Taxpayers may have been paying more than $1000 a week to the Kahui and King families before their twins were killed and the two other children in their houses were taken away two weeks ago.
Family members shared their time between a Clendon house and another in Mangere, where twins Chris and Cru Kahui died.
The Weekend Herald reported that only one of nine adult or teenage occupants of the Clendon house had a job, as a cleaner.
If this is correct, the other eight adults or teenagers would be entitled to benefits totalling between $845 and $1395 a week among them, depending on their ages and circumstances.
Another occupant of the Mangere house, Gwen, the mother of the twins' father Chris, is in hospital and it is not known if she was working.
Family members are understood to be trying to get the two children removed nearly two weeks ago returned to them. The children are in the care of Child Youth and Family (CYF). The agency would not confirm the application for the children, but said their welfare remained paramount.
Facts on the families' incomes are sketchy , but the other occupants of the two houses have been reported as:
* Bill (Banjo) Kahui, Chris' father, listed on the Tamaki Makaurau electoral roll as William Caulfield Rangiwaihutu Kahui, unemployed.
Unemployment benefit aged 25-plus: $173.92 a week net.
* Chris Kahui, listed on the Manurewa electoral roll as a warehouse worker, and his partner Macsyne King, not listed. If Chris is still working he may be supporting himself and Macsyne without benefits, or both may be working. Alternatively, the couple may be receiving the married rate of unemployment benefit, $289.84 net.
* Stuart King, Macsyne's brother, and his partner Mona-Louise (Mo) Kahui, Chris's sister. Stuart was described by the Herald on Sunday as "a tall, lean scaffolder", and a Stuart King appears on the Tamaki Makaurau roll at a Mt Wellington address as a labourer. He may be supporting Mo, who is not listed, or she may be working.
* Eva, Elvis and William Kahui, Chris' siblings. None of these appear on the electoral rolls. They may be working or at school. If they are not, they may each qualify for unemployment benefits of $115.94 (single 18-19, living at home), $144.92 (single 20-24) or $173.92 (single, 25-plus), all weekly after tax.
* Ray. A Raymond Keith Waihape appears on the Tamaki Makaurau roll as a beneficiary at 101 Maplesden Drive, the Clendon house. If he is still there, he may get an unemployment benefit of either $144.92 (single 18-24 away from parents) or $173.92.
* Chris and Macsyne's toddler Shayne, and Cyene, Stuart and Mo's baby, would each have brought in $72 a week in family support before they were removed by CYF. Family support would have been reduced by 20c for every $1 that either couple earned above $673 a week.
* Chris and Cru, the dead twins. When they were alive, they would have brought in family support of $47 a week each, again reduced by 20c for every $1 that Chris and Macsyne earned above $673 a week.
The Clendon and Mangere houses are both Housing NZ properties. Housing NZ's policy for tenants earning less than the rate of national superannuation is to set rents at 25 per cent of the combined net incomes of the tenants and their partners.
Other adults in the house have no direct effect on the rent. But if they are 16 or over, financially independent and contribute financially to the household, then Housing NZ should be told that they are "boarders".
Up to two boarders are allowed before there is any effect on the rent.
Then, 62 per cent of the financial contribution from the third and subsequent boarders is counted as part of the tenant's income.
The rent for the Clendon house is therefore 25 per cent of Bill Kahui's benefit, or $43.48 a week, plus 25 per cent of 62 per cent of the amounts that all except two of the other adults contribute to the household, if Housing NZ has been told that they are boarders.
The rent for the Mangere house would be set on the same basis, starting with 25 per cent of Gwen Kahui's benefit.