This article about the Sikaleti brothers claims it is the picture of poverty. Another poorly written article which fails to give a clear picture. If you read through the comments the majority of the commenters are asking the right questions. The big one being: Where is dad? Mum actually responded to one of the first people who asked this question and said that dad found a new girlfriend and ran off to Australia. And where is the family? The family are financially secure and therefore can’t understand what she is going through.
Firstly, why is it acceptable for dad to run off and abandon all responsibility that he has for those children? When you are a dad, you are a dad for life. He might have fallen out of love with mum but he still needs to be responsible for those kids. Dad could be doing great but we aren’t told anything about him. Given New Zealanders can’t get benefits in Australia, then it is highly likely dad is working, and therefore dad is perfectly capable of paying for these kids rugby fees. Problem solved! The issue is what systems do we have in place to make men accountable for their children? What we really need to look at is making sure men do not run off and abandon their children. This would fix most poverty problems. It takes one person to look after the kids and one to work – or a mix, or hired help so both can work – arguing about who gets to work is not the point, the point is had dad not run off mum could have been doing fine looking after the kids whilst dad pays and even though dad has left, dad should still be paying. I’m sick of the media and their fake news slandering the government and expecting the government to pay and also asking for people to give to charities who help pay, we all have to pay for our own families, the man who has failed this family should be paying and the government should be making him pay. We are already paying them a benefit, so the NZ taxpayer is already doing their bit, dad should be made to help. He isn’t even paying tax here. We have a good relationship with Australia, we must be able to get child support from men who run off there, I mean we can get student loan payments back, why not child support payments? I honestly don’t know if them not getting child support payments from dad is a result of failings by the government for not having systems in place or failings by the woman who just can’t be bothered, because the solution to this families problem has not been discussed. The media is too busy pushing their line of poverty rather than looking to why people are in poverty and what can be done to help them out.
This woman also says her family network are financially stable but can’t understand her predicament and they also blame her for her situation. If I had a family member get sick so they had to quit their job and then their husband left them for another woman, moved country and failed to pay for the kids, I would be angry at the man and want to support my family member in any way I could because it is an absolutely disgraceful situation to be put in through no fault of their own. Which is why we have to ask, is it through her own fault? I mean why would the family not have sympathy for her having her husband leave her? There has got to be more to this story. I for one have total sympathy for people who either have a partner walk out on them, die or become too ill to work. It is a horrible situation to be in and people who find themselves in this situation need help. And what about the man’s family? If my brother walked out on his wife for no reason at all and left her with the two kids to raise on her own, I would be horrified. I would also help out by offering to babysit from time to time so she could go out and by spoiling the kids at birthdays/Christmas and offering to pay for school trips and activities so they didn’t miss out. I would make sacrifices in my life to make sure my niece and nephews didn’t miss out. So either this woman has some of the the worst family and in-laws around or there is more to the story.
‘Mum Lufilufi Sitagata sacrificed paying the $200 club rugby subs and buying new rugby boots to free up money for food, school uniforms and petrol.’ Firstly, buy the uniforms second hand. Money for food – make lunch. She is giving the kids $5 for lunch at school, it doesn’t clarify if that is each for just one of them to share but even at $5 a day to cover both the kids, that’s $25 per week. Two loafs of bread would cost $2, margarine $3, a jar of jam $3 and a kilo of pears or kiwifruit is only $3 per kilo this week (these is normally one fruit such as apples or grapes on sale each week) or a bag of oranges is $4.49 for 1.5kg. You can also get chocolate fingers biscuits as a small treat for $2, that gives them quite a few biscuits per day. So $2 (bread) + $3 (margarine) + $3 (jam) + $3 (a kilo of fruit) + $2 (chocolate finger biscuits would go the furthest but there are other $2 options which will give them a couple of biscuits in their lunch each day), this adds up to $13. And the margarine and jam would go further than a week so wouldn’t need to be brought as often but this is a saving of $12 per week ($37 per week if it is $5 per child). She says she isn’t eating properly so they don’t go without, everyone can eat if you put in some effort, probably not putting in the effort as so tired from not eating and not taking her meds properly, she needs to make her meds a priority over everything as without her the kids will be far worse off. and if she doesn’t stay healthy she will never find work, that just makes the situation worse. Then if she is talking about petrol then assumably she has a car unless she is contributing to someone else’s petrol. If she gets rid of the car she would be doing fine. I’m sure if she spoke to the coach of the rugby team that she could afford to join without a car that she could be hooked up with another team member for a ride, she could contribute some toward petrol, win win for both families.
Conclusion: This isn’t a family in poverty. It is a family that needs to sort itself out. It needs to chase down the dad to take responsibility. Name and shame him amongst friends and family. It is a family who needs budgeting advice. Stop buying lunch every day, get rid of the car, buy second hand clothes. The kids can walk to school or sort out a carpool, you can contribute some petrol money, still cheaper than having a car. Having a car isn’t even going to help her with her heart condition because if she has an issue and needs to get to a doctor, she won’t be a state to drive. On the rare occasion doctor’s visits are required, an Uber would still be cheaper than having a car on hand every day. But hey, why would they do that? There are lots of comments from people who say they will pay for them. There is a charity set up to help ‘people like them.’ Clubs often don’t charge fees to those in need. It seems to me people don’t want to try and help themselves. Why help yourself when others will pay? It’s like this country is on a big race to get to the bottom. The more pathetic you look the bigger the prize. It’s a sad reflection on society. New Zealanders used to be people who worked out a solution, not whined and asked for others to solve their problems.