the context of our times is that of a society that, relatively speaking compared to the past, is very wealthy, mobile, anomie, and full of choices. Abundant choices. Including relationships and family structures.

    This is all encouraged by government, media, and business, platitudes they mouth to the contrary being mere window-dressing. What concerms them is profit and power, and in that debate we are “units”, “voters”, and “consumers”. Nothing else.

    All in all, it is a hundred times more difficult to stay married now than it was for our grandparents. They stayed married because the context for marriage was stronger. And, quite frankly, they resented it half the time.

    Family First’s policies of protecting and respecting marriage are really just tinkering with the fringes. The core essence of our society; philosophically, financially, culturally,enticeingly, globally, and egotistically, is geared towards more choice, or, it could be argued, imagined choice. Unfortunately children are the ones who suffer the most. And this fact has infected us all without exception, churches and religious alike.

    The truth is obvious: you can never legislate familial bliss or loving feelings of committment with tinkerings in any society, and particularly not in the context of our societies.

    If even the hard-nosed adherents of sharia cannot do it, what makes you think you can?

  4. Bob
    9 May 2011 at 2:32 pm

    No, you can’t legislate good marriages or good families.

    But decades of research is clear that adults and children do far better in stable low-conflict married families.

    We should promote, strengthen and protect what works best – but that does not mean ignoring the needs and welfare of families that don’t meet that criteria.

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