Stuff.co 26 October 2013
A 9-year-old’s comment about how “cool” it was to be on a benefit has changed a Huntly woman’s life.
Until six months ago, Judy Wilson was one of about 80,000 sole parents in New Zealand receiving a benefit.
She was devoted to raising her six children but, in her own words, she was also drinking, smoking, and not doing “anything”.
And she had been for close to 20 years.
“It was my nine-year-old that said, ‘It’s cool being on the benefit because you’ve been on it for so long, eh, mum. I’m going to go on the benefit too’.”
Wilson, 43, said she was “shocked” to think her circumstances would have such influence on her daughter, and the comments jolted her into action.
She started a six-week course at WINZ in order to pick up new skills and followed it up with another, more specific course, in caregiver training for about eight weeks.