Law change for women pregnant by rape and forced to pay child support

Earlier this month Newshub Nation told the story of a woman we're calling Grace, who became pregnant by rape at 15 and for years was forced to pay child support.

In March the IRD stopped demanding payments but said it legally couldn't refund the thousands already taken from the young mum. So she called on the government to change the law.

She contacted Newshub Nation and we put her concerns to Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. It turned out Grace wasn't alone.

"When I first became Minister of Revenue I received three letters which really distressed me from women who had conceived as a result of rape and then were being chased by IRD to pay child support."

When IRD officials told the minister they were unable to return money already paid, he moved to change the law.  

"So I said we've got to change this law because these women you know they've been through absolute hell and to be chased for child support was just wrong."

Under a new tax bill expected to pass through parliament by the end of next month, Grace will be able to apply to the IRD commissioner for a full refund.

Nash urges anyone with similar experience to contact him.  

"So what I would say to those three who wrote in and to other people out there, is it is worth writing to ministers with these sorts of things because it does make a difference."

Grace echoed the minister's message.

"If you know that something's not right and you need something done about it, speak up. Or else you'll never know and then you'll just have to sit there and deal with stuff that wasn't your fault."

Newshub Nation.

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