Drive for work rewarded
After 17 years struggling on a benefit, Rosemaree Manson has finally caught a break.
The Putaruru mother-of-one has landed a taxi-driver job in Taupo.
Ms Manson’s life- changing news came after she approached the South Waikato News in December.
The story revealed she was one of two beneficiaries who had been threatened with benefit cuts if they failed to attend Work and Income meetings in Tokoroa, despite having no way of getting there.
But things are looking up for Ms Manson who will start a fulltime job in February.
It’s something she has not done in more than a decade.
The last job she had was parttime bus driving with her, then, 2- year- old daughter Jessica buckled up beside her.
During that time she received a benefit top-up.
‘‘I’m coming off the benefit after 17 years, I won’t know myself. There will be challenges but the exciting thing is my thinking will be different and I’ll have something to do.’’
And the $250 pay rise is an exciting bonus.
Work broker Jeremy Hall literally went the extra mile to help her out.
‘‘He drove me down to Taupo, took me to my interviews and took me around to look at a few houses.’’
Bay of Plenty regional commissioner for social development Mike Bryant praised Ms Manson’s initiative.
‘‘It’s pleasing to note Rosemaree was proactive in contacting a Tokoroa work broker following a meeting with her case manager.’’
She will be granted close to $2000 in assistance which will pay for moving and set-up costs.
But the road to employment has been a rough and bumpy one. Last April Ms Manson approached Work and Income requesting assistance to renew her taxi licence and was refused.
‘‘They told me I had to have a job.’’
She spent the next three months saving the $250 fee as well as transport and accommodation costs for the trip.
Ms Manson’s former neighbour Sarah Warren, who was in a similar predicament two months ago, has had the stress taken off her back too.
The stay at home mother-offour is no longer required to travel in to Tokoroa for her monthly meetings – a trip she made on foot twice to ensure her benefit was not cut.
Steering straight: Rosemaree Manson is back behind the wheel for a living after 10 years on a benefit.