How tragically pathetic. The speaker is a Maori girl who doesn't look more than twenty. She buried her last baby after its death from SIDS and she has a one year-old and five year-old she can't afford to feed.
Where is the whanau? That all-famous, all-loving extended family? Somewhere, I suspect, because she sent the kids "away for the school holidays". Is there a father or fathers of her children she can turn to? Quite probably not. Lame ducks no doubt.
Look, I'm not angry about the taxpayer having to support this girl. That comes a long second. I am angry at the bloody stupid institutionalised practice of letting young women, a majority of them Maori, make their own situations progressively harder. This kid looks like a baby herself. Yes, she makes stupid decisions; yes, she gets used by men not prepared to make an iota of commitment to her because the so-called safety net let's them off the hook. They can play at life, making babies they don't really want and shooting through.
This is the face of lifestyle welfare. And it is not a happy or unusual one. Last year 5,277 babies were added to an existing benefit. Think on that.
Work and Income deputy chief executive Patricia Reade said .... the agency would make sure Ms Kihi received all the support it could give. "I am devastated that this has happened and that Ms Kihi had to go through such an appalling ordeal. I am deeply sorry we got it so very wrong."
Work and Income does get it very wrong but not in the way Ms Reade thinks.
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