Kiwis have become strong on coupling, but not on breeding.
A bemused Alf makes this observation after reading about Statistics New Zealand family and household projections that show we had more couples without children at home than couples with children at home in 2008. This was the first time this had happened since at least World War II.
Traditional families of Mum, Dad and the kids are projected to shrink further from 31 per cent of all adults aged 18 and over in 2006 to just 23 per cent by 2031.
Couples without children at home are tipped to rise from 30 per cent to 36 per cent of adults, and adults living alone or with flatmates or in other non-family households will rise from 20 per cent to 23 per cent.
Sole parents with children still at home are projected as static at 7 per cent of adults, but the decline in two-parent families with children means the sole-parent share of all families with dependent children will rise from 29 per cent to 34 per cent.
The Herald reckons these changes are mainly driven by the ageing population caused by plunging birth rates and death rates over the past 50 years.
This has led to growing numbers of empty-nesters with no children still at home.
But the lower birth rate, and a rise in the median age of mothers giving birth from 25 in the early 1970s to 30 today, means there are also growing numbers of young adults who have not yet had children – and increasingly never will.
Census figures show that 15 per cent of women who were born in 1965 had not had children by the time they were 40.
Alf has a simple explanation for this phenomenon.
Under our political system, New Zealanders are apt to behave highly irrationally every now and again and elect a Labour Government.
The social and economic consequences of this can be dire, and the Kiwis who do not breed are the ones with enough compassion – and sense – to spare future generations from the ill-effects.
Alf supposes that something similar happened to the Dodo.
The dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century. It is commonly used as the archetype of an extinct species because its extinction occurred during recorded human history and was directly attributable to human activity.
The phrase “dead as a dodo” means undoubtedly and unquestionably dead, whilst the phrase “to go the way of the dodo” means to become extinct or obsolete, to fall out of common usage or practice, or to become a thing of the past.
Alf will be wandering down to the library later in the day to look further into this matter.
He is confident he will find that the human activity referred to in the above passage from Wikipedia had something to do with socialism and the ravages resulting from the maladministration of a Labour Government.
Moreover Alf will be looking further into a BBC report he has dug up about kiwis.
It’s a bit dated – a 1999 report – but it quotes conservationists as saying the kiwi is being killed at a rate of one every two hours and is “free-falling” to extinction.
Here’s the pertinent bit, when it comes to understanding things related to extinction:
Kiwis live in monogamous pairs, but the sex roles are reversed with the females dominating the males.
This, of course, is what happened to this country under Labour.
A woman PM, a woman governor-general, a woman Speaker, a woman chief justice, a woman boss at Telecom … and so on.
So it’s not just the incidence of childless couples that we should think about.
It’s the extinciton of the Kiwi.